We Caught Them Illegally Abusing Animals – Why Is This Slaughterhouse Still Licensed?

Animal Justice has written to BC’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, Pam Alexis, calling on her to suspend the license of Meadow Valley Meats, a provincially-licensed slaughterhouse in Pitt Meadows, BC. Last month, Animal Justice exposed Meadow Valley Meats for violent and illegal cruelty to animals, with the release of shocking hidden-camera footage. The footage offers the first-ever behind-the-scenes look at a small-scale, local Canadian slaughterhouse selling “humane” meat.

The video shows terrified animals—including sheep, cows, goats, and llamas— being hit with paddles and canes, being violently thrown to the floor, and trying desperately to escape. Workers regularly failed to properly stun animals prior to being slaughtered, and were seen cutting into animals while they still showed signs of consciousness.

Meadow Valley Meats kills animals that come from so-called “happy farms”, but there is nothing kind or humane about how animals are killed at this facility, or any slaughterhouse.

As Animal Justice highlighted in our letter, it is illegal under provincial and federal laws to cause unnecessary pain and suffering to animals during the slaughtering process. But even with provincial meat inspectors present at all slaughterhouses, no one stopped the abuse at Meadow Valley Meats while animals were unloaded, stunned, and dismembered on the kill floor.

Meadow Valley Meats is currently being investigated for the shocking abuse caught on camera. Protests have erupted in various parts of the province, and local suppliers have stopped selling meat from the facility.

Image shows Meadow Valley Meats protesters outside of Urban Fare.
Protestors gather outside of Urban Fare in Vancouver following release of Meadow Valley Meats exposé.

Meadow Valley Meats’ History of Violations

Meadow Valley Meats has a terrible track record on food safety. In 2015, the company was convicted of knowingly letting E. coli-contaminated meat enter the food supply, and was fined $125,000.

Meadow Valley Meat owners, Ken and Jeff Kooyman, also own Chilliwack Cattle Sales, a nearby factory dairy farm that was convicted of rampant animal abuse in 2017 and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars, in one of the biggest cruelty cases in Canadian history. The conviction was based on hidden-camera footage released by Mercy For Animals.

But this isn’t just a case of a few bad apples—every time cameras go undercover in Canadian farms and slaughterhouses, they find widespread animal suffering.

Image shows terrified goat at Meadow Valley Meats slaughterhouse.
Goat trying to escape slaughter at Meadow Valley Meats slaughterhouse.

There is No “Happy Meat”

While much of the undercover footage captured at Meadow Valley Meats shows illegal treatment, even standard, legal practices at slaughterhouses still represent a brutal end for animals.

No matter how animals like cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens are raised, they still endure abysmal transport conditions, and a terrifying slaughter. Animals value their lives, just like humans do. When they eventually arrive at slaughterhouses, they fight for their lives, and will often do anything they can to escape the violent end that awaits.

How You Can Help

Slaughterhouses operate in near-total secrecy, concealing the heartbreaking reality about how animals are killed for food. Join us in calling for mandatory cameras in slaughterhouses across the country, so the footage can be broadcasted online and Canadians can see the truth about slaughter with their own eyes. And of course, one of the best ways to avoid participating in this cruel system is to choose plant-based food options instead.