The BC SPCA seized 216 head of neglected beef cattle in what was called one of the worst cases ever seen.
The cattle, that included approximately 80 weaned calves, were seized from a Vancouver Island property after their owner failed to relieve the distress of the animals.
“Our officers were on site on Jan. 19 and 20,” says Kaley Pugh, regional manager of cruelty investigations for the BC SPCA.
Pugh says the conditions the cattle were living in were “among the worst I’ve ever seen.”
The SPCA executed the warrant to remove the animals after the owner failed to comply with orders to address issues related to inadequate shelter, lack of sufficient feed and water, living conditions - including cattle kept in areas with up to knee-deep mud - and lack of veterinary care.
“The animals were suffering from a wide range of issues and illness, including emaciation, lameness, eye infections, as well as pneumonia,” says Pugh.
Pugh says the BC SPCA is grateful to the many individuals and organizations who assisted in the rescue of the cattle.
“We received invaluable help from the Malahat Fire Department, which brought a tanker truck to the location to fill water troughs,” she says. “We also received assistance from the B.C. Dairy Association, who helped us access many of the resources we needed for such a large seizure, and tremendous help from the haulers who worked tirelessly to ensure the cattle were loaded and transported safely under extremely challenging circumstances.”
The animals are currently being cared for at an undisclosed location where they are receiving ongoing veterinary treatment and other care.
The BC SPCA will be recommending charges of animal cruelty to Crown counsel in the case.