June 15, 2014 10:52 am

Thousands sign petition denouncing alleged animal abuse at B.C. dairy 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

Nearly 100,000 people have signed a petition denouncing alleged animal abuse at a B.C. dairy farm.

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The petition was put up by Mercy for Animals Canada, the same organization that released an undercover video showing workers at Chilliwack Cattle Sales using chains, canes, rakes, their booted feet and their fists to viciously whip, punch, kick and beat the dairy cows.

The petition is urging Saputo Inc., a company which buys milk from the farm, to take immediate action to prevent further abuse by its suppliers.

“Saputo is responsible for establishing meaningful animal welfare policies and oversight to ensure that cruelty and neglect don’t flourish on its watch,” says the text of the petition.

After the video was made public, Chilliwack Cattle Sales fired eight employees involved in the abuse, and the BC SPCA has now recommended charges of animal cruelty against them.

WATCH: The B.C. SPCA is pushing for animal cruelty charges against eight employees of Canada’s largest dairy farm, after a hidden camera investigation revealed cows being kicked and beaten by staff. Francis Silvaggio reports. GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised.

The BC Milk Marketing Board has now also suspended milk pick-up from the farm.

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 dairy operation — the country’s largest, with more than 3,500 animals — says they will put in security cameras that will be monitored and they’re working with SPCA on better training for staff.

With files from Amy Judd

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