A 27-year-old Tavistock man has pled guilty to four counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA following an investigation into the death of over a thousand pigs in his care.
Ben Stein pled guilty on January 18, 2018 in a Simcoe Provincial Offences Court to four counts of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act:
Permitting an animal to be in distress
Failing to provide adequate and appropriate sanitary conditions
Failing to provide adequate and appropriate ventilation
Failing to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention
On February 17, 2017, Ontario SPCA officers attended a pig farm in Langton, located approximately 80 kilometres southeast of London, after receiving a concern about the welfare of pigs on the property. Upon entering a flooded, manure-filled barn in total darkness, the officers discovered dead and dying pigs.
The Ontario SPCA officers, with the assistance of two veterinarians and a representative of Ontario Pork, moved the surviving animals to a dry, well-lit area of the barn where they could be triaged.
An estimated 1,265 pigs were dead when officers arrived and an additional 250 pigs had to be euthanized on-site due to the severe condition in which they were found.
Stein is due to appear in a Simcoe Provincial Offences Court on April 26, 2018 for sentencing.
“There is no excuse for not providing the proper care your animals require,” says Bonnie Bishop, Senior Inspector – Farm Animal Welfare, Ontario SPCA. “There are resources available for those who require assistance to provide care for their animals. We encourage anyone who finds themselves in that position to reach out and seek help.”
If you see an animal in distress, or suspect animal cruelty, call 310-SPCA (7722) to report it to the Ontario SPCA’s province-wide animal cruelty reporting centre.