The BC Milk Marketing Board announced last week it suspended the licence of Cedar Valley Farms in Abbotsford, B.C., after it was provided information regarding violations to the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle and a subsequent inspection of the farm.
Video obtained of the farm has also prompted a BC SPCA investigation.
“There’s definitely footage there that does not only contravene the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, but could borderline on criminal actions,” Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer of the BC SPCA, told CTV News.
The footage, filmed anonymously, was first sent to Animal Justice, a national animal law advocacy organization.
“This farm needs to be held to account for a pattern of abuse,” Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice, told CTV News.
In an interview with CTV News, the man who installed the cameras at Cedar Valley Farms said he wants the farm to be held to account. CTV News has agreed not to name the man.
“I want the suffering to stop,” he said. “Consumers have the right to know where their food comes from, how their food is produced.”
He says the cameras went up in May and were taken down a few weeks ago.
“It’s sad,” he said. “Perhaps the saddest part is that it’s not surprising.”
Cesar Alonso, worked at Cedar Valley Farms for four years. He said he witnessed violent acts perpetrated against the animals.
“They hit the cows,” he said. “With metal tools or with a rake with the metal part and his nose.”
Alonso is in the midst of a wrongful termination lawsuit, but says he repeatedly reported allegations of abuse.
“I report my boss, the owner’s son and the family, because it’s unacceptable,” he said. “Nothing happens.”
The footage is leading to renewed calls for independent oversight for the farming industry.
“We’re also calling for closed caption television cameras to be installed in every farm and slaughterhouse in the country,” Labchuk said.
The BC SPCA is also pressuring the provincial government and the farming industry for a third-party auditing system.
Cedar Valley Farms has not responded to several requests for comment from CTV News.