Photos: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals Media
B.C. slaughterhouse with connections to previous cruelty case under investigation
Last night, Animal Justice released horrific footage of animal cruelty at Meadow Valley Meats, a slaughterhouse in Pitt Meadows that promotes itself as “local” and its meat products as “ethical”. This footage shows suffering of the worst kind and demonstrates a clear violation of provincial and federal slaughter regulations.
Not the first time Meadow Valley Meats has been in trouble
Meadow Valley Meats is a B.C.-based slaughterhouse company. According to their website, they are the largest B.C. processor of beef, veal, lambs and goats. This footage does not show an isolated incident, but further evidence of systemic problems in the animal agriculture industry from a major local company.
Media reports that the company, formerly called Pitt Meadow Meats, pled guilty in 2015 to selling E. Coli-tainted meat and after the plant manager knowingly decided not to recall the tainted meat. Meadow Valley Meats also lists Jeff and Ken Kooyman as directors. The two men have connections to the infamous 2014 Chilliwack Cattle Sales dairy cruelty case. That investigation revealed staff repeatedly kicking and punching cows, hitting them with canes and ripping out their tail hair. Video footage also showed a cow being lifted by a chain around her neck using a tractor. The company was fined the maximum amount and had to pay $258,700.
These horrific cases reflect what animal advocates have long argued – that there are serious, systemic animal welfare issues across the animal agriculture industry. It also highlights that court-mandated fines are not enough to change the behaviour of the industry and protect animals.
Meadow Valley Meats is responsible for the following brands, many of which are marketed as local, humane, or family farms.
Regulations around animal slaughter
Meadow Valley Meats is regulated by the Provincial Meat Inspection Regulation, which requires that animals are kept & slaughtered “in accordance with the requirements relating to the humane treatment of animals” set forth by the federal government.
The animal agriculture industry and regulating bodies tout requirements of “humane slaughter” to build public trust; but sadly, this claim doesn’t translate to good welfare for animals.