Tuesday, Sept 26, 2017 

Local News

One More Sentenced

Talbot gets 35 days in jail for nefarious role in dairy cow abuse
By Staff/voice file photo


Jeff Kooyman | Voice file photos 2014.


uesday morning, Johnathan Talbot, a former worker at Chilliwack Cattle Sales, Canada's largest dairy farm, was sentenced to 35 days in jail for his part in the sickening abuse of cows at the farm. He was also banned from owning or caring for any larger animals such as pigs, cows and horses for 2 years.


Kristina Hiddema, Mercy For Animals (MFA) vice president in Canada, an international farmed animal protection organization said abuse is common in the dairy industry.

"Today's sentencing sends a strong message to Canada's dairy industry: Cruelty to cows will not be tolerated," said Hiddema. "But the best way to address animal cruelty is to prevent it. We're asking all Canadian provinces to create a united front against the rampant animal abuse in the dairy industry. Extreme cruelty and neglect will continue to go unchecked on Canada's farms until the Dairy Code of Practice is given the force of law in every province."

Talbot's sentencing follows a hidden-camera exposť by MFA.

According to MFA, their undercover investigation recorded on video, showed workers viciously kicking, punching cows as well as beating them with chains, metal pipes, canes, and rakes. They also partook in gleefully poking and squeezing festering wounds of cows suffering from oozing infections and gruesome injuries.

In a release Tuesday, MFA said that Talbot is the fifth worker to receive a jail sentence for the animal abuse revealed through MFA's groundbreaking investigation. Earlier this year four other Chilliwack Cattle Sales workers were sentenced to a combined 147 days in jail.


These unprecedented sentences are the first time in Canadian history that former factory farm workers were sentenced to jail for malicious animal abuse exposed through an undercover investigation by an animal protection organization.


Last December, in another historic victory for animals, Chilliwack Cattle Sales and its owner Wesley Kooyman were convicted of animal cruelty and ordered to pay fines totaling almost $350,000. One more worker, Brad Genereaux, has a pending case and he is due in court on October 4, 2017.

According to the cruelty that was exposed by MFA footage, BC agricultural minister Norm Letnick amended the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to incorporate the Dairy Code of Practice.

MFA is calling on all provinces to incorporate the Dairy Code of Practice into their animal cruelty legislation. Giving the Dairy Code of Practice the force of law will require the dairy industry to follow basic minimum standards for animal welfare and help prevent many of the worst abuses documented at Chilliwack Cattle Sales.

MFA told The Voice on Tuesday that they are also waiting on the outcome of a sentencing appeal for two former workers through which the Crown is seeking harsher penalties than the sentences issued by Honorable Justice Gary Cohen. Those defendants are cross-appealing.

To view the undercover video that led to today's sentencing, visit Canada Dairy Mercy For Animals website here.



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