Target: Jeff Kooyman, part owner of Chilliwack Cattle Sales
Goal: Call on dairy farm owners to conduct frequent, mandatory check-ins of their cows to monitor the animals’ condition and prevent abuse
A dairy farm in British Columbia has recently made headlines for its employees’ abusive treatment of cows in their care. The employees in question have been relieved of their duties and are facing a court trial. An underlying issue, however, has yet to be addressed: the owners of the farm claim to have had no knowledge of the abuse prior to the formal allegations.
Farm animal abuse is unfortunately very common, especially in large operations which consist of many workers and thousands of animals. The least fortunate farm animals are mistreated their whole lives without any escape. This particular farm, located in Chilliwack, British Columbia, was exposed by an undercover Mercy for Animals investigator who filmed the animal abuse while working undercover at the farm. Workers were filmed beating the cows with rakes, canes and chains while shouting profanities at the poor creatures. Many of the cows suffered from open wounds caused by the abuse.
The individuals accused are awaiting trial. A popular animal advocacy organization, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), is calling for the maximum sentence for the abusers which could include up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. The Mercy for Animals investigator brought the disturbing video to the owners of the farm first; after the owners failed to act the investigator took the video to the SPCA. Upon hearing the formal accusations leveled against his employees, part-owner of the farm Jeff Kooyman stated that he had no knowledge of the abuse and never witnesses lame or hurt animals while visiting.
It is unacceptable for the owner of a farm to have no knowledge of the farm’s happenings. Had the investigator not brought the issue to the SPCA’s attention it is very likely the animals would still be suffering at the hands of the employees. Urge the dairy’s owners to be more present at their farm, and to perform frequent check-ins to ensure the safety of their cows.
Dear Mr. Kooyman,
Your family’s farm recently made headlines after employees were caught on video hitting cows with chains, rakes and canes. The cows’ wounds are evidence of this abuse, though the only rescue they received was from an undercover Mercy for Animals investigator posing as another employee. You are on record stating that you and your family were unaware of the abuse. Mr. Kooyman, this ignorance is unacceptable.
This abuse must not be allowed to happen again; it tarnishes your farm’s reputation, and yours. The cows in your care deserve much better. I urge you, and any other family members involved in ownership, to be a frequent presence on your farm. Insist on frequent check-ins to ensure the animals’ well-being.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Cliff via Flickr