A 27-year-old man was formerly charged with eight counts of animal cruelty last week following the tragic discovery earlier this year of more than 1200 dead pigs on his farm in Langton, Ontario.
After receiving a complaint about the conditions on the farm in February, the Ontario SPCA and investigators went to the property where they found 1,265 dead pigs in a “flooded, manure-filled barn in total darkness” with “no access to food.”
According to the CBC, if found guilty of the animal cruelty charges which include six counts of failing to comply with prescribed standards of care and one count each for causing and permitting an animal to be in distress, the unnamed farmer in question could face fines and penalties of up to $60,000, jail time and a lifetime ban on owning animals.
The appalling discovery and implications of this case still have animal advocates reeling with anger and concern.
“Today’s farms are warehouses operated by business people producing meat, dairy, and eggs as quickly and as cheaply as possible,” said Anna Pippus, a lawyer with the advocacy group Animal Justice Canada; calling this case an example of what happens when animals are used as commodities. “Who knows how many more animals are suffering near-death in torturous conditions, concealed in windowless warehouses on private property?”
New Hamburg Independent
In the Press Release, Pippus further argued that while the government does not regulate the treatment of animals on farms, it is a “no-brainer” that all commercial animal enterprises should be regulated by the administration and inspected regularly.
Pippus also called it concerning that Ontario Pork, which represents the interests of more than 1500 pig farmers, was present with law enforcement as they investigated the animal cruelty complaint deeming it a clear conflict of interest.
“Our animal protection laws operate as a two-tier system: cats and dogs benefit from protection from cruelty while pigs, cows, and chickens are exposed to egregious suffering in the course of business-as-usual. Failing to lay criminal animal cruelty charges in clear cases like this one reinforces this problematic species discrimination.”
“The current rules weren’t followed in this case, and for that, we have to find a solution,” said Eric Schwindt, chair of Ontario Pork in an article published in the Brantford Expositor.
Here’s a solution. Stop the inhumane farming of animals, period. They should be allowed to live freely and safely in their natural habitats where they belong, not on farms, and certainly not as food on plates for human consumption.