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An undercover video shot by animal rights activist group Mercy For Animals is responsible for laying charges of over 20 counts of animal cruelty against  Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd. of British Columbia, and seven of its employees.

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“On June 2, 2014 the B.C. SPCA received an undercover video that showed employees at Chilliwack Cattle Sales 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,” said Marcie Moriarty, the B.C. SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer. “We immediately launched an investigation into the case and recommended charges against the employees identified in the video and the company.”

The footage was taken at the Kooyman family dairy farm using secret cameras as part of an undercover investigation, and the video reveals shocking abuse towards the helpless animals.

Of the 20 counts, 16 fall under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA) and concern the various acts of cruelty and violence performed against the helpless dairy cows; the remaining 4 counts are under the Wildlife Act and concern the treatment towards a pigeon. The implicated employees of the company were all charged with causing distress under the PCA Act and one count of failing to care and protect an animal from distress. Directors of the company John Kooyman, Kenneth Kooyman, Wesley Kooyman, Jeffery Kooyman, and Bradley Kooyman have also been charged with causing or permitting the animals to be or continue to be in distress in direct violation of the PCA Act, which maintains that responsible parties have a duty to properly care and protect animals from circumstances such as the ones listed above.

Moriarty told The Sun that’s she’s very pleased with the charges, adding that Chilliwack Cattle Sales is a “very significant operation, one of the largest, if not the largest, in B.C.”

“We also believe it’s the first time in B.C. that a company and its directors have been held accountable for the actions of their employees on a farm,” she noted.

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The managing director of Mercy For Animals in Canada told The Sun that she was pleased with the charges being laid. “We certainly feel justice has been served,” said Hiddema. “These charges send a clear message to the factory farming industry that egregious animal abuse will not be tolerated by Canadians.”

The farm’s owner, Jeff Kooyman, said the video was “horrifying to watch” and pledged to work with the SPCA on better training for staff.

Undercover Video That Led To The Charges

**Caution: Contains Graphic Content**

You’ll never look at a glass of milk the same way again.This was the undercover video that resulted in 20 animal cruelty charges filed against the owners of Chilliwack Cattle Sales—the largest dairy factory farm in Canada—and seven workers. Watch now.

Posted by Mercy For Animals on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What Can You Do?

While this video is heartbreaking to watch, it provides evidence of the extreme animal abuse that had been going on at this farm, and without it the events that were taking place may have gone entirely unnoticed. Sadly, this type of abuse is very common in the factory farm industry and animal activist groups such as Mercy For Animals and PETA are doing a wonderful job of exposing these crimes.

If seeing this makes you cringe and brings tears to your eyes, then chances are you do not support it and would rather it stop. If this is the case, then do what you can to make it so: boycott factory farms and stop buying conventional animal products. Vote with your dollar. You can make a difference by drastically cutting down your consumption of meat and animal products, being mindful of where your food is coming from, and purchasing only ethically, sustainably raised products. Most importantly, you can help by spreading the word; the first step towards creating change is raising awareness. You can make a difference.

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