B.C. prosecutors file appeal saying longer jail time needed for animal cruelty

By The Canadian Press

VICTORIA – British Columbia’s Prosecution Service has filed an appeal of sentences handed to three dairy farm employees who abused milk cows.

The service says the sentences imposed last month should be increased based on what it believes were errors in law and because of the public interest in the case that involved hidden-camera video taken at Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd.

It says the alleged errors leading to the B.C. Supreme Court sentences relate to mitigating and aggravating factors, and whether it was correct to equate the duration of the illegal acts with the moral blameworthiness of the offenders.

Jamie Visser and Chris Vandyke were given 60 days each in jail, prohibited from having animals in their custody for three years and sentenced to six months’ probation while Travis Keefer was handed a seven-day sentence after they pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges.

Video played in court showed a cow being lifted by a chain around its neck using a tractor and other employees repeatedly beating and kicking cows as people nearby cheered and laughed.

The dairy farm company and its owners in the Fraser Valley were fined $75,000 each after pleading guilty last year to causing an animal to continue to be in distress.

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