It has been almost seven months since the BC SPCA recommended charges against eight employees of a Chilliwack dairy farm, who allegedly whipped, punched and kicked cows at the farm. Yet Crown Counsel has yet to announce whether the charges will be approved.
Video of the alleged beatings was released by the animal advocacy group Mercy for Animals, following work by an undercover investigator. The BC SPCA, acting on this evidence, subsequently raided the farm and recommended animal cruelty charges under the Criminal Code.
Graphic video and photos from the undercover investigation were carried by news media across the country, shocking and outraging many Canadians. Chilliwack Cattle Sales, the operator of the dairy farm, was the focus of intense public criticism and boycotts of milk from the farm were organized.
Despite the clear and overwhelming concern, Crown Counsel has still not responded to the BC SPCA’s recommendation. Local news media have quoted the BC SPCA stating that the delay “is not typical of SPCA-recommended charges.”
VHS supporters, who worry that animal cruelty is not taken as seriously as it should be by our justice system, have expressed concern that this case is perhaps not being pursued as vigorously as it should be.
VHS has contacted the Crown Counsel office to reiterate this concern and to enquire about progress on this case. We are currently awaiting a reply. It is our view that the public expects animal cruelty cases to be taken extremely seriously and that this case should be treated as a priority.