(stock photo)



23 charges have been laid against two southern Manitoba hog farmers in connection with a severe case of animal neglect.

Provincial veterinary officials and RCMP raided Martin and Dolores Grenier's hog operation near Notre Dame in June and found hundreds of hogs in various states of decomposition. There were over two thousand animals on the farm and an estimated 300 to 500 animals were already dead when discovered.

"It was a very extensive process that involved a number of agencies, including the RCMP and the Office of the Fire Commissioner," says Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Wayne Lees.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of a 5 thousand dollar fine or up to six months in jail. "These charges occured under our previous Animal Care Act. Under our amended Act, those fines would have doubled, but they don't apply to this case," says Lees.

The Greniers will make their first court appearance on December 16th.

The barn involved in the investigation caught fire a few days after the animal neglect investigation began. At the time, the Provincial Fire Commissioner's Office treated the fire as suspicious. That investigation is still ongoing.

Lees stresses that this case was extremely unusual. "What I've found is that producers take great pride in their animals and really do want the best for their animals. Cases like this are extremely rare," he says.

Listen to Dr. Lees' complete conversation with Kelvin Heppner:



~ Thursday, November 4, 2010 ~