June 13, 2014 8:23 pm

Milk Marketing Board bans milk pick-up from Chilliwack farm

A dairy cow with a nose ring is shown at the Kooyman family dairy farm in Chilliwack, B.C., Tuesday, June, 10, 2014. The animal rights group Mercy for Animals Canada released a undercover video earlier that showed the cows being beaten and mistreated at the farm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER – The BC Milk Marketing Board has now suspended milk pick-up from Chilliwack Cattle Sales, the farm at the centre of animal abuse allegations earlier this week.

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“On June 2, the BC SPCA received an undercover video from the non-profit group Mercy for Animals Canada that showed the employees using chains, canes, rakes, their booted feet and their fists to viciously whip, punch, kick and beat the dairy cows, including downed and trapped cows who could not escape the abuse,” said Marcie Moriarty, the BC SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer. “We immediately launched an investigation into the case and have recommended Criminal Code charges against the eight employees identified in the video for willfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering and injury to animals.”

The eight employees were originally suspended, pending the results of an investigation, but on Monday night they were fired.

The board said in a release that they remain “deeply concerned about the animal welfare issue that surfaced this week at Chilliwack Cattle Sales. Any mistreatment of animals is absolutely unacceptable. Although animal welfare does not come under the Milk Marketing Board’s authority as a regulator, we need to be assured that dairy cows are well taken care of.”

The board met with the BC SCPA on Friday to address these issues and made the decision to suspend milk pick-up until it is satisfied that all of the animal welfare issues are being addressed appropriately.

“The Board has requested expert advice from veterinarians with respect to animal welfare and the Codes of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle. Upon receipt of a report from these experts, who are responsible authorities, the Board will decide when normal milk pick-up may resume,” they said in the statement.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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