VANCOUVER—Animal Justice is releasing a shocking new video showing serious abuse at Cedar Valley Farms, a large organic dairy farm in Abbotsford, BC. Shot between May and October of 2021, the footage shows:
- Multiple workers violently beating cows on their faces, legs, and bodies with canes, pitchforks, and wrenches; hitting, kicking, and shouting at cows; spraying hoses in their faces; and slamming metal gates on them.
- Newborn calves ripped away from their mothers, and calves dragged and tossed into wheelbarrows, while the mother cows cry out and desperately chase after their babies.
- Cows suffering from illness and injury, including cows limping and cows who appear to be emaciated.
- Downed cows dragged roughly through the barn by heavy machinery.
- Botched attempts at euthanizing cows by shooting them multiple times in the head, leaving them to die slowly over the course of many minutes.
After being sent the footage anonymously, Animal Justice turned it over to the BC SPCA. The SPCA is investigating, and has stated that it intends to recommend criminal and provincial animal cruelty charges. In the meantime, the BC Milk Marketing Board announced last week that it has suspended Cedar Valley’s dairy license.
Cedar Valley Farms is part of Cedarwal Farms, which is owned by the Vanderwal family, including veterinarian Dr. Rich Vanderwal. Dr. Vanderwal was the veterinarian overseeing Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd., a dairy farm that was exposed on hidden camera in 2014 for brutal beatings of cows, festering wounds, and other suffering—resulting in multiple convictions, fines, and jail time.
“The extent of the prolonged abuse and unlawful suffering at Cedar Valley organic dairy farm is staggering,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “We’re encouraged that authorities are taking this case seriously and intend to recommend charges to address the horrific cruelty caught on tape.
“But this abuse is far from an isolated incident, and we need urgent government action to address the systemic crisis of animal suffering on farms. Over and over again, secretly-recorded footage has uncovered egregious abuse, neglect, and cruelty in the meat, dairy, and egg industries. This occurs because no one is watching at factory farms in Canada. There are virtually no regulations protecting animal welfare on farms, and no government oversight or inspections.
“Animal Justice is calling on governments to immediately introduce regulations to protect the welfare of farmed animals, and regularly inspect farms to monitor conditions. It’s also essential to mandate surveillance cameras at all farms and slaughterhouses that live stream directly to the internet, so the public can see for themselves what happens behind closed doors.”
Animal Justice has written to BC Agriculture Minister Lana Popham to request regulations, inspections, and mandatory farm surveillance.
A compilation of the footage depicting abuse at Cedar Valley is available upon request.
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