Friday, Sept 8, 2017 


Local News

Avoiding the Worst

MFA want Canada-wide abuse criteria

By  Krisita Hiddema, MFA/Photo Krista Hiddema

n Wednesday, Jonathan Talbot, a worker at Chilliwack Cattle Sales—the largest factory dairy farm in Canada—pleaded guilty to a total of 2 counts of violating the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and 1 count of violating the BC Wildlife Act. Talbot will return to the Chilliwack Provincial Law Court for sentencing in a few weeks.

Talbot’s guilty pleas follow a hidden-camera exposé by Mercy For Animals, an international farmed animal protection organization. This is the eighth instance of animal cruelty convictions after the release of grisly undercover video footage showing workers viciously kicking and punching cows; beating cows with chains, metal pipes, canes, and rakes; and gleefully poking and squeezing festering wounds of cows suffering from oozing infections and gruesome injuries.



To date, five other workers have been convicted of multiple counts of animal cruelty and sentenced to jail time and fines. These convictions mark the first time in Canadian history that factory farm workers have been sentenced to jail for animal abuse exposed through an undercover investigation by an animal protection organization. In December 2016, also stemming from this investigation, Chilliwack Cattle Sales and one of its owners were convicted of animal cruelty and ordered to pay fines totaling almost $350,000.

The cruelty exposed through Mercy For Animals’ footage prompted BC
agricultural minister Norm Letnick to amend the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to incorporate the Dairy Code of Practice. Mercy For Animals 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.

“There is no excuse for animal abuse,” said Krista Hiddema, Mercy For
Animals’ vice president for Canada. “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. Cruelty and neglect will plague Canada’s farms until the Dairy Code of Practice is given the force of law in every province.”

View the undercover video that led to these convictions, visit


About Mercy For Animals

Mercy For Animals is dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.


Imagine a world free of cruelty, a world in which we nurture our bodies, minds, and spirits with wholesome, healthy food that is kind to animals and sustainable for our planet. MFA believes that world is possible. In fact, it is inevitable if we work together to elevate humanity to its fullest potential.



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