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216 beef cattle seized from Shawnigan Lake property

A Shawnigan Lake cattle farm has been stripped of 216 beef cattle, including roughly 80 weaned calves, due to neglect, according to the BC SPCA.

The BC SPCA said in a press release that the cattle’s owner failed to relieve the distress of the animals.

“Our officers were on site on Jan. 19 and 20 and finally cleared the property at 9:45 p.m. last evening,” said 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 BC SPCA said when the owner of the animals didn’t 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, they executed a warrant to remove the animals.

“The animals were suffering from a wide range of issues and illness, including emaciation, lameness, eye infections, as well as pneumonia,” said Pugh, adding that due to the scope of the job, “many individuals and organizations” stepped up to help rescue the cattle.

“We received invaluable help from the Malahat Fire Department, which brought a tanker truck to the location to fill water troughs,” Pugh said. “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 BC SPCA will recommend charges of animal cruelty to Crown counsel. Meanwhile, the cows are receiving ongoing veterinary treatment and being cared for in an undisclosed location.

RELATED: Capacity a concern but commitment unwavering to protecting livestock: BC SPCA

Sarah Simpson

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