Sunday, March 13, 2016 

 

Letters

American Activist Group Goes After Local Dairy

Mercy for Animals explains their position

Matt Rice, Director of Investigations, Mercy For Animals, New York/YouTube photo

 

ndercover investigations, whether of a drug ring or organized crime syndicate or factory farm, require that the investigator have the time needed to document the full extent of the illegal activity. Otherwise, a few low-level thugs go to jail while the real crime bosses get away. 

 

In this case, the real responsibility lay with the owners of Chilliwack, who refused to take corrective actions even after being notified that their employees were committing egregious and malicious acts of cruelty.

 

While working at Chilliwack Cattle Sales for a mere 4 weeks, the
whistleblower used a hidden camera to document workers viciously kicking, punching, and beating animals, and sick or injured cow cows suffering from open wounds, oozing infections and painful injuries left to suffer without proper veterinary care.

The whistleblower reported these abuses to the owners of the facility on multiple occasions, but saw no corrective actions taken. Mercy For Animals Canada reached out to law enforcement authorities while the whistleblower was still working at the facility and then persistently followed up with them for the next 19 months to ensure criminal charges were laid against  the people responsible.

Mercy For Animals Canada investigations are conducted in accordance with all provincial and federal laws. Our whistleblowers go in as the eyes and ears of the public, who are kept largely in the dark about how animals are treated on Canadian factory farms. Their role is simply to observe what is taking place and document what they witness.

We believe consumers have a right to know how their food is being produced and how animals on factory farms are treated so they can make informed choices.

Because of the amount of information gathered by the whistleblower, BC SPCA had enough evidence to file animal cruelty charges against the owners of the facility, who are ultimately responsible for the culture of cruelty and neglect they allowed to fester at their factory farm facility. It would not have been in the long-term best interest of animals to rush the investigation and allow the Kooyman's to get away with scapegoating a few low level workers. 

You are absolutely correct that animal abuse runs rampant (sic) in the dairy industry on both sides of the border. Our whistleblowers have documented workers, managers and owners of dairy farms in Ohio, Texas, New York, Wisconsin and other US states viciously kicking, punching, beating and dragging animals. Learn more about our US dairy investigations here. Nearly all of these investigations have led to criminal charges and convictions against the animal abusers. You can learn more about all of our investigations here.

But more importantly, our work has led to some of the largest dairy producers in the world, including Nestle, Leprino Foods, Great Lakes Cheese, and Saputo, to implement meaningful animal welfare policies and oversight at their supplier farms to help prevent these abuses in the future. More on our corporate outreach work here.

Mercy For Animals' sole motivation is to end the needless suffering of farmed animals. We do this by educating consumers about the power of their food choices, by working with major companies to improve their animal welfare standards, by working to strengthen laws to protect farmed animals, and by ensuring the animal protection laws already in place are enforced. 

Mercy For Animals is an international animal protection charity. Our funding comes almost entirely from supporter donations. Click here to learn more about our financials.

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Q. Why wouldn't your whistleblower contact the BC SPCA immediately for the animal's sake, instead of waiting a month, and how long did you hold the video before releasing it?

A. Because of the amount of information gathered by the whistleblower, BC SPCA had enough evidence to file animal cruelty charges against the owners of the facility, who are ultimately responsible for the culture of cruelty and neglect they allowed to fester at their factory farm facility. It would not have been in the long-term best interest of animals to rush the investigation and allow the Kooyman's to get away with scapegoating a few low level workers.

Q. We assume abuse and infractions happen on both sides of the line. This action against Chilliwack Cattle Co. could potentially shut down Canada's largest dairy. Would you call this a politically motivated dairy war?

A. You are absolutely correct that animal abuse runs rampant in the dairy industry on both sides of the border. Our whistleblowers have documented workers, managers and owners of dairy farms in Ohio, Texas, New York, Wisconsin and other US states viciously kicking, punching, beating and dragging animals.

 

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