Video footage from surveillance cameras installed at Meadow Valley Meats in Pitt Meadows is underscoring the ongoing threat local livestock operations face from animal activists.
Thousands of hours of footage handed over to the province on February 22 show what the group Animal Justice Canada alleges is the criminal mistreatment of animals and improper slaughter practices.
The footage was captured last summer, and mailed to Animal Justice in early February by what the group describes as an anonymous source. However, the group has claimed the sting operation for itself, part of a campaign targeting the “humane” production claims of the livestock sector.
Meadow Valley Meats supplies meat to brands such as 63 Acres, which highlights its beef cattle’s “vegetarian diet.”
A video summary Animal Justice posted online of its action against Meadow Valley features well-known US animal welfare advocate Temple Grandin declaring that workers in the video appeared to lack proper training.
The province, which is in the midst of a review of its animal welfare policy framework, says it is taking the allegations seriously.
“It is troubling anytime we hear allegations of animal abuse,” BC agriculture minister Pam Alexis said in a statement provided to Country Life in BC and other media. “I can assure you we are looking into this situation.”
The province says it has consulted widely on its policy framework review and is “finalizing a thorough background document that will be provided to an advisory committee for review.” The committee’s membership is being finalized, and the province expects members to deliver their recommendations this summer.
Meadow Valley Meats, a provincially licensed and inspected abattoir, did not respond to a request for comment on the video and allegations regarding its practices.
BC Meats, which represents abattoirs in the province, also declined comment.
The latest allegations follow a 2021 sting operation against Cedar Valley, an organic dairy farm in Abbotsford. In that case, prompt industry response resulted in the BC Milk Marketing Board arranging oversight to ensure proper worker training and animal handling practices. A monitor remains in place.
BC SPCA has recommended criminal charges in the matter but Crown counsel has yet to initiate proceedings.
Ridge Meadows RCMP says it is not investigating the placement of cameras at Meadow Valley.