Ontario Farm Faces $720,000 in Animal Cruelty Charges

June 9, 2011 § 68 Comments

Interestingly, I can not find mention of this story, well, anywhere.  The only place I found it was in the “Farmers Forum” which is, according to them, “Eastern Ontario’s and east-central Ontario’s leading farm newspaper”.  Article is posted below.  I find it very slanted, and quite inflammatory.  Of course, I’ve seen this attitude before with the (horse) pro-slaughter activists.  ‘Be careful farmers, it’s a slippery slope… if they ban horse slaughter it’ll end up killing the cattle industry… if they enforce humane laws it’ll kill the cattle industry… they’re all animal rights activists… blah… blah… blah‘.

I will, as usual, be breaking into the “article” to add my own two cents.  I can do that, because it’s my blog.  :)


Shocker: investigators can ignore codes of conduct and make up their own rules

By Ian Cumming

CHESTERVILLE — Last December, an unidentified caller to the Ontario Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) fretted about a dozen bred, healthy Holstein heifers standing outside a Chesterville-area farm. The heifers had free-choice baleage, later tested at 20 per cent protein, free-choice water, shelter beside the dairy barn and a nearby grove of trees. The temperature on the day was minus four degrees Celsius. It was a pleasant day for cows. It turned out to be one of the worst days in the lives of David and Marilyn Robinson, who owned the farm.

Ok.  First off, the slant in the article is evident by the very first sentence.  “fretted about a dozen bred, healthy Holstein…”  That bothers me.  Secondly, I would have to guess someone has a grudge against the Robinsons.  Why else would anyone call if it was only -4 degrees Celsius?  Especially if they had shelter?  And were in good weight?  I mean, most people wouldn’t even notice if there was enough water or food as they drove by!  But… the cattle weren’t in good weight.

When OSPCA investigator Bonnie Bishop ordered the Robinsons to put their heifers back in the barn and later charged them with animal cruelty, they decided to fight back.

More slant.  The writer doesn’t explain up front that the cattle looked skinny (which explains the order to put them in the barn where it was warm).  Was the passerby someone who knew nothing about cattle?  Cattle and horses are judged on a different scale.  Horses are judged on a scale of 1-9 whereas cattle (at least in Ontario) are judged on a scale of 1-5.  Supposedly, according to the writer (you’ll see shortly) these cattle were a 2.5 on the BCS (Body Conditioning Scale).  A rating of 2.5-3 is what is deemed acceptable.  2 is deemed underweight (see image below).  The writer also intimates below that more charges were laid because the Robinsons “fought back”.  (Click on the photo to enlarge, then click your “back” button to return to this page.)


BCS 2 - As you can see, 2 looks skinny.

Click on the photo to enlarge, then click your “back” button to return to this page.

When OSPCA investigator Bonnie Bishop ordered the Robinsons to put their heifers back in the barn and later charged them with animal cruelty, they decided to fight back.  That resulted in more charges and $720,000 in fines — $60,000 for each charge of animal cruelty brought against them. The Robinsons have one of the smallest dairy farms in the province – with 15 kg. of quota – and have been dairy farmers for 39 years. But they are not pushovers and have just fought their case in a five-day provincial appeal hearing at the Animal Care Review Board at Cornwall ending May 13. It speaks more about the abuse of power than it does about the Robinsons’ management practices. The hearing found that regardless of the Dairy Codes of Practice, an OSPCA officer can ignore them and make up his or her own criteria for what is animal cruelty. Even if the Robinsons win their case, which they should, no one will cover their legal fees, which means even when you win you lose.

It speaks more about the abuse of power than it does about the Robinsons’ management practices.”  Again, slant.

“…an OSPCA officer can ignore them and make up his or her own criteria for what is animal cruelty.”  This is interesting.  The OSPCA has been under fire over the last year or two for failing to charge people in general, and for poor management of their dog and cat shelters.  Yet, suddenly, they’re “making up their own rules” and charging this poor farmer egregiously.  I happen to think, and many agree with me, that the laws written regarding the care of livestock are archaic, antiquated, and full of holes.  I do think the OSPCA should have the power to fill in those places where age and gaps exist.  It is their job.  They are trying to prevent cruelty to animals.

The hearing was chaired by Rae Legault, of Toronto, and panel member from the Ottawa area, Carolyn Rutters. Legault could have resolved this issue and avoided wasting taxpayer dollars on lawyers’ fees if she simply drove to the Robinson farm with two hand-picked impartial farmers for advice and took a look around. But legally, that can’t be done.

I don’t agree with the writers idea.  There is a camaraderie amongst farmers, a group mentality of keeping ‘outsiders’ away and sticking up for each other.  Ever hear of “shoot, shovel and shut up”?  The only farmers that might stand up and say something are those smaller non-containment farmers.

Owner Embarrassed

Owner Embarrassed

The owner of the above cow posted the photo asking for help with how much to feed their cow:  “I am embarrassed to post these pics of her (because) she seems so bony!

It also could have been resolved if someone decided to listen to the two Dundas County veterinarians, Willy Armstrong and Lawrence Gray, who testified under oath at the hearing that the cattle are well cared for, having plenty of feed and water, with an average body score of 2.5. Gray, a practicing vet since 1956 at the Robinson’s, bluntly noted that, “If this herd is in trouble then over half the herds in Dundas County are in trouble.”

If this is the case, I agree with the writer.  If two vets testified that the cattle in question were at appropriate weight on the day of the complaint, then the OSPCA should have listened.  A vet has considerable more training than an OSPCA officer – to say the least.

Here are some of the sordid details of this case.

Early on in the investigation, after David Robinson told OSPCA officer Bonnie Bishop he had a heart condition and the stress of the demands against the farm could kill someone, she decided it was a threat against her. So the OSPCA obtained a warrant and raided the farm, arriving with eight police cars as an escort. Robinson, thanks be to God, is still alive.

Again, “sordid details“?  I realize you’re not an actual news reporter (that’s obvious) but it’ not a blog either.

While I agree the OSPCA may have taken the threat a little too far, it was indeed a threat.  Otherwise, instead of the word “someone”, he would have said “me”.  The stress of the demands against the farm could kill me.  The OSPCA, as well as all Animal Control officers, etc. are often threatened, shot at, etc.  They take that sort of threat very seriously.

The appeal hearing was to contest an order to have the herd’s body condition score up to 2.5 by July 1. With two days left in the hearing, the Robinsons were charged by the OSPCA for animal cruelty 12 times, bringing with it a total of $720,000 in fines – a slight distraction to the hearing.

Wait.  Hold your horses!  They were contesting an order to have the herd’s body condition score up to 2.5 by July 1???  I thought it was 2.5, according to the vets!  Or actually, according to your slant on the story.  So, this leads me to believe that the cattle were actually not a 2.5 on the day someone called and complained.  If that’s the case… the OSPCA had every right to charge the Robinsons, as well as to raid after a threat of death.  See, even if the writer wants to slant the article in favour of the Robinsons, more shines through a bit, doesn’t it?

Just in case the OSPCA might lose the case on arguments concerning animal neglect, one OSPCA lawyer focused attention on overcrowding in the barn – overcrowding caused by the OSPCA after ordering the Robinsons to put their heifers back in the barn.

So, there is not enough room in the barn for all the cattle?  Obviously in inclement weather, all cattle should be allowed in the barn.  Especially the emaciated ones, non?

The photographs taken on the farm of a 14-year-old cow showed that she did not have, gasp, a 2.5 average body condition score. But asking an 80-year-old man to look 20 is pushing your luck.

Ah, the age defense.  But your honour!  That cow is old!  I’m starting to see a trend here… it’s quite possible that cattle farmers use the same tired excuses as horse owners who neglect their horses!

And really, “gasp“?  That alone proves you are not a news reporter.

So, you’re saying the only cows on the farm with a BCS of less than 2.5 were end-of-life or senior cattle?  No, you don’t say that, because you can’t say that.  You use that one cow as an example to “prove” your piece.

If senior cattle are emaciated, and you do not have the time or concern to manage that issue, maybe having them euthanized or even slaughtered is the proper way to go?

After the raid, the Robinsons said they were terrified to sell or ship anything after being ordered to have a 2.5 average body score for the herd by July 1. To keep the average up they are holding on to fat, stale cows and big bred heifers.

Again, here you are saying that the cattle, in general, are beneath a body score of 2.5!  Way to go!  Thanks for clearing that up!  They’re also admitting, straight out, that they have a number of cattle beneath 2.5 on the BCS, since they are cherry-picking the biggest cattle to keep.

The OSPCA veterinarian and key witness, Bruce Robertson, from Campbellford, didn’t agree with the two Dundas County veterinarians and for his “opinion” that the body condition score was less than two (though he didn’t measure the entire herd), he told the hearing he was paid $4,500 to $5,000 for two days work.

Ah.  So a vet not paid by the Robinsons said there were cattle onsite that measured less than two.

And did the other two vets measure the entire herd?

All witnesses for all sides testified under oath that the orders issued by the OSPCA exceeded the written Dairy Codes of Practice.

Yeah?  So?  As I explained, there are gaps, huge holes, in the laws.

OSPCA inspector Bonnie Bishop, when grilled for eight hours on the stand, stated that, “no one has said that the Code is what the OSPCA relies on.” She added correctly that, by law, she alone can legally determine whether an animal is suffering distress or not.

Yes.  And they have guidelines.  They are trained.  Go to their website.  It’s all there buddy…  This is not news…

One witness for the OSPCA, Bishop’s former sale barn inspector, was found to have broken the rules of evidence collected by not showing them to the accused 10 days prior to the hearing, as required, and was not allowed to testify.

Because that never happens, right?  You use this statement to make the OSPCA look bad (sloppy, etc.) but yet, it’s so common.  So ordinary.  Things like this happen every day in court.

The Robinsons were ridiculed on the stand by an OSPCA lawyer, telling them they couldn’t afford to care for their animals and couldn’t possibly earn enough money to give their daughters an education. The daughters were sitting in the room. One is a mechanic. The other is a registered nurse.

Lawyers are not allowed to make “commentary”.  Considering how slanted and inflammatory the article seemed intended to be, I suspect the questioning went a little differently.  Such as “So, you were able to support your family and educate your children on the income from the dairy farm?”  I suspect it was to show whether the farm made money or not.  Non?

The OSPCA lawyers repeatedly asked questions that appeared to show little knowledge of farming and farming practices. Said one lawyer to Marilyn Robinson: “What? You don’t grow your own shavings for bedding on the farm?”

I didn’t realize lawyers today had to have an agricultural degree to practice…

This reporter was visited by two OPP officers prior to the hearing, suggesting that I don’t attend. I went anyway and found Bishop protected by four to seven police officers. I’m glad I went as I was able to record that when it comes to the law, the OSPCA is above it and every farmer needs to know it.

(A) I agree your being told to stay away was a little over the top.  (B) “I was able to record that when it comes to the law, the OSPCA is above it and every farmer needs to know it.” shows just how incredibly slanted your article is.

A ruling on this appeal is expected within days.

While I understand different groups of people with special interests “stick together”, it is often to the detriment of the general public.  Think of the police who have their own “code” whereby they will lie for another officer to protect the “shield” (group in general).  I understand the inclination, since they can often feel under fire from the media and public.  It erodes the publics general perception of the police.  But the bottom line is; don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.  Police should be held above the general public for their actions.  They are the ones who are protecting us… from us.

Farmers, especially farmers who raise livestock for any food-chain purpose, should be held above the rest of us “pet owners” as far as sanitation, humane treatment, cleanliness, and health (among other things) when it comes to the welfare of their livestock.  Unsanitary conditions and unhealthy animals produce poor results for the farmer; and poor and potentially dangerous products for the consumers.

If your livestock is emaciated, beneath the basic acceptable levels outlined by the government (which it looks like these cattle actually were), you should face the music.  Instead of threatening OSPCA officers and “fighting back” with everything you’ve got… maybe you should open your eyes and realize what is actually going on in your own barn.  Your cattle should not be below a 2 on the BCS, especially when bred.


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§ 68 Responses to Ontario Farm Faces $720,000 in Animal Cruelty Charges

  • Not A Breed says:

    PS: For any cattle ranchers out there who come across this post and haven’t read my blog, I use the “us pet owners” a little loosely. I have horses. I consider them pets.


    • kimberley says:

      If ur cattle are all named individually and loved like family …there ur pets…..if not u have a farm full of cattle ..a bunch of cows.animals…that is it.Dont use the term losely!! as pet lovers DO NOT kill or use up our pets we love and adore them


  • […] caused by the OSPCA after ordering the Robinsons to put their … … Read this article: Ontario Farm Faces $720000 in Animal Cruelty Charges « ← 10. Negligent horse rider a drug addict with criminal record Jumpin into June horse […]


  • Jeff says:

    I really don’t know where to start with this. To start off, I’m a retired dairy farmer… and certainly not a journalist, nor a blogger. I think that it’s telling that you try to separate yourself from journalists by saying that you’re only a blogger. You’re trying to be held to a lower expectation. I don’t know anything about the Farmer’s Forum “reporter”. I expect he is not a reporter either… this is a paper for farmers, not the Globe and Mail.

    I don’t want to go through your blog piece by piece, but I would like to say that it’s a bit disingenuous try to vilify this farm family in such a way. They are one of the smallest dairy farms in Ontario.

    The vet who the Humane Society used is not a vet used to working dairy farms I think. I could be wrong, but looking at his website he seems to be more a pet vet.

    $720,000 in fines is beyond the pale to me.


    • Not A Breed says:

      Well Jeff… let me start by saying one thing… at least I read the article I commented on. You, by your own admission, have not actually read mine – yet you feel free to comment.
      I feel that if you are printed on paper, ostensibly a newspaper, you should at the very least strive to write like a journalist. Using a phrase such as “The photographs taken on the farm of a 14-year-old cow showed that she did not have, gasp, a 2.5 average body condition score.” is utterly ridiculous, and lowers the standard overall.

      What I felt was that the writer wrote an extremely biased article, and therefore I wanted to point out the flaws. Whether a farmer has a hundred head or ten thousand head of livestock, abuse is abuse. Neglect is neglect.

      Your assumption about the vet is just that… an assumption. Even so, all vets are trained somewhat on large animals. I mean, if it was a “pet vet” (or small animal specialist) and he was testifying about the care of a polar bear or giraffe, I may have an issue… I personally doubt the OSPCA would pick a vet that didn’t have a clue what he’s talking about.


      • Jeff says:

        Of course I read your article. Where do I say that I didn’t?? I said that I wasn’t going to dissect your blog piece by piece, but I did read it.

        Printed on paper or not… I think to start off by saying you shouldn’t be held to a standard is ridiculous.

        Of course the OSPCA is going to use a vet who sides with them… and they have every right to. Unfortunately, when you have lawyers and judges who have no idea what’s involved in farming, you’re going to get judgements like this.


        • Not A Breed says:

          Sorry Jeff. I thought there was something about you not having read my post in its’ entirety. I must have thought that from your line “I don’t want to go through your blog piece by piece” but I now realize I made a mistake.
          My apologies.

          And I certainly didn’t say I didn’t have to be held to a standard. I actually hold myself to a much higher standard than the person who wrote the original article. I differentiate between what I consider an opinion piece, and, say, an expose for example. Opinion pieces are never on the front page, leading headline. Not in a printed paper. Not ever.

          As for the vet, it is extremely common for each side of any court case to find “expert witnesses” to side with them. My point was that the vet was probably not uneducated or completely ignorant of large animals.
          The judge, however, is supposed to weigh all the evidence, and make a determination. I know jurors are not supposed to research things per say, but I suspect judges do. They are trained to weigh the evidence in an unbiased manner, and decide who is right. There is no judgement as of yet. Not to my knowledge. If there is, please let me know.


  • […] caused by the OSPCA after ordering the Robinsons to put their … … Read this article: Ontario Farm Faces $720000 in Animal Cruelty Charges « […]


  • Sunny Reuter says:

    Your comments reflect a careful, detailed and thoughtful analysis of the article. I agree the article reflects the author’s bias, however, after many years of studying the OSPCA, I have reason to believe what the author has written is truthful.

    In my experience –
    OSPCA inspectors are not mindful of biosecurity. To whit the Newmarket (provincial head office/training facility) “ringworm” situation. Download the Ringworm Report at http://www.ontariospca.ca
    Repeated charter violations by OSPCA inspectors & volunteer agents. Download Toronto Crown Attorney Christine McGooey’s report on the OSPCA’s investigation of the THS. You may also wish to visit http://www.ospcatruth.com. If you have access to Quicklaw you may wish to access the OSPCA vs. Reimer case. (I believe it is also available at http://www.ospcatruth.com.
    Lack of animal husbandry experience, minimal training and a propensity for false assumptions has lead to deadly misunderstandings. Google “The Limping Pig” and the story of my dog Arko to name two.
    I have assembled case after case in which bullying, threats, contempt and suspicion against animal owners was the norm rather than the exception. Steve Straub in Vienna Ontario – the OSPCA seized 87 animals (many of them hoofed) on a first visit. The OSPCA offered to return the animals to Mr. Straub in exchange for $197,000. I’m familiar with the case because I had access to the disclosure. Funding via extortion is unfortunately very, very common. Former Chief Inspector Mike Draper was fond of saying “animal owners are guilty until proven innocent.”. Unfortunately that attitude permeates the organization to this day.

    The government had good intentions when it “called forth” the OSPCA (a charity cum private provincial police force) via the OSPCA act and also when they passed Bill 50 granting the OSPCA the right to warrantless entry. However, no provision for stable/longterm funding or governmental oversight was made in the legislation. The OSPCA is also not subject to Freedom of Information.

    There is a movement underway to ensure accountability, transparency and governmental oversight of the OSPCA going forward. Should you wish additional information, I would be pleased to provide it.

    Thank you very much for picking up on this story, and thank you again for reading it so carefully.


    • Not A Breed says:

      I do know of, and have read most of the reports you mention. I understand what you are saying. But to assume the worst in this situation is just that, an assumption.
      Based on the discrepancies in the Farmers Forum article, I could see that what the bottom line was – was that those cattle were beneath a 2.5, mostly beneath a 2, on the BCS scale. At that point, the OSPCA stepped in and did their job.
      They ordered the cattle be moved into the barn where it was warm (we all know thin livestock suffer even if it’s only -4 degrees). They also ordered the farmer to bring their herd up to a government acceptable BCS of 2.5 by July 1.
      Lets look at that.
      The original call was in DECEMBER. The OSPCA gave the farmer over SIX months to put weight on their herd.
      Now, I’m no cow expert… but I do know a thing or two about putting weight on emaciated horses.
      Take a horse that’s 350 pounds underweight. I can put 300 pounds on that horse, safely and unless there’s an underlying issue without a single issue, within THREE to FIVE months. It’s not rocket science. You FEED them. You may feed them some high-octane feed for the first couple of months, but once you’re close to your goal weight, you start scaling back over time and slow down the weight gain.

      There were a lot of things left out of the original article, and that is what brought it to my attention. Well, that and the obvious bias it was written with.

      Just because an organization has done bad things in the past, doesn’t make this particular case a bad thing. Even the OSPCA has had some “wins” over the years. And I believe they have done lots of things right every day. Those stories just don’t get the publicity. If you read my blog, I call out the SPCA many times for neglecting to step in and do the right thing within an acceptable time-frame. I’m no OSPCA lover, by any means.

      And to end my reply, thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate it, and really appreciate the compliments. :)


  • “I personally doubt the OSPCA would pick a vet that didn’t have a clue what he’s talking about.” C’mon, NAB, You should know that isn’t true. Two OSPCA-ordered vets have decreed that a TB stallion may stay in a “stall” for his entire life, with no exercise. OSPCA does NOTHING to change animal welfare laws. Nothing.
    And knowing a bit more about cattle than you obviously do, please, try to concentrate on one thing here. The OSPCA was wrong, and seem to delight in taking out the farmers that are trying to do a good job, while entirely ignoring the ones who don’t. Visit http://youcanimagine.blogspot.com
    This “farm” has over twenty bulls running loose. They have no access to fresh water. They are in good weight, (currently they are eating vegetable offal and other stuff I don’t even know what it is, you should smell the stench coming from this farm) and I bet their feet are rotting out from under them. This farm has been reported to the OSPCA. But their conditions are deemed suitable and adequate. The OSPCA has proven (with the report about the ringworm debacle) that they really don’t know much about animals. High-producing dairy cattle do look skinny to a layman. Or a horsewoman with no experience in cattle. You will NEVER see a fat dairy cow on a working farm. This was in the comments about that thin jersey cow. “as to fat reserves – yes – a cow should be around a 3-3.5 BCS prior to calving, since she’ll usually dip down to a 2-2.5 BCS as she reaches peak milk production. She does need some fat reserves so she doesn’t get too thin. You do have to be careful though, as overconditioned cows are so, so prone to problems. Managing body condition is such a fine line to walk.

    Visit http://ospcatruth.com for further info on people that have been criminally harassed by the OSPCA, because the OSPCA really do NOT have a clue.
    There was no ringworm outbreak. They just made it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not A Breed says:

      Horse, I’ve read OSPCAtruth, and I’ve read many reports. I also know quite well about the TB in the garage. You know I do. I am not here, in any way, to “defend” the OSPCA, and I think many things they have done have been indefensible. But the bottom line for me is there is a government BCS for cattle, and those cows were emaciated and standing out in the cold.
      Please read my response to Sunny Reuter. It explains a lot.


    • Not A Breed says:

      Also, did you note that the Heifers were “bred” Heifers? I doubt they should have had a BCS of less than 2.
      Sorry horse, I’ve gotta say a couple more things… Starting with; I think you’re wrong.

      And while I have more than once stated my knowledge lay in the horse arena, I did do some research into this as well.
      In saying that, I find your comment “And knowing a bit more about cattle than you obviously do, please, try to concentrate on one thing here. The OSPCA was wrong…” a little insulting. Especially coming from YOU, considering our history. And I will concentrate on writing what I see.


  • Not A Breed says:

    God, people, please don’t think my blog is a “pro-OSPCA” blog!!!
    I am nothing of the sort.


    I just saw what I saw in this particular instance, and I wrote about it.

    I will NOT assume every single thing the OSPCA does is wrong. I will also NOT assume every single thing the OSPCA does is right, either.


  • Ian Cumming says:

    It was a column on the issue, not an article. Being I wrote it I know, have been both for 17 years.
    A column is one’s opinion, based on facts.
    In fact I write for Ontario Farmer and there have been, thus far, four articles and two columns on this particular event. The editor has a column and I another article for next week. Plus in a magazine. And you “couldn’t find it anywhere.” Look.
    I also am a life time dairy farmer, milking 150 cows.
    You want to critique, meet me at the Robinson’s with any dairy vet(s) of your choosing and then write.
    Just for your info the OSPCA revoked the orders before a decision could be made, but under the new OSPCA law can still enfore the charges. Dirty pool that.
    Don’t ever question my honour again without checking facts or I’ll sue your ass

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ian Cumming says:

      It was a column on the issue, not an article. Being I wrote it I know, have been both for 17 years.
      A column is one’s opinion, based on facts.
      In fact I write for Ontario Farmer and there have been, thus far, four articles and two columns on this particular event. The editor has a column and I another article for next week. Plus in a magazine. And you “couldn’t find it anywhere.” Look.
      I also am a life time dairy farmer, milking 150 cows.
      You want to critique, meet me at the Robinson’s with any dairy vet(s) of your choosing and then write.
      Just for your info the OSPCA revoked the orders before a decision could be made, but under the new OSPCA law can still enfore the charges. Dirty pool that.
      Don’t ever question my honour again without checking facts or I’ll sue your ass

      I was asked to write a column, did a column which had my picture on it on page 15, All columns on this paper have the writers photo. As I did the month before on my new dairy farm in New York.
      Such as for years Christie Blatchford, Andrew Coyne and Roy MacGregor being on the front page of the National Post with their columns and their photos..
      As am I every week for 15 years, with my picture on the front page of the Ontario Farmer, with the title and listing the page number of my column. As did the Farmers Forum in this case.
      So your certainty of what is or isn’t a column isn’t shared by others in the newspaper trade. Ontario Farmer is owned by Sun Media.
      The heifers were not ordered in due to their body condition. they were ordered in due to not being “allowed” to be outside. the fact that they were in good condition was never in dispute.
      It was when the older cattle – with showing exceptional management being this herd lasted 4.8 lactations per cow as compared to the Cdn average of 1.6 – that seemed “out of the ordinary” for this inspector. She took nine pictures of the one 14 year old cow as a basis to get the warrant. You can, like people, keep cattle around when they are older.
      Your suggesting that the lawyer said something else about the Robinson daughters, with even you making up the quote, is brazen when you don’t have the transcripts to go by. He said what he said. That is questioning a persons honour without proof.
      There was disputes among the vets – two had the herd at over 2.5 and the OSPCA had selected only 25 to put at a lower score – he, under oath, mentioned that he had not checked their ages.
      The Witness being excuded was nothing that “went on all the time.” It was deliberate falsehood by OFAC – once again in the transcripts – and the Chair would not allow the testimony.
      Where did you lie? Pretty well through the whole thing. like a breathless idiot making things up as you go along for the public without having the hearing transcripts, knowing the issue, attending the hearing, seeing the cattle before, during and after the raid and the well respected community cattle people that are up in arms about this. Nor without knowing the changes to the OSPCA law.
      Google my name with Ontario Farmer asshole and see what writing I have done. Just this year i’ve given speeches in Miami, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, New York, Vermont and Woodstock and Stratford Ontario. Am the best read ag columnist in Canada, by far. All surveys show that.
      People will certainly not all agree by any means. But it takes a certain low life scum to write for the public that makes things up and shits on a persons honour.


      • Not A Breed says:

        (This is my response to Ian’s second comment.)

        Well Ian, I’m sorry you feel fit to call me so many names such as “low life scum”. I certainly haven’t called you names.
        I didn’t “shit on your honour”, I wrote about my opinions on the matter. I didn’t lie, I didn’t call you names. Where I made assumptions and suppositions, I stated that. I fully admitted to not being overly familiar with cattle. I also have a brain, and I can use it. I saw a few things that stood out to me, which made me read your article a little closer… and then more things jumped out at me. So I wrote about it.

        That’s all.

        And when I say I couldn’t find mention of this story anywhere, I meant in mainstream news media outlets.

        You say “…the fact that they were in good condition was never in dispute…”, I’m not sure I quite agree with that statement… Especially considering your statement in your article “The appeal hearing was to contest an order to have the herd’s body condition score up to 2.5 by July 1.” If the herd was at a respectable weight, there would not have been such an order.

        As for your comment “You can, like people, keep cattle around when they are older.” I absolutely agree. And just like older people, older animals often need a little special care to keep them as healthy as possible. You know, like special feed and maybe some extra medical attention? If one is unwilling to provide that extra support to a senior animal, then it would be better to humanely euthanize them (or even slaughter them) than to let them starve and suffer.

        As for “<em.Your suggesting that the lawyer said something else about the Robinson daughters, with even you making up the quote, is brazen when you don’t have the transcripts to go by.”, I clearly said “I suspect the questioning went a little differently. Such as…”
        I’m not sure why you don’t understand this is my opinion, much like you say your article was.

        I can’t imagine in your 17 years of writing you’ve never had someone disagree with you, and I’m surprised you’re taking so utterly personally.


      • kimberley says:

        Wow!!!!! Whats with the namw calling u BULLY!! No ones allowed an opinion? Hate ppl that hide there wrongs by sueing others…lol ur a joke


    • Not A Breed says:

      (Edit in, my comments seem to be going where they’re not supposed to. This originally went as a response to someone else’s comment, but was meant to go here, to Ian’s first comment.)

      Welcome Ian. Isn’t it nice to be able to comment on an article you’ve found online? Your Farmers Forum group might take that into consideration for their website.

      This blog, like millions of blogs out there, is my opinion. I didn’t say you lied. I didn’t accuse you of anything other than maybe poor writing skills. If anything, the post is peppered with “I think” and “I feel” and “I believe” and “that leads me to believe”, and “If that’s the case”.
      If you’ll note, I also asked a lot of questions.

      I have the paper in front of me (and it’s viewable online). I see the headline at the top of the front page. That indicates to me it is not an opinion piece. Neither did it note that it was an opinion piece on the page the article was written on (page 15). Maybe that should be a bit more evident?
      Meeting you at the Robinsons wouldn’t do much now, since they have had over six months to put a little weight on that herd.

      As for the threat of “suing my ass”, are you telling me one or more of my points was actually incorrect? Like, did I lie about something? Because I certainly don’t lie. If I made an assumption about something, or misunderstood something you wrote, and it was wrong, please point it out.


  • b kinsella says:

    to the f———g idiot that thinks cattle standing out in minus four temperatures is cruel he should take a drive to the west to some beef farms and see what kind of weather they stand in. people who know nothing about animals should keep there mouths shut and their noses to hell out of the business of people who do.. the idiot whop called this in should be held accountable for the expenses the Robinsons have incurred


    • Not A Breed says:

      Any animal who is emaciated has a tougher time in the cold.
      If those cattle were beneath a 2 on the BCS, and it was -4, I think it was a proper call.

      Of course, lots of cows are outside in colder weather than that – but it only works well if they are in good weight, have a windbreak of some sort, and food to keep them warm.


    • kimberley says:

      You are PATHETIC!!!! So now driving west more cattle are abused? Whats ur point hothead? Its you and ppl like you that cause all this bullshit ..no regard for animal welfare…sickaning


  • Putting 300 pounds on a horse is NOT the same as putting weight on a lactating cow! Good grief, NAB.. The OSPCA has done very little to improve ANY animal welfare. The animals were checked in December, and given six months. IN DECEMBER, animals show their worst condition. Honestly, think about this stuff before you write about it. Post picture proof. Don’t have any? Not surprising, as it was an OSPCA case, where they NEVER show you the actual conditions of the animals they are “helping”. The OSPCA has NO business in the agriculture sector! Hell, they have a hard enough time figuring out what ringworm IS, for dog’s sakes!
    “If those cattle were beneath a 2 on the BCS”
    That is one big IF. Study some more about dairy cattle health. Please.

    Farmers have a hard enough time staying afloat. $720,000.00 in fines would buy OSPCA Chairman Godfrey a new jacuzzi, but it will do NOTHING to help animals!
    I went to OAC at Guelph. I know a thing or two about the farming sector. Is it perfect? Hell, no. But having the OSPCA as their watchdog is ludicrous, and laughable.
    If the OSPCA decrees that a horse may stay in a garage, how on earth can you tell me that anything else they say about livestock is worthy of attention?
    The OSPCA is a joke. Keep that in mind, when you next write about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not A Breed says:

      Horse. What about the fact that the government set out guidelines that cattle should be a 2.5-3 on the BCS?
      You seem to be ignoring the fact that it’s not the OSPCA who set those guidelines.
      And I say “if the cattle were below a 2” because I personally did not see the cattle. A VET said they were BENEATH a 2 on the BCS. How are you not seeing this?

      Oh, right, you’re blinded by the OSPCAs involvement.

      If you want to stick to facts $720,000 would buy a LOT of people Jacuzzi’s, not just the one person you hate (second) most on the planet. And when have you EVER seen ANYONE be convicted and have the entire weight of the fines placed on them? Um, never.

      And BTW, your comment:
      Study some more about dairy cattle health. Please.
      Is a bit over the top.

      I picked out points in an article that stood out to me. I backed it up with government recommendations.. I don’t think you’re really looking at the whole story. I mean, if you’re ok with cows being locked out of the barn in -4 degree weather, when they’re less than a 2 BCS, I guess that’s your opinion. Mine happens to be different.


      • Jeff says:

        I see what happened now. You somehow mistakenly inferred from the article that the bred heifers that were outside were at a BCS of under 2. Nowhere does the article state this. It in fact says “about a dozen bred, healthy Holstein heifers”.

        The author then tells you in his reply:


        It was the milking cows that the OSPCA deemed to be under-conditioned… the ones that were inside the barn.

        Maybe you can look at this situation from a different perspective now.


        Liked by 1 person

        • Jeff says:

          Oops… seems the quote didn’t post:

          The heifers were not ordered in due to their body condition. they were ordered in due to not being “allowed” to be outside. the fact that they were in good condition was never in dispute.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Not A Breed says:

          Yes, and the comment you quoted was the writers opinion.
          Nowhere does the article state that the only cattle with a BCS under two were inside the barn. That is an assumption on your part. If one was to make an assumption, one would have to assume that the reason the person called and reported the Robinsons, was because the cattle were thin – not that they were healthy looking cows but standing outside in -4 degree weather. Come on, we’re Canadians! Minus 4 is freakin’ balmy.

          Jeff, I appreciate your comment, but it doesn’t actually change my perspective. Not unless you can show me some sort of proof that the cows that were outside were in good weight, and the order to bring the herd up to 2.5 BCS was specifically regarding the cows inside. If all you have to go on is your assumption from Ian Cumming’s article, that doesn’t quite do it for me.


          • Jeff says:

            Maybe I live too close to the city, but I certainly don’t give as much credibility to someone just passing by as you do. I’ve had enough encounters with urbanites and suburbanites to know that a lot of them have very little sense of what farming entails.

            I’ve had zero contact with the OSPCA, but I’ve read and heard enough to make me question their motives.

            At least I’m basing my opinion on the facts from the article. You are making up your own story to push your own agenda, it seems to me.

            It is your blog, however, as you say… carry on.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Not A Breed says:

              Maybe I live too close to the city, but I certainly don’t give as much credibility to someone just passing by as you do. I’ve had enough encounters with urbanites and suburbanites to know that a lot of them have very little sense of what farming entails.
              I completely agree. But since we don’t know who called it in, we can’t assume they know nothing about cattle.

              I’ve had zero contact with the OSPCA, but I’ve read and heard enough to make me question their motives.
              The OSPCA does good and bad. I know the bad has gotten a lot of press, probably much more so than the good they’ve done. Every single person working there is not bad. I am not here to promote or defend the OSPCA. As I’ve said, I read a very biased article, saw a few points the writer made in passing, and wrote about it.

              At least I’m basing my opinion on the facts from the article. You are making up your own story to push your own agenda, it seems to me.
              I too am basing what I wrote off that article. He very specifically says “The appeal hearing was to contest an order to have the herd’s body condition score up to 2.5 by July 1.” (my bold). That leads me to believe the herd in general was beneath a 2.5. I didn’t make that up. It was in the same article you read.

              It is your blog, however, as you say… carry on.
              I’m not writing this to write bullshit. I very honestly saw what I saw in the article. I saw through the bias, and noted a couple of facts. If this is the only article you’ve read of mine, take a look around… mostly it is stories culled from news reports and/or eye witnesses. Only occasionally, when I see an article like this, and I have my own opinion on it, do I write about it.
              I’m sorry you can’t even see anything I’ve pointed out.


  • wolfkin says:

    I can do that, because it’s my blog. :)

    hahaha. I’ll be back to read this entry just because of that.


  • Farm Girl says:

    I do not even know where to begin with this blog. First of all, it was the OSPCA vet that deemed the cattle at a score of 2 for body conditioning and the two other local vets deemed them as 2.5. That does not prove that the cattle were under weight like you mention repeatedly. Also if you read Mr. Cummings article closely it states that the one local vet has been in practice since 1956. That should say something right there; he knows what he is talking about. In addition, it also mentions that the Robinsons had been farming for 39 years. Do you really think that if they were neglecting animals that they would still be farming?? There are many farms out there that neglect their animals but I never knew that having access to food, water and shelter was considered neglect. That is very good to know. I would suggest that before you write your blogs about articles or opinion columns you make sure to actually read the entire article instead of picking out points and twisting them around or neglecting to state exactly what is said.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not A Breed says:

      Thank you for your comment Farm Girl.
      I will first say “Isn’t it nice to be able to have your own opinion on things? And to be able to state those opinions?”
      I read things a little differently than you, and I certainly read Mr. Cummings article several times over. His entire article is posted here, word for word, so I’m not sure why you would accuse me of “not stating exactly what is said”. I suspect it might be you who didn’t read the entire article, or you’d know that. And it was the vet, and the OSPCA officer who deemed the cattle underweight.

      Also, I recently witnessed neglect of a horse that had food and water available. The food was so old and devoid of nutrients they might as well have been feeding the horse cardboard, and the water was frozen. The horse was over 300lbs underweight, according to my vet. Oh, and the horse was in a box stall. Of course, he hadn’t come out of that box stall in months. But he had food, water and shelter. See where I’m going here?
      If all I told you was the horse was fed two or three times/day, was in a large box stall and had water available… you’d think there was no neglect if you hadn’t seen it for yourself.
      – And before anyone jumps in, I do note the food was tested at the Robinsons farm. What I’m talking about here is bias. –
      As for the farmer farming for 39 years… there are often people who get older and continue farming, who really shouldn’t. They don’t have the energy, stamina and mental capacity to continue farming. There are many farmers or others with livestock (say, breeders for instance) who do great for many years and then due to circumstances changing, issues arise and they can no longer afford to feed their livestock properly. Often times those people don’t want to admit they’re having difficulties and things get out of hand. It happens every day.

      Just because I can see all the possibilities, and suspect there might be more than the biased article relates, doesn’t mean I’m necessarily wrong. As I’ve stated, I have opinions, and I stated them. I very clearly said it was my opinion, and just like you, I am entitled to that. If you want to write a piece about how utterly wrong you think I am, go right ahead. Oh, wait, you already did. AND I posted the comment. Why? Because I don’t hide from people who disagree with me. I will have a conversation with you, and I will explain my thinking to you, and I will not block your comments.
      That being said, if someone actually points out something that I (a) missed or (b) misunderstood or (c) had no knowledge of… I would absolutely change my thinking and edit my post. To date, no one has.


    • kimberley says:

      Just watched w5 on a pig farm where food water and shelter was provided..but holy shit was there ever so much neglect!..shit happenes and theres so much more abuse and neglect know its so sad….so glad these idiots will pay for what they do


  • Sorry, but the OSPCA has no sense, hence, no trust

    IF you had pictures, and IF the OSPCA had pictures, and IF anyone who knows the farm/farmer had come out of the woodwork to agree with you, fine. Since none of that happened, this post is irrelevant,. Proof is in the pudding. You have NO pudding.
    Of course, there are neglectful people out there. Isn’;t that what the OSPCA is mandated to help with? Helping the animals?? yet, they saw an old dog, took it and euthed it. Did they scan it for a microchip? No, it was OLD, put it down. Disgusting.
    This story says it all, about the OSPCA. They are idiots, and the entire board should be fired and replaced with people who actually DO KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT ANIMALS.
    I guess when I kept my old girtl alive until she died, I was being cruel. yeah, right, OSPCA.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not A Breed says:

      Horse, the post may be irrelevant to you, but it is not to me.
      Again, I saw what I saw in the original, very biased, article. I wrote my opinion.
      I didn’t see photos to prove me correct OR wrong. Where are all the photos of all the FAT happy cattle? Prove me WRONG.

      If my article is so irrelevant, then stop commenting on it.


    • kimberley says:

      Ospca are all assholes…they have a kill um all mentality…sometimes there to blame! But there are more animal abusers out there that need to be PUT DOWN

      Liked by 1 person

  • Farm Girl says:

    To start, I am accusing you of not reading the article entire because the article states that TWO local vets deemed the HEIFERS in healthy condition yet you seem to only want to state that a vet deemed them underweight. Well I am informing you of a miss understanding. Yes a vet did deemed them underweight however TWO others deemed them in healthy condition. GET IT STRAIGHT!!

    Another thing these animals were HEIFERS not COWS therefore they are scored a little bit different on their body conditioning. In case you do not know the difference between a heifer and a cow I will tell you; a heifer is a non lactating female similar to a teenage girl whereas a cow is a lactating female similar to a woman who has had children.

    In the case you mentioned yes not feeding proper food is neglect and without mentioning the point of lack or proper food yes one would assume that there was no neglect without seeing it. However, the feed in this case was tested and came back with a 20% in protein which means it was excellent feed.

    I would also like to say, don’t you dare start to tell me about how people should and shouldn’t be farming any more. I have been involved in farming my entire life (19 years) and my parents involved in farming for around 40 years and guess what they are not even 50 yet. Age has nothing to do with farming and I can tell you from experience that when a farmer starts struggling they do get out of the business because farming is their life and the animals are their passion and they would do what is best for the animals. In my 19 years I have never met a farmer who will not admit they have a problem especially not the farmers who have the small family farms like the Robinson’s.

    Oh and by the way to date I believe there have been a few who have pointed out what you have missed or did not know or even misunderstood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not A Breed says:

      I did read the article. And I felt some things were hidden by bias. That is my opinion, and since it’s my blog, I wrote about it.
      I didn’t have to note that two vets deemed the cattle at 2.5, since that was in the article I quoted in its’ entirety. I just noted the stuff that stood out in argument of the writers bias.
      Say what you will, you have your opinion, and I have mine. Again, isn’t it nice to be able to have your opinion and write about it?
      That being said, you are in my house, and if you continue to attack me, I will block you.


    • kimberley says:

      Baaahahahahaha farmgirl get out of your bubble open ur eyes dumbdumb….u are not correct and these animals were neglected…seems to be a bigger % of u farmgirls that mistreat ur animals…just disgusting the whole lot of you…well just the big % that is…keep farming cause u dont know everything just yet..lol


  • Farm Girl says:

    I would just like to note that nothing I said is my opinion it is straight facts from the article and from my knowledge of the farming industry. And I would like to know exactly how I am attacking you as all I am doing is exactly what you are doing to Mr. Cummings article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not A Breed says:

      It is your opinion… your opinion of what Mr. Cummings wrote in his article.
      Just the same as I have an opinion about what he wrote. Specifically regarding the facts that he wrote about. Just happens I note different facts.

      The difference regarding “attacking” is the fact that you are in my house. And you’re speaking rather rudely to me. I don’t come to your house and speak rudely to you. I didn’t go to Mr. Cummings house and speak rudely to him either. I was quite polite when he entered my house and ranted at me as well. I haven’t called names, or anything of the sort. He has. You have.
      If I wrote a letter to his paper, they would have the right to publish that letter or not. Just as I have here at my house.
      You, you’ve had an extremely rude tone throughout your comments. Keep it a bit more on the mature, polite, and I might take you a little more seriously. Just because you’ve had one experience, doesn’t make that the norm, nor does it make it my experience.

      You’ve accused me of not reading the article in full, when I’ve clearly stated I have read it over several times. Multiple times in fact. You’ve accused me of basically making things up, when in actuality I’m quoting Mr. Cummings article. I don’t like the implication, and I certainly don’t like the tone. So, that being said, this is your final warning.
      The fact that you say “Yes a vet did deemed them underweight however TWO others deemed them in healthy condition. GET IT STRAIGHT!!” – your tone is quite obvious. The use of all caps, etc. Again, my house, my rules. If you don’t want to acknowledge the fact that I am quoting from Mr. Cummings article, that is your choice. But it is not your choice to be rude.


    • Not A Breed says:

      PS: Just read Sunny Reuter’s comment for a polite rebuttal of my post. It’s that simple. Polite, yet Sunny disagrees with me! Hmmm, you could learn a lesson from Sunny. Actually, many people could learn a lesson from Sunny!!!

      (Horse, that means you too.)


  • Uh, fat cattle are beef cattle. C’mon, NAB, admit it. A “fat” dairy cow is an oxymoron. sigh. City people..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not A Breed says:

      Horse, I have lived in the city. I’ve lived in the country. I currently live in the country. I have my horses at my property. What part of that don’t you get? Or do you have to have cattle to be a country person?
      Also, I do know that dairy cows are not fat generally, and to the untrained or unfamiliar eye, can look thin. They’re definitely more “bony” looking.
      I wasn’t the one who called in the complaint. I have no idea what knowledge those people had.
      I just don’t ASSume they have NONE.


  • Jay says:

    … dude, we need less government in our lives. Every year they make new laws so soon for any reason they will be able to lock u up and if they can’t get u for one thing then they get u for another. Scary but true, being that we live in the new world we should be fighting this, especially people like Bonnie bishop! A government worker who has been given power by the state over people and decides to destroy peoples lives. I am sure if u have an animal near u and give her a dirty look she will fabricated some way to charge u and her”track record” shows. Overzeleous … that needs to be stopped and put through the emotional torment that she brings upon others. It’s ur blog Great! But u missed the point!


    • Not A Breed says:

      Thanks for your comment. Your obvious narcissism, ignorance, and conspiracy theorist personality type shines through.
      I’m sure you’ll miss MY point.
      And by the way, direct personal attacks are prohibited, so I deleted your most ignorant comments. I didn’t, however, fix your atrocious spelling.


  • Jeff says:

    According to the Ontario Farmer magazine, there is a fund set up for the Robinsons to fight the OSPCA charges:


    I would urge all right-thinking people to contribute. This sort of harassment has to stop!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Not A Breed says:

    Really? You’re using MY blog to solicit donations for the Robinsons? That’s pretty ballsy of you!

    But, in the interest of “freedom of speech” I’ll leave your post there. Aside from freedom of speech, I’ve also never said they were guilty. I know you find that hard to believe, but all I did was point out the bias in the original article, and suspect there were underweight cattle due to comments made in the article.

    Happy fund-raising!


  • Caroline Youmans says:

    Hmmm…speaking of unspoken bias — would this veterinarian speaking on behalf of the OSPCA be the same unbiased veterinarian mentioned in the July 13, 2011 letter to the Editor from the OSPCA Press? Read it and weep.

    Letter to the Editor
    Sunday June 12, 2011
    RE: Dog taken, euthanized without owner’s knowledge by Johnny Keogh

    Dear Editor,

    The Ontario SPCA is taken aback that the reporter chose to ignore the information provided to him on the condition of the animal profiled in his article.

    The Ontario SPCA is mandated under the Ontario SPCA Act to respond to reports of animal cruelty. The Ontario SPCA and the local police responded to a call concerning a husky named “Rocky”. Rocky was found, vocolizing in agony, severely dehydrated, emaciated, unable to control his own bodily functions and as a result his skin had been scalded by his own urine. He was unable to walk when the investigators found him.

    Efforts were made by both the Police and the Ontario SPCA to contact the family. Our investigation revealed that the owners had not been seen in days, and in our line of work we sadly see this type of neglect frequently.

    Rocky was examined by two veterinarians, who each reported that on top of the health concerns found by the Ontario SPCA , he was showing neurological problems and severe dental disease.

    As a 16 year old dog with obvious signs of sever pain and declining health. Rocky was euthanized humanly by a veterinarian to end his suffering.

    No charges were laid nor later revoked, as incorrectly reported by the original article. Our primary concern with this investigation was with Rocky’s well-being.

    It was incorrectly reported that I claimed that the dog had not been examined by a vet. I informed the reporter that the dog showed no signs of receiving palliative care, and as a senior dog with Rocky’s condition he should have be receiving that type of care.

    Palliative care, as with humans, dictates that someone is with them at all times so they do not have to endure this type of trauma. Where was the family during this time? Why was Rocky left in the extreme heat in his condition without water?

    In addition to the two veterinarians who examined Rocky. We have allowed a third veterinarian to review Rocky’s medical records.

    “At the request of the Ontario SPCA I reviewed the documentation regarding the decision to euthanize “Rocky”, a 16-year-old Husky. After reading the attending veterinarians’ comments regarding Rocky’s condition I would agree with the decision to perform euthanasia.

    Allowing animals to attain the full measure of their natural lifespan requires aggressive management of medical conditions and an effective palliative care plan. The condition Rocky was found in indicates the absence of an effective palliative care plan. In my opinion euthanasia is the logical final component to palliative care plan. Veterinarians have a duty to minimize pain and prevent suffering. Euthanasia is a crutial element in meeting our obligations to animals in our care.” J. Bruce Robertson, DVM.

    We are saddened that the concern for Rocky’s well- being were not recognized by his owners.

    Chief Inspector Connie Mallory
    Ontario SPCA


    • Not A Breed says:

      Wow. First off, no vets are named. Secondly, no less than two vets examined Rocky before the decision to euthanize the dog, and a third vet reviewed the first two vets assessments and concurred.
      It’s a BIT of a leap to suggest that any one of these vets, let alone the third vet, is the same vet from this case.

      But way to try to connect the dots!

      Speaking as someone who recently had to euthanize a senior dog… I understand just how quickly they can crash and burn under certain circumstances. My senior dog cratered after only two hours laying in the sun. Even though there was water only a few feet away, as well as shade… by the time she was crashing she didn’t have the strength to pull herself to the shade. Things quickly got out of control health-wise that day and we had to put her down. That day.

      I, as her owner, am heartbroken that we didn’t see the possibilities, or check on her more often (she loved laying in the sun, and she looked fine – at a glance). I feel that is my fault. Unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball, and can not predict the future and every possible outcome. I know that logically. But I’ll tell you this, I certainly wouldn’t have left her out there to fend for herself for days.

      So, considering my dog was only out in the sun for two hours, and Rocky was without water or shade for what sounds like longer than that, I can completely understand how a dog can go downhill that fast.
      I don’t think people understand how desperate a situation can get in an extremely short amount of time with an elderly dog who is already declining in health.

      But again, go ahead. Think what you will. There are many people out there who have a hate on for the OSPCA; and no matter what the OSPCA does they will find fault.
      I, on the other hand, like to try to see both sides of the story. And MY story above, with my senior dog? That happened last summer. So I think I know from whence I speak.


    • kimberley says:

      Ospca….you are more harm than good..manipulating ,bribing ,killing ect! Its a shame what you all have become ..you are not liked….AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Caroline Youmans says:

    CVS is all about CE – continueing education! Drs Kathy and Gwen went to the AAHA meeting in April to learn about dermatology and oncology management respectively. Dr Bruce went to the International Vet Forensics Association meeting to contiune his work with the OSPCA. Dr Adrienne just returned from a meeting where she got more experience with abdominal ultrasounds.

    The above is from a post from Dr. Bruce’s own veterinary practice facebook page.

    My comment would be that he probably should continue his “forensic” studies considering who he is dealing with.


  • Caroline Youmans says:

    I am not jumping to conclusion whatsoever. The 3rd veterinarian mentioned by the OSPCA in the letter to the editor trying to justify their confiscation and killing of the senior dog is Robertson and he does work for the OSPCA and he is the self same vet who stood up in court against two other veterinarians from the Chesterville area that said the cows in question were healthy — period. I don’t leap to conclusions young lady, I do my research

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not A Breed says:

      First off, my name is John and I’m 45 years old. I own horses and take care of them on my own property. I also have been known to rescue a horse here and there. I’ll take your “young lady” as the insult it was intended to be.
      Also, bottom line, Robertson AGREED with TWO other vets on the Rockky issue. So your point is moot anyway.


      • Jeff says:

        Wow… I also assumed that you were a woman. I may have to think about my biases.

        I may have to rethink about why I have male/female biases.

        Also, I’m older than you. :)


  • Not A Breed says:

    I think people suspect I am a woman because (a) I care about animals and (b) I write competently.

    I take it as a compliment most days, except when it’s put the way Caroline did. Bitch.


  • Jonathon says:


    I think you’re getting so many negative replies because you’re showing your own bias in your rebuttal to the article. Instead of viewing the big picture and weighing each sides ‘facts’ you choose to ignore facts that don’t support your opinion and ‘ass/u/me’ facts that would support your opinion. This shows a huge bias against the Robinsons and I myself wonder why?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not A Breed says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Jonathon, I understand what you’re trying to say.
      Again, I have to say that what I did was show the authors bias, and shine a light on the facts that he glossed over.
      There is a real anti-OSPCA faction, as well as the ‘shoot-shovel-shut-up’ mentality of farmers. Not only am I not surprised at the general response, but I actually expected it.

      I don’t write this blog to garner “favorable” comments. I write what I see. Bottom line. And I saw an article that was extremely biased and glossed over some pretty salient facts. So I wrote about it. End of story. ‘ass/u/me’ what you will.


  • Katherine says:

    Let’s see where to start on your analysis.
    How long have you been either farming or a vet?
    Do you have any idea how long either of the 2 vets that are “paid by the Robinsons” as well as any other farmers in the area have been practicing?
    Let’s start with Pierre Lapance. I’m 29 and he’s been practicing on our farm since we moved there 28 years ago. Willie Armstrong is over 15 years as well. Both of these vets are amazing individuals who will actually take the time to explain to a kid who was interested in what they were doing when they did a twisted stomach surgery or a post mortum on a dead cow. As to the vet from Toronto, I don’t know him personally. I can’t comment on anything other than what I have read. From what I have researched, he did not do a complete exam on the full herd. Infact I believe it said 50%. That is not remotely acceptable. As I do not know him personally, I do not know what his background is. I could make several assumptions.
    1. How many farms are there with dairy cows in Toronto. – Probably not many.
    2. Is he a full time practicing vet as in sees animals every day or primarily an administrator?
    But as I do not know him and haven’t been able to find this out, I could only guess. The only thing I really know for sure is that he only did 50% of the analysis.
    The farmers in the area are all well aware of Dave who, while he can come off as a bit gruff if you don’t know him, is one of the nicest guys you would ever meet.
    As to who I am, I can spit from my parent’s land and hit his. I have known that farm my entire life. The cows always have a bale of hay outside and access to water. There is access to shelter in the winter.
    The problem with this case is that people who have no idea what farming is assume that cows should be treated as pets. They are not pets. They are working animals. Cows actually thrive outside in the winter.
    As to your comment about farmers rallying together to keep outsiders out, this is not the case. If any of us were actually worried about those animals we would have called ourselves.
    Your analysis of this article is completely biased in itself. You have not once checked your facts. You have written this on conjecture. You actually have done nothing to disprove any fact that was written. You might consider that the author of the article did his homework and only had so much space for the column and had to edit out information.
    If you actually want more information, please feel free to comment on my post and I will be happy to share more if people would like to know.

    PS. A farm is a very dangerous place and the proper warnings have to be giving to anyone entering the premesis.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not A Breed says:

      Hi Katherine,
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry it took me so long to approve and respond. I’ve been going through some shit. That’s all I’ll say.
      Now, as for your questions, I’ll repeat what I’ve said countless times – not only on this post but on my blog in general. I have been around horses all my life. I live on a farm, and have for several years. I am NOT that familiar with cattle in general, but I did do some research.
      According to the GOVERNMENT classification, those cattle were underweight. I’ve said this over and over again, and this is the last time I’ll repeat it. Either read what I wrote and agree or disagree – but calling my research and knowledge into question is stupid.

      You sit and accuse me of lacking knowledge and making assumptions… yet by your very questioning, you are accusing a certified veterinarian of the same. How much schooling and work does it take to rate as knowledgeable in your books? He’s a fucking vet.

      I’ve met plenty of people who come off as “nice” who go home and beat their wife and kids. So being a nice neighbour doesn’t cut it as a defense in my books. Sorry.

      Obviously the cattle that were emaciated either DIDN’T have access to hay, or there was some other reason they were emaciated. There are issues related to health and age that can cause any animal to be underweight, even with a tonne of food available. I never said they didn’t have access to hay. I said they were under weight and didn’t have access to shelter – which I believe has been proven.

      And yes most livestock thrive outside in winter. That includes horses. But, that being said, there are certain provisions that need to be made. They will eat more to keep warm. They need at least a windbreak. Things like this. BUT, livestock that is emaciated going INTO winter will not fare well. Proven fact.
      Obviously you have neither read my post, nor the comments following it.

      As to your comment regarding MY comment about farmers rallying together… I have personally witnessed it. And it is to the detriment of the livestock, and the people who are consuming their product (whether meat or byproducts). If you haven’t seen it, then where did “shoot, shovel and shut up” come from? Oh, right, the BSE fiasco. Oh well, I guess I’m wrong. I guess I haven’t been around long enough.

      Yes I’m biased. I’m biased on behalf of the animals. And I’m particularly biased when pointing out the bias of others. I’ll err on the side of logic every single fucking time.
      But I love how you give the author excuses for his bias! I’m sure he’s thanking you. But at the same time, you can see that he responded to this post all on his own. I’m sure he’s more capable of speaking for himself than you are. But thanks anyway.

      As for your PS, yes, I warn every single person entering MY farm that they must be wearing proper footwear, that animals can spook and knock them down or even bite, etc.etc. etc…. yes, I am not a complete fool. But thanks for assuming I am.

      As for MY PS: I’m a little older than you. Just sayin’


      • Katherine says:

        Ok, yes I did read the article in it’s entirety. Apparently the original point got lost when I feel that my neighbour was being unjustly attacked.

        I do not agree that the OSPCA should have the power they do when it comes to large animals. There needs to be a seperate board specifically dealing with this.

        I am unfamilliar with blogging and if you feel that this was a personal attack please don’t. I have a history degree and in this field it is perfectly acceptable to question a person’s point or bias but never them personally. Asking a question about qualifications is simply a way to gain information we don’t already know. I will not make any further comment to this point as I will extend you the curtosy that you did not mean for your comments to be taken the way that I have taken them as I did not mean them the way that you seem to have taken them in your response.

        I do not agree with the comments that have been made about Dave on a personal level. People don’t know him personally. If you knew him you would never have made that comment about abusers. The comment in general is correct but to use it in such a way is very unfair.

        It would seem that I am going far beyond the original article and was perhaps letting other people’s comments get the better of me. I should probably explain in more detail what went on than in the article.

        The 2 Dundas county vets had said there was not a problem. The woman from the OSPCA should not have been able to charge him in the first place but legally she could do as she pleased. The OSPCA vet did not examin them until after this fact.

        The comment about farming killing someone coming from him is no joke. Without going into too much detail, he is ill and from what I understand, it is slowly killing him. It would seem that the woman failed to do her homework on the man before she jumped the gun.

        The lawyer in the case that is representing the crown has not exactly done his homework on the subject as thoroughly as he should have and has made some comments that are, well my 6 year old cousin made a funny face when we asked her these questions.

        The following 2 questions are in the court transcripts:

        1. Do you grow your own shavings?
        This was the first of the 2 gems that come directly from the transcrips that the crown attourney asked. I laughed. Shavings are wood shavings. They are manufactured. Now if he’d have asked do you grow your own bedding or straw it would have shown that he did some homework. This was the lesser of the 2 gems.

        2. Do you ever take your cows to the vet?
        My initial response to this was, WHAT????? followed by a good gut busting laugh, followed by the sarcastic comment of yeah we just saddle them on up and ride em over there to the vet’s office that’s not even big enough to hold the cow but sure. Followed by the statement, what an idiot. My cousin’s response was what do you mean bring the cows to the vet? The vet comes to the barn.

        For anyone who has an interest in the case or in this subject in general, the main point farmers are worried about is that it will set a prescident that cattle may not be outside. I do know that there was an offer to settle the case, but it was refused therefore the contents of the offer are not public notice.

        This case is incredibly important to large animal farmers. It is actually testing the OSPCA’s jurisdiction and ability to handle these types of cases. From a farming perspective it would be better that the OSPCA loses and we go back to having a seperate jurisdictional board dealing with cattle and horses.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Not A Breed says:

          I’ll go through your comment point by point…

          I agree that maybe the OSPCA shouldn’t have such power over large animals, in that they don’t seem to be properly trained (in general) to deal with large animals. No argument there. BUT, SOMEone has to be out there – answering calls/complaints and following up on issues. Maybe what the OSPCA needs is proper training regarding livestock. Not necessarily an entirely separate board.

          If someone neglects something that is in their care… it’s abuse. It may not be an intentional abuse – like beating or killing – but it’s an abuse. Humans KNOW that others, animals and children, etc. – RELY on us for food, care, shelter, etc. If you DENY those who rely on us (whom we have POWER over) those necessities of life… it IS abuse. It’s an abuse of power. And no matter how old or sick a person is, it is their DUTY to care for those who depend on us. If you have to ask for help… so be it. If you have to go to a food bank, or beg on a fucking CORNER, you DO it. Because it is your DUTY.

          And again, he said “kill someone”, not “kill me”. I can actually understand that the OSPAC officer could have misconstrued that as a threat. The way it was said… come on. Can’t you at least admit that if one person goes into a potentially hostile situation, they may see that as a threat??

          As for the lawyer… he is an expert in LAW, not farming. Your six-year-old cousin knows more about farming than the lawyer, but I’d be willing to bet your cousin grew up at least in the periphery of farming at the very least. As I said in my post, when does a lawyer have to be an expert in farming? That’s not their specialty. Their specialty is in law. Yes, I too find the questions laughable, but that doesn’t mean the legal premise was wrong. Seriously.

          I do get that the farmers are worried… but I think they’re more worried about loss of power. Of COURSE cattle can be outside. I don’t think there’s a soul on the planet that given two minutes of logical conversation would not agree that cattle are actually healthier kept outside in general than inside. BUT, underweight animals of ANY kind suffer more in inclement weather than healthy weight animals. Or are you going to argue that one? And I go back to FEED THE FUCKING ANIMALS IN YOUR CARE. Oh, did you see the comment by Patrick regarding this particular vets’ experience..? It should be below this comment…

          I do believe the OSPCA should have more training regarding livestock, and probably more governing. I don’t have a problem with one organization overseeing the complaints, etc., regarding animals, as long as they’re properly trained.


        • Not A Breed says:

          PS: if you re-read your original comment with fresh eyes, you’ll see that there were a few places that came off as “negative”.
          And I quote:
          Let’s see where to start on your analysis.
          How long have you been either farming or a vet?

          That comes off as a little negative…

          Regarding the vet: “As I do not know him personally, I do not know what his background is. I could make several assumptions.” So you make assumptions regarding a certified vet, just based on his location. I guess logic doesn’t actually factor into your judgement.

          The problem with this case is that people who have no idea what farming is assume that cows should be treated as pets.” I never said anything about this. Maybe you were talking about some of the OTHER commenters? Oh, wait, no one said anything about cows being pets. So I can only assume you meant ME.

          Your analysis of this article is completely biased in itself. You have not once checked your facts. You have written this on conjecture. You actually have done nothing to disprove any fact that was written.
          That’s a little slanted, considering I put up photos showing what cattle BCS is, etc. I DID research it. And I was responding, in general, regarding the authors complete bias. I asked questions. I pointed out slant. I didn’t write on conjecture. You say “… if you feel that this was a personal attack please don’t. I have a history degree and in this field it is perfectly acceptable to question a person’s point or bias but never them personally. Asking a question about qualifications is simply a way to gain information we don’t already know.
          If you read the comment I quoted, from YOU, just above, I don’t see how you can NOT think that wasn’t a personal attack. Do YOU? Come on. You’re a 29 year old college graduate. Admit you DID attack me, and not in a very subtle way either!


  • Patrick Ryan says:

    I mean nothing il or negative by my statement to anyone it is just my opinion take it with a grain of salt.

    Hi there i would just like to point out that the VET in question is not from Toronto he is actually from Campbellford which has cheese and dairy farms and a cattle sales location that auctions every tuesday.. so i agree with his findings seeing that with a little digging he is also the vet that works in the cattle for the area and for aproval of sales. I agree with the idea that the OSPCA has to much power in the field were they have no training how ever who is to decide these days that is Humain and what isn’t… I grew up with animals on a farm we had 20 head of cattle and 10 dairy, 1052 heads of haroses in our best year as well as goats and cheickens and ducks and just about everything else. we bread race horses and riding horses and Work horses, and you cannot compare any horse to a cattle no different then saying that a horse that is a thurobread is going to look meltreated standing next to a work horse or a quater horse LMFAO. but if that vet said that there was something wrong with the cattle then i believe him after all he is a VET that went to school for 9 years and got his schooling done and works in a field were FARMERS of CATTLE listen to what he has to say when they are selling or buying cattle at auction. the idea of the 700+ thousand in fines tthat is excesive seeing that he is sucha small farmer there is no need for the fines to be that high. so there is alot about this article that i agree and disagree with. animals should all be treated well whether they are pets or food. just like i dont want a broken peice of bread or a bruised banana, i would preffer my meat to be in great condition as well. plus they have proven that when the animals are happier they produce more!

    but at the same time i think that we should start looking at removing people from OSPCA and replacing them with vet students or make them take a 2 or 3 year course like we do with the PSW and the RPNs u need to go to school to learn how to wipe a persons ass in a hospital bed then i think that they should have to attend school to know more about the animals in the area that they are aworking so that they can come up with better judgement for the animals in question.


  • Katherine says:

    As I said before in my post. I know a lot more about the case that is not in this article. Please check out the court transcripts. I am not going on conjecture, I am going off of what was said in court. I’m willing to play the research game.


    Before you read the next part, I am not a lawyer. This is simply my best guess from reading the Criminal Code of Canada.

    It would seem that from a legal perspective, there is a difference in saying something could kill you and something could kill someone. The first one, it would seem, will get you charged for making a threat, the second it would seem would not. I would guess that is covered under the Criminal Code of Canada. I think my best guess would be that this would fall under section 264.1 Uttering Threats.

    264.1(1)Every one commits and offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to recieve a threat
    (a) to cause death or bodily harm to any person
    end quote from criminal code


    Idle threats
    No offence is committed, however, if a threat is innocently made. The offence is not meant to criminalize idle threats or words blurted out only in anger, desperation, bitterness or frustration. Words said in jest or in a manner that they could not be taken seriously do not constitute a threat.

    I maintain my statement on the conjecture in your article. You are correct with the pictures you showed of cows being underweight; HOWEVER, these are NOT Dave’s cows. These are pictures of underweight cows in general. Dave has holsteins. Holsteins are black and white for those who are unfamiliar with cattle breeds.

    I also don’t believe that I see where you have countered the arguement that there are 2 vets that say the cattle are fine vs. the one vet that says they are underweight. I did read Patrick’s post and accept the vet as one who has significant experience with large animals, however, up until this point, there was no mention of the vet’s qualifications. Patrick did the research for that one not you. Also, the other vets are well qualified on large animals as well. Again, please check the court transcripts. You seem to repeatedly say that a vet said the cows are underweight. I am correct in saying that he did not check the entire herd. I cannot seem to understand why you are putting the opinion of 1 vet who did not examine the whole herd over the 2 who have been practicing for decades, have examined the whole herd, and said they were fine. I would reiterate at this point why I didn’t call their expertise into question as I know the vets personally and have seen them practice.

    The original call to the OSPCA was made by someone who has no background in farming and saw animals outside in the winter. I believe the closest I can get to a quote is the person thought the animals MIGHT be cold. Hence the treating like pets comment.

    As to the lawyer, it is his job do the research on the case. It is his job to prepare the questions that will be asked in court. As much as it pains me that this is happening to a neighbour, I still hold the CROWN PROSECUTOR to a high standard. After all, he is representing the PEOPLE OF CANADA in this case. It is a criminal case and therefore the plaintiff is the Queen. Part of it’s title is R v. David and Marilyn Robinson. If the crown attourney is representing me as a person of Canada, I expect him to represent everyone in the country to the utmost standard, regardless of how I feel about the case. Those 2 questions show that he was not fully prepared. I don’t know which scares me more, the fact that he wasn’t prepared or the fact that people are letting him off the hook with those questions.

    Further to that point, I would like to say that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms GUARENTEES certain things. One of these things is everyone’s section 11(d) right to a PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE.

    Now as to me, I am not capable of subtlety. I didn’t want this to devolve into a mud slinging match so I will now give an example of what I said before. There is a big difference is saying YOU’RE STUPID and saying YOUR IDEA IS STUPID. The first is a personal attack, the second is an attack on a point. I took the time to reread my original post and tried to reread it from another point. It took me about 5 times to see how anyone would take it any way other than how I wrote it. I then promply began by answering your original question followed by explaining my reasoning. I was very offended by your second post so you either meant for me to be offended or we had a communication issue. There is a huge difference between negative and attacking someone.

    I do not believe that you have read my point from my point of view. The last part of your second post seems to indicate that you are more upset about your interpretation of my first post than in countering what I said with evidence. You have repeatedly said what I have said is conjecture, it is not. You have said that you wanted to see research. I have provided it, complete with quotes. I have further cited where anyone can find my evidence. Don’t bring my age up again. It was simply a way of establishing how long I have been around cattle. I found your post to be condescending and rude.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Garcia says:

    The SPCA are trained to help, rescue and respond to complaints about all animals. It is their jobs! People who love animals will not talk against them.Animals cannot speak for themselves soo this is why their are people to help them. If there is a complaint and they have to investigate they cannot ignore the situation . Thank God we have these people to stop cruelty, abuse and neglect!!! By the way SPCA shelters are very well maintained and they give proper care to animals.


  • Katherine says:

    Here’s an update for all of you interested in the actual case. The charges have been stayed. This means that the case has gone on too long and can no longer be proscecuted. In Canada, you are entitled to a fair and speedy trial. As it took too long for the government to make it’s case, over 2 years, a judge has thrown out the charges.

    There is still a civil case pending where the Robinsons are suing the OSPCA for slander and liable.

    Liked by 1 person

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