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Lawsuit dropped against hog barn owners

Glen Hallick
In the recent photo there is still some activity at a Notre Dame area hog barn who's owners are facing numerous charges regarding animal cruelty. However a lawsuit against them has been dropped by the Plainview Hutterite Colony.

In the recent photo there is still some activity at a Notre Dame area hog barn who's owners are facing numerous charges regarding animal cruelty. However a lawsuit against them has been dropped by the Plainview Hutterite Colony.

There is a new twist regarding a Notre Dame de Lourdes-area hog barn at the center of over 20 charges pertaining to animal cruelty.

A spokesperson for the Plainview Hutterite Colony said the colony is dropping its lawsuit against the barn's owners Martin and Delores Grenier.

The spokesperson, who asked not to be indentified, told the Valley Leader of the move.

"Now that [the Greniers] are being charged hopefully our insurance company will try to do something for us," the spokesperson of the Elkhorn-area colony said.

On June 18 Manitou RCMP, while acting on a complaint, entered the Grenier's hog barn located southwest of Notre Dame. Of the well over 2,000 hogs in the barn about 500 were dead with many more of the animals in very poor condition. The Office of the Chief Veterinarian Officer was called in and an investigation was launched.

Five days after the discovery the barn burned down and a second investigation was started, this one by the Office of the Fire Commissioner. Damages were estimated to be $1.5 million.

At the time a spokesperson for the Chief Veterinary Officer said the part of their investigation inside the barn was completed before for the fire.

More recently the Fire Commissioner's office said the findings of its investigation have been turned over the RCMP.

The initial investigation resulted in 23 charges being laid against the Greniers, including:

- Failing to provide an adequate source of food and water

- Inflicting serious harm or injury upon an animal

- Confinement without adequate ventilation

- Not providing adequate medical attention

- Keeping or confining an animal in a facility in a state of disrepair likely to injure the animal

- Failing to provide eight hours of light per day

- Failing to maintain the ventilation, water delivery, and food delivery systems

- Failing to consult a veterinarian when experiencing high mortality.

Then earlier this month the Winnipeg Sun reported the Greniers were being sued by the hogs' owners - the Plainview Hutterite Colony. The suit included the market loss of 2,209 animals, plus costs regarding feed, the barn clean up, moving the remaining hogs, euthanizing those in poor health and the disposal of the dead animals.

Calling it "a heck of a loss," the colony spokesperson indicated the amount of the lawsuit was at least $400,000 and more if all the associated costs were to be factored in.

The Greniers are scheduled to appear in court Dec. 16 on the animal cruelty charges.

Each of the charges carries maximum penalties of a $10,000 fine and/or six months in jail.

(with files from QMI Agency)


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