A judge has handed down jail time and animal ownership bans on three jackass workers at Canada’s largest dairy farm caught on camera abusing cows in their care.
Travis Keefer, Chris Vandyke and Jamie Visser were all charged with animal cruelty after the activist group Mercy for Animals sent a member to work with them undercover at Chilliwack Cattle Sales three years ago.
Video taken by the undercover employee appeared to show employees kicking and punching cows, hitting them with canes and ripping out the hair from their tails. One cow was lifted by a chain around her neck using a tractor, the court saw during the first trial. An employee can also be seen attaching milking equipment to the testicles of bulls at the farm.
In some of the footage, employees can be heard cheering and laughing in the background. Others can be seen watching without intervening.
The judge said the videos of abuse were “difficult to watch.”
In April, Keefer, Vandyke and Visser pleaded guilty to two counts under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and one count under the Wildlife Act.
In court Thursday, Visser and Vandyke were sentenced to 60 days in jail plus a three-year ban on owning animals. The judge presiding over the case is allowing them to serve their time on the weekends to they are able to keep their jobs.
Keefer was sentenced to seven days in jail plus a one year ban on owning animals. He will start serving his sentence today. The judge said Keefer showed the lowest level of violence.
The jail time is far less than the four to six month terms that Crown was seeking, but more than what Defence would have liked: Its lawyers were calling for community service, probations and fines.
The employees’ guilty pleas came four months after the company that owns Chilliwack Cattle Sales and one of its directors pleaded guilty to charges of causing an animal to continue to be in distress.
Twenty charge were ultimately laid against the3 company and 7 of its workers following the investigation.
Kenneth Kooyman pleaded guilty to three charges of animal cruelty and his brother Wesley pleaded guilty to one charge. They were fined more than $300,000.
Read more at cTV