Oliver resident Rudolph Harfman has been convicted of animal cruelty under the Criminal Code of Canada following a BC SPCA investigation dating back to 2006.
Harfman was charged with animal cruelty after BC SPCA constables seized 121 cattle, four sheep and a donkey from his property. The animals were emaciated and were suffering from ringworm, lice, internal parasites and a number of other health issues. In addition to the animals who were seized, SPCA officers found a mass grave with the carcasses of at least 35 dead animals, some impregnated with full-term calves.
“We attended the property and were told by Mr. Harfman that if we wanted to see the animals we’d better ‘get a warrant’, so we proceeded to do just that ,” says Kathy Woodward, senior animal protection officer for the BC SPCA.
“When we gained access we discovered the horrific state of the animals, many of whom had to be euthanized immediately because of critical distress.”
She added that in addition to the extreme medical issues, the housing for the animals was substandard, with fencing in disrepair and hazardous objects strewn throughout the fields.
Harfman was sentenced to six months house arrest, followed by 30 months probation and was banned from owning, having custody of, or residing in the same premise as an animal or bird for three years.
Photo caption: A cow and calf rest in the shade. (This photo is used for illustrative purposes only and the animals depicted are not related to this investigation.)