Conviction in Pont Rouge veal calf case

Photo credit: Mercy for Animals Canada

Montreal, March 10, 2016 – Following the Montreal SPCA’s investigation into a milk-fed veal farm located in Pont Rouge, Quebec, Éric Dame, a former employee of the facility, has been found guilty of subjecting the animals to abuse and mistreatment. He was sentenced to a 4,000$ fine and will be prohibited from possessing more than five animals for a period of 15 years.

In 2014, the Montreal SPCA launched an investigation into alleged acts of cruelty and neglect following an official complaint by Mercy for Animals Canada (MFA), who filmed disturbing undercover images at the Pont Rouge facility. The airing of the shocking footage obtained by MFA sent shock waves across the province. Captured footage shows calves crammed into crates so narrow that they are unable to turn around, ill and injured animals left to agonize over several weeks, and workers, including Dame, shoving, kicking and screaming at calves.

“While we are pleased to have obtained a conviction in this case, this outcome also demonstrates to what extent farm animals lack legal protection in Quebec,” said Me Sophie Gaillard, lawyer for the Montreal SPCA’s Animal Advocacy department. “When it comes to farm animals, only gratuitous acts of cruelty are punishable by law, as anything that can be considered a standard industry practice is exempt from the provincial legislation. Thus, even the worst practices in terms of animal welfare – the use of veal crates so narrow that they prevent animals from turning around, for example – are perfectly legal as long as they are considered acceptable by the industry itself.”


Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or anitak@spca.com.

About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first humane society in Canada and our mission is to:

  • protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation;
  • represent their interests and ensure their well-being;
  • raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings.

For many years, the Montreal SPCA has been working hard with municipal, provincial and federal governments to improve animal protection laws. In 2015, our inspection service investigated 1,339 new complaints and conducted the inspection of 1,945 animals, all species combined. A total of 659 animals were seized as a result of these investigations and several criminal and penal charges were laid.

For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.

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