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TORONTO, March 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Millbank Fur Farm, a mink fur farm in Ontario, Canada, has pleaded guilty to failing to comply with prescribed standards of care under section 11.1(1) of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and has been ordered to pay a monetary penalty. Millbank was charged by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals following a 2018 animal cruelty complaint filed by Last Chance for Animals (LCA), an international non-profit organization based out of Los Angeles, California. This is the first time an Ontario fur farm has been convicted as a result of an undercover investigation conducted by a non-profit.
Last Chance for Animals applauds the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) and Crown Attorney for pursuing justice against Millbank Fur Farm. "Although this doesn't stop the suffering that the minks were forced to endure, it sends a clear message to the fur industry: the systemic animal abuse that runs rampant throughout the industry is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by a civilized society," said Chris DeRose, Founder and President of Last Chance for Animals. "There is no excuse to kill animals for the sake of fashion, and LCA will not stop until this horrific industry is shut down for good."
The legal proceedings were held in the Provincial Court in Guelph, Ontario, but had been significantly delayed due to the pandemic. LCA has confirmed that Millbank Fur Farm has also made a number of improvements at the farm that were confirmed by Provincial Animal Welfare Services.
This development is an important reminder of the importance of whistleblowers and transparency in animal agriculture. This investigation is the exact kind of thing that the recently passed Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act will make more difficult. Whistleblowers play a critical role in shining a light on the conditions in animal agriculture. LCA believes whistleblowers should be applauded, not punished for documenting the truth and bringing animal abuse to the attention of the public. LCA further calls on the Ford government to repeal the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act immediately.
LCA conducted an almost year-long undercover investigation into Millbank Fur Farm between 2017-2018. The investigation revealed numerous incidents of animal suffering and neglect among the 40,000 minks at Millbank Fur Farm. During the duration of the investigation, a veterinarian was never seen on site, and mink who had become sick or injured were left to suffer and die in their cages.
Although Last Chance for Animals is an abolitionist organization that would like to see the fur industry ended, recognizing the suffering of animals abused for fur and setting legal precedents are a step in the right direction towards creating a more compassionate society.
ABOUT LAST CHANCE FOR ANIMALS: LCA is an international non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and public awareness campaigns. Since its formation in 1984, LCA has succeeded as one of the nation's pioneer animal advocacy groups. LCA's educational and public outreach programs have empowered global citizens to make positive changes for animals. For more information, visit https://www.lcanimal.org/.
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