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Eight employees at Chilliwack dairy farm may face animal cruelty charges

*WARNING: The video at the bottom of this article contains very graphic images and is disturbing. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.*

CHILLIWACK (NEWS1130) – The BC SPCA is recommending charges against employees of Canada’s largest dairy farm.

The animal cruelty charges are being recommended against eight workers at a Chilliwack dairy farm.

“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,” says Marcie Moriarty with the BC SPCA.

The very graphic and disturbing video can be found at the bottom of this article.

“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,” she adds.

The company that runs the dairy farm is cooperating with the investigation.

“The images in the undercover video are extremely disturbing and highlight an urgent need for better standards to protect farm animals in BC from abuse and neglect,” says Moriarty.

Chilliwack Cattle Sales is the farm and one of its owners says it is shocked. They believe the video was crafted by a former employee.

Owner Jeff Kooyman says they just found out about the allegations on Friday and says his family is devastated. “Just to think that some of our animals may have been harmed in that way. This is a family farm, this is not what we’re about in any way.”

Kooyman says when the story first broke, they still hadn’t seen the full video.

He says the few seconds he did see was enough to suspend the eight employees. “When we see the video, we’ll obviously make changes. It’s pending investigation. We have to see something, hear something, or else we’re going on allegations.”

Kooyman says they will be installing cameras to help protect their animals in the future.

The BC Dairy Association says it’s disturbing.

“When something like this happens it does really hurt our credibility as a dairy industry and we don’t want that to happen. We feel that our story is a great story and one that we’re proud to share and that’s what we’re going to continue to do,” says Dave Taylor with the Association.

He says some of their people have been to that farm though and haven’t noticed anything of concern.

*WARNING: The video below contains very graphic images and is disturbing. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.*