AR-News: (CA) ‘Animal-welfare disaster' prompts 77 charges

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Tue Oct 14 16:43:04 EDT 2003

Globe and Mail Update 


Dozens of cruelty charges have been laid after investigators turned up “an 
animal welfare disaster” at a series of hog farms in southwestern Ontario.
The provincial Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which has 
the same powers as police officers when enforcing cruelty laws, said Tuesday 
that seven men connected with Wood Lynn Farms Limited had been charged. The 
business itself does not face charges because it is bankrupt.
SPCA investigators began investigating an Elgin County farm in April. 
Concerned by the condition of the animals it found, the organization expanded its 
investigation to other locations associated with Wood Lynn Farms. The probe 
snowballed, the SPCA says, and inspectors and agents from across the province were 
called in to deal with thousands of dead and dying animals.
According to the SPCA, problems at five locations were the source of the 
charges laid against the men, all of them residents of Ontario.
"What the investigators found is extremely disturbing," said Lisa Veit, 
acting CEO of the Ontario SPCA. "It appears that Wood Lynn Farms Limited was in 
financial difficulty, but difficult circumstances cannot excuse such treatment of 
animals. Those responsible must be held accountable for what must be 
considered an animal-welfare disaster."
A statement issued Tuesday afternoon by the Ontario SPCA described a brutal 
environment in which piglets were trampled and eaten at birth by others, where 
cannibalization was rampant and where some hogs rotted where they died and 
were eaten by rodents. In other cases, the SPCA said, heaps of corpses had been 
piled up behind barns and thousands had been dumped into manure tanks.
“Many pigs in such poor condition that they had to be euthanized immediately,”
 the group.
The SPCA laid 77 charges relate to causing unnecessary pain, causing 
unnecessary suffering, willful neglect and abandoning an animal in distress.
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