Ontario hog producer facing animal cruelty charges
Officials discovered more than 1,000 dead pigs in his barn
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
A pig farmer from Langton, Ont. is facing eight animal cruelty charges after more than 1,250 dead pigs were found inside his barn.
The charges stem from a February investigation. Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) officials discovered the pigs in a “manure-filled barn in total darkness,” according to a June 21 Ontario SPCA release.
The SPCA reported the animals had no access to food.
Some animals were moved to a more suitable barn to receive treatment. Another 250 pigs were euthanized due to their condition.
This incident is not reflective of Ontario’s greater pork community, says Eric Schwindt, chair of Ontario Pork.
“It’s something I’ve never come across in my 20 years in the pork industry,” he told CBC London. “This isn’t the way farmers treat their livestock.”
The accused appeared in a Norfolk County Provincial Offences Court on June 22 to answer to the charges.
If convicted, he could face fines and jail time.
“There is no excuse for not providing the proper care your animals require,” Bonnie Bishop, senior inspector of farm animal welfare for the Ontario SPCA said in a June 21 statement. “Failure to do so can have serious legal consequences.”
The incident on the London-area pig farm is the second animal cruelty case to occur in Ontario in less than a week.
On June 19, a Pembroke-area man was charged with two counts of animal cruelty for mistreatment of a dairy cow.
Ontario SPCA officials responded to a tip in February to find a Holstein cow that suffered injuries to its hind leg. The injuries were allegedly caused from multiple strikes with an ice chopper. The accused also allegedly kicked the cow in the stomach while he milked it, according to the SPCA.
He appeared in an Ontario Court of Justice in Pembroke on June 20.
Farm & Food Care Ontario has information for producers who may feel they need help caring for their livestock.
Farms.com has reached out to Farm & Food Care Ontario and Ontario Pork for further comments on the situations.
Farms.com has also reached out to the specified Ontario courts for more information on the legal proceedings.