Woman convicted of animal cruelty loses appeal in Kamloops court | Vernon News | iNFOnews

Current Conditions


Vernon News

Woman convicted of animal cruelty loses appeal in Kamloops court

September 23, 2020 - 7:00 AM

A woman convicted of animal cruelty following a B.C. SPCA raid that led to 74 animals being seized from her property in the Thompson-Nicola region has lost an appeal against her sentence and a 10-year ban on her keeping animals.

In her appeal, Cheryl McKinlay argued she was involved in homestead farming, while the B.C. SPCA, the Crown, her lawyer and the court had focused the entire case on industrial farming standards. McKinlay also points the blame at her own lawyer who she says failed to sufficiently cross-examine witnesses, adequately examine her husband and failed to call an additional witness.

McKinlay argued because of these reasons the evidence presented at trial was either misinterpreted or misleading.

However, in a Kamloops courtroom Sept. 17, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Leonard Marchand rejected the claims.

"Contrary to her belief, (the conviction) had nothing whatever to do with distinctions between homestead farming and industrial farming," Justice Marchand said. "There has been no miscarriage of justice."

According to the Sept. 17 decision, McKinlay was convicted in July 2019  of causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to a large number of her farm animals and failing to provide suitable and adequate food, water, shelter and care.

The circumstances of the case date back to December 2017, when B.C. SPCA officers visited her property and issued a notice that the animals must immediately receive proper care. Four days later, SPCA officers returned and nothing had been done. The next day the property was raided and 74 animals were confiscated, including pigs, goats and sheep.

McKinlay was ultimately charged with cruelty to animals, found guilty and sentenced in December 2019. She received four months of house arrest followed by a 10-year ban on keeping animals, although was allowed to keep five cats and two dogs.

The Crown had argued for three-months of jail citing McKinlay's lack of remorse, her failure to accept responsibility and her pattern of blaming others.

In her appeal, McKinlay argued when the SPCA arrived at her property it had recently been flooded and she was in the process of moving animals and rebuilding, and the housing was temporary. She argued she was still feeding, supplying water to and providing adequate shelter for her animals, and except for two underweight pigs and one piglet with a broken leg, her animals were all in good shape.

McKinlay said she had "fresh evidence" to support her claims and submitted information on homestead farming, as well as photographs of healthy animals to compare with photographs of her animals. She also submitted affidavits containing criticisms of the SPCA officers, Crown counsel and her lawyer.

But Justice Marchand dismissed the claim stating the "fresh evidence" was "merely her opinion" and the information on homestead farming was irrelevant.

"Ms. McKinlay has taken no personal responsibility for the condition of her animals, lacks remorse, blames others and lacks insight into the risk she poses to animals," Justice Marchand said. "Ms. McKinlay’s love of animals has never been in issue. Her ability to care for them is. The sentence imposed by the trial judge, including the ten-year prohibition order, was justified to denounce her conduct and specifically deter her from failing to adequately care for animals in the future."

Ultimately, the appeal was dismissed.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2020

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile