CFIA investigating complaints over treatment of cattle by prominent Sackville farmer

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:

Screen capture from video showing truck and trailer with calf (upper right) tumbling behind it

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.”

Photo shows blood on road after Keith Carter cut the calf’s throat to bleed it out

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.”

Keith Carter addressing Sackville Town Council in 2019

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.'”

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18 Responses to CFIA investigating complaints over treatment of cattle by prominent Sackville farmer

  1. Christian Corbet says:

    Cruel, heartless and irresponsible.

  2. Trish says:

    We have a duty to the safety and humane treatment of our animals.. ALL of our animals. The acts of this man were irresponsible and cruel.

  3. Alice Cotton says:

    This is not the kind of local meat I’d ever want to consume. Yuck!

  4. Kata List Productions says:

    A cattle man if there ever was one…. herd management isn’t easy… just ask the United Nations. If you are horrified by death on this planet you’ve obviously not been paying attention to the status quo. As for his actions with his property… its really just a messy blood stain he should be held to clean up and resources management dictates being what they are . the rain would do that job for him. More interesting are the reactions of people… if he did this in a stretch where there were no cameras and no witnesses you’d never even know it happened – happy to see the knee jerk reactions here however.. they are as telling as the incident with the cattle incident.

    • Les Hicks says:

      Thank you for your comment “as for his actions with his property”. It illustrates the common mindset that sentient, living beings that have the same capacity to feel pain and fear as we homo sapiens are merely the private property of individuals to do with as they please. This designation of animals other than humans beings as property (note that it wasn’t that long ago that wives were effectively considered to be the property of their husbands) is what has made it so difficult in our legal system to obtain meaningful convictions and appropriate sentences for cases of well documented animal abuse.

      Regarding your comment that “it’s really just a messy blood stain he should be held to clean up” ignores the fact that there are charges that can be laid under the N.B. highway traffic act for failure to properly secure a load, which in this case Mr. Carter admitted to, not just in this event, but in previous instances. There of course is also the issue of the claims of the interviewed witnesses of his repeated speeding with loaded trailers through the area where the accident occurred. Also, did Mr. Carter return to the scene of the accident to clean up the biohazardous material that he left behind?

      Your other comment “if he did this in a stretch where there were no cameras and no witnesses you’d never even know it happened” relates exactly to the ‘Ag Gag’ laws that have recently been enacted in several American states and some Canadian provinces (Alberta and Ontario). The purpose of these laws is to prevent the general public from gaining knowledge of the horrific practices and abuse that occur daily in factory farming operations and slaughterhouses (out of sight, out of mind). These laws make it a criminal offence for an employee or investigators from animal welfare organizations to expose the cruelty that occurs in these businesses. It’s interesting to note that these laws have already been struck down as unconstitutional in the states where they have been implemented and the same challenges to these laws that are already being worked on in Alberta and Ontario are expected to have the same results.

      There have also been laws enacted that make it illegal for citizens concerned with the terrible conditions in which animals are transported to slaughterhouses, often for many hours in packed conditions without water or food and in extreme temperatures, to attempt to ease their suffering. People have been charged simply for the act of kindness of offering water to these animals. The reasoning of course is that these animals are the property of the slaughterhouses or trucking companies (see the first paragraph). It is because of the terrible conditions endured by these animals in transit to the large, centralized slaughterhouses, that for people concerned with animal welfare, these smaller, localized abattoirs are preferable simply for the fact that their transport time will be much shorter and they won’t have to endure such prolonged, tortuous journeys to the places where they are subsequently killed. However, this recent accident and previous ones that Mr. Carter has admitted to, do tend to raise concerns about how well the animals might be cared for even in shorter journeys to local abattoirs.

      Anyone who is concerned about this issue should check out the organization Animal Justice ( It is comprised of a network of Canadian lawyers (and law students) who fight to improve animal protection legislation and work to overturn legislation such as the Ag Gag laws.

  5. Wrayton says:

    It’s amazing how much a you can learn from a dead cow.
    This makes it clear why town council is so eager to get this item off their agenda and into provincial jouristiction. So much easier to be “open for business” than deal with old fault lines and challenge traditional power. Our “new kind of small town” will have to wait. The omerta speaks volumes.

  6. Dan Moskaluk says:

    So people go to the grocery store and pick up the remains of that calf all packaged up, but they don’t want to witness how he and every other piece of dead animal flesh ended up on your plate? Sheer hypocrisy. It’s 2021, animal ag is killing us with chronic illnesses directly linked to the consumption of animal derived foods, bankrupting our health care system with preventable and in some cases reversible diseases, it’s destroying the planet, and all because you like the taste. Eating animals causes pandemics. #Veganuary.

  7. Jenna says:

    Horrifying. But this is also exactly what was waiting for the poor calf at his destination. He never should have been in that situation at all.

  8. Marika says:

    Anyone who is vegetarian/vegan/Hindu and lives by what they preach, I get it and respect it.

    Anyone who eats meat really should keep their mouth shut on this one, though. Here’s why: that cow was ultimately ending up on their plate one way or another. What difference does it make? Accidents happen, and it seems to me that the farmer dealt with the accident in a reasonable way, given the circumstances.

    What ELSE could he have done at that point OTHER than slaughter the animal and try to recover as much meat as possible?

    What would any of YOU have done, realistically?

    Please don’t tell me that you’d be calling a vet to have it put to sleep. That’s (a) more cruel because it would be suffering for quite a bit longer and (b) a waste of otherwise perfectly good meat, as the drugs used to do that would render the meat unfit for consumption.

    Causing it to bleed out, thus minimizing its suffering, and recovering the meat, was the only reasonable thing to do at that point.

    If you want to criticize him for driving too fast and having the accident in the first place, sure. Just keep in mind that it led to substantial economic loss to him: I doubt that he’s very happy about it either.

    Thus, my advice to meat-eaters who feel this way is to become vegan prior to having an opinion. Otherwise, I will view it as pure hypocrisy.

    • Wrayton says:

      “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
      – Gandhi

      You propose a false dichotomy where the value of life is insubstantial if that animal is to be harvested.

      The fact that all things living must die is no excuse for Mr. Carter’s apparent irresponsibility and neglect. His actions led to the horrible, premature, and painfully inhumane death of a calf.

      Contrary to your reasoning this will lead to no “substantial economic loss” to Mr. Carter, but only a reduction in potential profit; he has the meat after all, so the only suffering here was experienced by the calf.

      The real hypocrisy is your assertion that by eating meat I am forfeiting my right to be a moral being.

      • Marika says:

        Gandhi, as far as I know, was a vegetarian, and even wanted to be vegan. He lived by his principles.

        That’s not to say that his statement is an axiom: Hitler was a vegetarian, and was instrumental in passing animal protection laws in Germany. I trust that you will agree with me that Nazi Germany wasn’t the height moral progress.

        I don’t propose that the value of the animal’s life is insubstantial if it is to be harvested. For example, I believe that it shouldn’t be made to suffer needlessly. That would involve a quick dispatch (a) at slaughter time and (b) in the event of a serious injury. Which is what Mr. Carter did.

        A reduction in potential profit is a (potential) loss.

        Nor am I asserting that you can’t be a moral human being and eat meat. For what it’s worth, I eat meat. I’m suggesting that one can’t be against animals being slaughtered in general, and nonetheless eat meat. If an animal is to be slaughtered anyway, I don’t see the big difference between sooner and later, and if it’s injured, I would suggest that the sooner the better.

    • Wrayton says:


      a ) “Anyone who eats meat really should keep their mouth shut”

      b) “I eat meat.”

      Perhaps you shouldn’t recommend people “keep their mouth shut” if you are not willing to do it yourself.

    • Gerald says:

      A humane, sanitary and painless death before being processed for human-consumed meat is preferable to slitting a cow’s throat in the middle of the street after it flies out of a speeding unsecured trailer.

  9. Gerald says:

    The amount of adrenaline pumped into that calf before its untimely death makes it unfit for human consumption. He dressed it up for beef, according to the direct quote in this article. Bon Appétit !

    • Kata List Productions says:

      Eliminating meat eating is part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – also known as Agenda 2030 … personally I think that meat eating is something that falls into the category of ‘food liberty’ but the region appears to have a lot of paid NGOs and merchants of fear promoting ‘food security’ — it’s an interesting use of words and a very clever way to continue to gain control over one other aspect of our lives – food consumption, distribution, production. I would also like to point out that other animals eat ‘meat’ for their survival so if it were truly a bad idea for nutrition, perhaps you need to set up some ‘workshops’ to educate those animals.

  10. Marika says:

    I’m glad that he’s running.

    I’m pretty sure that he’s not the type of person that’s going to be encouraging further colonization of Sackville by the woke. We certainly have enough of THAT.

    He has my vote.

    • Respectfully, the woke says:

      This comment is ignorant and disgusting. Hopefully the majority of voter base does not share this sentiment. Grow up,

  11. Jane Heys says:

    It is all about personal choice. If people want to eat meat they will. If people choose not to that is their right also .

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