UPDATE: April 26, 2021
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it is continuing to investigate an incident involving the death of a 600 pound calf in Dorchester that Warktimes first reported on December 31st. In a statement e-mailed to Warktimes, it adds: “The CFIA cannot provide additional details at this time because the investigation is still underway.”
The federal agency oversees the humane transport of animals under regulations that prohibit “loading, transporting or unloading of animals in a way that could cause injury, suffering or death.”
Sackville farmer Keith Carter, who is running for a seat on Sackville Town Council in the May 10th municipal elections, says CFIA inspectors inspected the trailer he used to transport the calf about five weeks ago and he hasn’t heard anything from them since.
The RCMP also investigated the incident, but Carter says that they apparently decided not to lay charges.
Here is my original story:
The RCMP have confirmed they’re conducting an investigation after a 600 pound calf fell out of a trailer Wednesday in Dorchester and died in front of Deborah Jollimore’s house on Cape Road.
“The cow flew out of the back of the trailer at 12:22 p.m. today and we caught the whole thing on video,” Jollimore said in a telephone interview after posting some of the footage from her home’s security system on the Dorchester Community Concerns Facebook page.
It shows a truck hauling a white trailer passing her house with the calf, owned by Sackville farmer Keith Carter, tumbling behind it on the pavement.
Mark Adams, who lives on Cape Road next to Jollimore’s house, witnessed what happened as the truck and trailer sped by.
“I see the cow fall out and it hit the road and it bounced like twice and it just laid there,” Adams said. He added that after the truck stopped, Keith Carter got out and started moving the animal’s head around and then, pressed his foot against its ribs.
“Then he pulled a knife out and started cutting its throat and I said, ‘What are you doing?’ and he said, ‘I’m bleeding it out.'” Adams said. “He had blood all over the road, it was terrible.”
When Deborah Jollimore had trouble getting through to the RCMP, Teena Adams, Mark’s wife, drove to the Sackville detachment to report the incident and the Mounties despatched Cst. Éric Nolet to begin an investigation which the force says is ongoing.
Jollimore says she’s complained to the police repeatedly that Carter habitually exceeds the 50 kmh speed limit as he transports his cattle past her home from the 500 acres of pasture he owns in the area.
“This guy, this same guy, the same truck, the same trailer, they speed and they don’t slow down when they go round the corner, they don’t slow down,” she says referring to the intersection of Dorchester Island Road and Cape Road.
“It sounds like a great ruckus coming from the trailer, from inside the trailer, you can hear the cows mooing and screaming when he takes that corner,” she adds. “I’m scared that he’s going to either flip his trailer, which comes around that corner into our house, or he’s going to hit somebody.”
Carter admits he was at fault for the calf falling out of the trailer.
“I forgot to put a pin in the tail gate. It was just an accident. I didn’t plan on a thousand dollar calf falling out of the back of the truck,” he says, adding that other calves have fallen out in the past with no injuries.
“What this one did is it went out backwards and rolled and broke his neck I figure,” he says. “One woman hollered at me and she said, ‘What are you doing, what are you doing?’ I was jumping on his rib cage and I’ve done that before to some that were choking and you jump on their rib cage, it’s just like doing CPR on you and they start breathing again,” he adds.
But he realized it was no use because the animal was dead.
“So, I just cut its throat and lifted it on (the truck) and brought it home and dressed it up for beef.”
Carter strongly objects to suggestions linking the incident to his nephew Chris Pierce’s controversial proposal to build an abattoir in the Sackville Industrial Park.
“Chris and I work together, so I had his truck hauling cattle today,” Carter says, adding he feels he’s being slandered on Facebook.
“The phone’s been ringing off the hook telling me this and that and everything and I said, ‘Well, it didn’t matter to me, but when they started hauling the abattoir into it, that started pissing me off.'”