A McLeese Lake area rancher has been charged under the Criminal Code of Canada and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA Act) for neglect and cruelty. Despite repeated warnings, Rob Weetman ignored recommendations concerning the proper care, housing and feeding of a herd of beef cattle. Of approximately 170 head, nearly 40 starved to death, and 130 were severely emaciated. Weetman will make a first appearance at the Williams Lake courthouse August 24.
In a joint investigation, constables from the BC SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigation Department, Williams Lake RCMP with a RCMP Livestock Constable and the BC Conservation Service executed a Warrant to Search after Mr. Weetman failed to comply with orders requiring him to provide adequate care for his cattle.
“This is one of the saddest cases of animal neglect we’ve seen in this area,” says BC SPCA Special Constable Kent Kokoska. “We found dead cattle strewn around the ranch, as well as cows so starved their hips, backs, and ribs were protruding. Some of the animals were dehydrated because they couldn’t get to a nearby creek to drink because Weetman had neglected to clear a path in the snow.”
Kokoska, RCMP Constable Colin Champagne and other witnesses observed a pile of dead cows in the same field where they would normally graze as well as a stillborn calf left lying in the creek which was the animals’ water source. Necropsies revealed that three of the dead animals were so emaciated due to improper feeding that their fat stores has been completely depleted.
If convicted, Mr. Weetman could face a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail and/or a $10,000 fine and a lifetime ban on owning animals.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.