Vancouver petting-zoo goats may have been slaughtered for meat

Retired pygmy goats that were once pets at the Stanley Park petting zoo appear to have been sold for their meat.

This has happened despite the specific requirements to treat them humanely, and allow them to live out their ‘natural’ life.

A variety of farm animals, Goats, sheep, cows, pigs, were adopted by hobby farms and private owners around Greater Vancouver when the children’s zoo in Stanley Park closed last year.

The owner of a hobby farm in Langley, B.C., Trevor French, adopted 17 goats and four sheep from Stanley Park in January, 2011.

At a news conference on Sunday, park board chairwoman Constance Barnes said “I was very distressed to learn of the alleged mistreatment of several goats and sheep adopted out to a local farm,” “I have also directed our city solicitor to take aggressive legal action” against French.

A local newspaper investigation, however, found records from the Fraser Valley Auction house which showed French brought in 15 pygmy or smaller goats last year for sale.

Auction house owner Ken Pearson said “all the wether (castrated) goats are meat for sure” because they wouldn’t have been bought as pets. He identified the goats as former petting-zoo animals from photographs.

The park board chairwoman Constance Barnes also said, that she vowed “to see this one through to the end” if it is proved the operator of the hobby farm broke the terms of the adoption agreement.

The agreement required park board or SPCA approval for almost all changes in the living conditions of the animals.

Dr Jones comments

That some people, such as ‘Trevor French’, shouldn’t be allowed to care for animals, let alone adopt them.

It was a very unjust, and completely wrong thing to do.

The petting zoo goats were adopted out to him in good faith, then when he falls on financial hard times he just dumps them.

Reminds me of individuals who just leave animals at a shelter.

Once again this shows our poor animal protection legislation, and how
some people, such as Mr French, need to be facing large fines.

Serious penalties, not just a slap on the wrist.

Plus it was such a crappy thing to do.

I hung out at the Stanley Park petting zoo with my children, and they loved to pet the goats.

These animals didn’t deserve to die this way.

Please leave your comments.

Dr Andrew J

33 thoughts on “Vancouver petting-zoo goats may have been slaughtered for meat”

  1. What a disturbing story! Petting goats act like dogs in many ways. People like French don’t respect the lives of animals and should not be allow to have them. Those goats should have been humanely put down in the worse case scenario. That picture was horrifying and over the top. 🙁

  2. This is absolutely horrifying that thousands of sick people have no tolerance for ANY animal and get pleasure out of abusing and/or beating them before they finally put them down… and for what??? Food??? They are sick to not see a loving creature for just what it is…. loving and trusting. I wonder how they treat their families if anyone would have them. I am sick over this as we have two animal shelters in NY that are euthanizing well animals by the hundreds, kittens, puppies, and others and the ovens are going doing visiting hours….OMG… help these poor little ones whom you created. … All the board members of two SPCA’s here have be fired and mind you, they never had a Vet on hand to humanely euthanize even ill animals and never cared for the ones who could be rehabilitated and given up for adoption. I am just sick over all this killing of poor, innocent and trusting animals that many would love to adopt if given the chance.

  3. Aww those poor animals. That is just terrible. All they wanted was to be taken care of and fed and have a place to live. I hope they do pursue legal action aggressivly against this person. It makes me so mad when i read stories like this. Who eats Goat meat anyhow?

  4. This is absolutely horrifying that thousands of sick people have no tolerance for ANY animal and get pleasure out of abusing and/or beating them before they finally put them down… and for what??? Food??? They are sick to not see a loving creature for just what it is…. loving and trusting. I wonder how they treat their families if anyone would have them. I am sick over this as we have two animal shelters in NY that are euthanizing well animals by the hundreds, kittens, puppies, and others and the ovens are going doing visiting hours….OMG… help these poor little ones whom you created. … All the board members of two SPCA’s here have been fired and mind you, they never had a Vet on hand to humanely euthanize even ill animals and never cared for the ones who could be rehabilitated and given up for adoption. I am just sick over all this killing of poor, innocent and trusting animals that many would love to adopt if given the chance.

  5. I am completely upset with this article. If people can do this to a sweet animal that gave love to so many children what can they do to human beings. There is a sex affenders list for humans, there should be an animal cruelity list for people such as this.

  6. This is awful and French should be severely punished and banned from keeping animals for life. As someone once said, ‘The more I see of people, the more I love my dog,’ (and other animals!)

  7. Bad juju for the people who own this place and bad PR which will it them where it hurts, in the money belt. The story needs to hit the local paper to drive down/out profits.

  8. It is just terrible how people abuse animals and have no regard for them and treat them like trash. It does not surprise me though, because money is always the culprit in many of these sad and disturbing cases. If he could not keep them due to financial hardship I am sure that one of the zoos in Canada or the United States would have found room for them. Animal abuse is never a good thing and it makes me angry that so many treat their animals like trash. He should be prosecuted for this deed.

  9. The point is that NO animals deserve to die this way!

    “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be determined by the ways it treats it’s animals.” Mahatma Gandhi

    It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.
    —Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

    I can’t kill an animal because it’s smaller, weaker, or less intelligent than I am anymore than I can kill a child for the same reasons.

    I’m still vegan because I believe that my actions have meaning. I’m still vegan because I believe an animal has the right to live without being the ABUSED property of another. I’m still vegan because peace, justice, and equality cannot exist in a world that slaughters billions of fully sentient creatures WHILE IGNORING THEIR DAILY PAIN AND SUFFERING for the trivial reason that they taste good.

  10. I don’t agree with what he did by selling the goats to an auction house if in fact he could have given them back to the SPCA. However, after personally witnessing two farms where the owners fell on hardship and left the horses to starve, what Mr. French kept his goats from starving by selling them. There is nothing in the world worse than seeing animals starve because their owner can’t feed them yet chooses not to sell them or give them away. What Mr. French did wasn’t the best choice, but it could have been so much worse for these beautiful animals. Lastly, the picture at the top of this post is disgusting, and should not have been used as it does not honor the animals at all. Posting it is as tasteless as what happened to the goats.

  11. Okay, I love animals, goats are very intelligent, but face it, people eat goats. In certain parts of the world, such as Greece and the Middle East, that’s pretty normal. I don’t eat any animals, personally, but I don’t expect everyone else to become vegetarian.

    However, if you eat meat, are you buying free range or cage free animals? Because if what happened to these goats makes you sick, you should read about how the animals that you’re eating from the grocery store are raised (and slaughtered). That is truly sick.

    Or if you drink milk or eat cheese, is it from conventional farms? Because those animals are abused, too.

    Recently someone told me to go to a Halal butcher because Muslims will not eat animals that have been improperly raised or fed hormones or antibiotics. Their meat is all grass fed or pasture raised. That is where I have been buying meat for my dogs, and I think the quality is better than the organic meat shop I used to go to.

    I am very impressed that the Muslim religion puts a high value on the treatment of animals.

  12. Yes, it is sickening but I don’t see how anyone who eats meat can be so horrified. Why is ok to tolerate the abuse and killing of any animals. Animals are mistreated and killed everyday in farms and slaughternouses, yet because people,”can’t do without their meat….they LOVE the taste,” so compassion takes a back seat. To quote K.D Lang,”We all love animals. Why do we call some “pets” and others “dinner?”

  13. I found this article very disturbing, as I used to pet those goats at Stanley Park. One even ate my shoe laces! lol I feel aggressive action should be taken against French, as he didn’t honour the adoption agreement. These poor creatures were to live out the remainder of their lives in a peaceful setting, not slaughtered. French is a piece of garbage.

  14. Yes, well it is time the public understands the “not so rosy world” of animal adoption. There are thousands of people like Mr. French – they display a great idylic picture of the oh so wonderful life for these animals in the country!!!
    If the Vanc. Parks board would have done more research ( much will it cost to feed all of these animals!!!And the vet bills- these were all aging and older animals!!)I was involved in animal adoption, maily dogs, for 20 years. I would have been VERY suspicous to anyone in the Fraser Valley or Lower Mainland on 5 acres (which is really not much land for 17 animals on top of what this guy already had)to adopt this many animals. The feed cost every month would be astronomical. He would have had to buy hay – which was at a premium last year. But its the old story – city people with a rosy, uninformed picture of idyllic country life. It was an easy fix for the City of Vancouver – the animals out of sight. The whole thing could so easily have been avoided had they done a proper check on this Mr. French – i.e. how does he make a living? I hate to think how many times these poor animals had to be pregnant before he took them for slaughter. The goats currently not identified as from the petting zoo – may be they are offsprings from those goats. And the sheep having died and been burried!! I do hope someone is going to start digging on that farm and look for thise bodies. Here is a great link on the subjects – seeing he sold organic meet- HALLO!! – and by the way – there a thousands of animals being slaughtered every day in the most horrific conditions right here in this country. And by the way – I have been vegan for 10 years. Just look at this link on more background on the whole goat/French story
    Not everything is written up in the major newspapers.

  15. Marilyn,you say you are very impressed with the high value muslims put on animals ,are you aware of how they kill them?the halal way?they cut the animals throat -say a prayer over them and leave them to die a slow agonising -death in their own blood,have you seen the footage of the live export to the middle east of the Australian cattle and sheep?I’m Australian ,and most Australians resent how our government have allowed this cruelty to -our animals in the name of religion,please don’t buy halal meat,stunning of the animals might give them a quicker and less painful a death,it is all so horrific.This man should have returned the goats if he couldn’t look after them -so sad.

  16. The park board chairwoman Constance Barnes is responsible for following up with the purchasers of these animals. If the agreement is that they are kept as pets, someone has to follow up. They know people that buy animals at auctions are not likely to care about the animals well-being. And if he bought 17 goats it would seem obvious that he would be up to no good and had plans to slaughter them. otherwise why so many!! nobody has 17 pet goats.
    I think it is a terrible thing that happened but I also think the Park board should have done its due diligence to protect these animals.

  17. This is a very sad situation but is this what
    happened, have they the proof yet, when that is
    posted then I will have more to say…

  18. As usual it’s all about convenience and MONEY the Parks board should be made to come clean about why these animals were given to Mr French, were other offers made to take the animals, I think an OPEN & complete investigation should be done and the Parks Boards feet should be held to the fire until we know the full story. No more of their usual baffle gab, maybe we need more responsible people on that board.

  19. Disgusting!

    When is this cruelty to animals going to stop?

    The best we can do is to sign petitions and spread the horrors that animals are being subjected to in the name of “food”.

    Here is a link to World Meat consumption

    No wonder so many animals are suffering. Can we change this? I think so.

  20. What is going on in this world?
    Do Animals have no right? In my Book the have more love to give than Humans and just because the love you and trust people,so the can do what the want with this poor Animals!
    The have the same wright to live a good Live,like us!
    And the suffer the same Pain like us.
    Please stop this cruelety
    Let’s love our 4-legged!!!!!!!
    Sincerely Roswitha!

  21. I agree that this story is sad but like a few other people mentioned above, the average slaughtered animal that people eat with almost every meal of the day, are treated astronomically worse. While at no point do I condone slaughtering animals, at least the goats from Stanley park had many years of being loved and cared for before meeting a fait so many before have met without any recognition or concern. Why is it that only a handful of animals that were slaughtered should be investigated? Because people got to know them? I realize I’m ranting but did anyone feel sick about the animals going through legalized slaughter houses before knowing some of them had been loved first?

  22. I don’t understand what is going on in this sick world. It is every day that we heard about animals being abused and mistreated: pigs living in tiny stalls waiting for death, turkeys abused and beaten, sled dogs shot, now this! What is happening to people?

  23. Well….this is even more evidence that the human race really does STINK!!!!!!It appears at this point that there are fewer good people than bad and there’s nothing we can do to stop the cruelty in this world at so many levels. I feel sad and helpless. Perhaps a Higher Power has to get more involved here. Where are YOU??????

  24. I have to say, the article above doesn’t tell much, and all you people jumping maliciously on the same band wagon – “let’s blame the park people, let’s blame this man who had a hobby farm, wallowing in self accredited disgust – without having any facts, are depressing and disappointing to me. Maybe the park people didn’t do their job well, people make mistakes, but I think we all know, they wanted the animals cared for and presumably did their best to make that so. I’m sure they were distraught to be closing the petting zoo at all. Furthermore, let me remind you that people’s circumstances can change drastically and dramatically. I want to remind you that people do the things they do for a reason, and there is no way, that any of you are going to be privy to all the facts about an event or situation, before it is investigated, to be making judgements on others and “throwing stones”-nor should you expect to be! Long time ago, I knew people who were faced with a child being diagnosed with cancer, they had to give up their farm animals, and the suffering they went through, not just their own troubles, but the troubles foisted on them from what I call the “self annointed” that crawl out of the woodwork from all over to offer their criticisms and opinions about what should or shouldn’t have been done when, based solely on what they IMAGINE….they often say things like “I can’t imagine why _____would do this or that”. It only proves you can’t know, and the louder you bleat about it, most likely the least is your imagination.

    In the article, you have the park woman threatening without knowing whether the contract was broken or not. This article, doesn’t say there were any beatings or bashings, she mentions having “heard” there were mistreatments. You take the word of the Auctioneer, both about whether the goats were from the park or not, and you take “his opinion” that they were most likely bought for meat as being the word of god, and then criticise about the pallatability of goat meat. Being small goats, and if they were indeed older, likely not bought for meat. Certainly, if the auctioneer wanted the most money for them, he would have sold them to people wanting them for ornamentation, or to prove how annointed they are by rescuing famous goats, it might be in his interest to advertise the fact they were from Stanley Park. One of my favourite places in Coombs on Vancouver Island, is known for it’s happy looking goats that eat grass on it’s roof.

  25. Yes, people have their own troubles…..but guess what……they have the power to think and to do some problem-solving. The real problem lies in their only being able to think of themselves.

  26. HSAME ON french selling the goats like that, who eats goat meat ??? French should get maxium punishment!!!!! those poor trusting animals 🙁 what a sad comemtary of how people have become killing animals that are ment to be pets we as a nation have really come down a sad barbaric path!!!!!

  27. that is just disgusting and that is not right when you take a dog or cat or any anamal home you are giveing that anamal home you do not go out and kill it i do not say the people at stanley park are at fault anyway it was the people who bought them i find them at falut

  28. Regardless of fault or circumstances, the people involved in this sad case must be made to take responsibility, as this seems to have been nothing less than murder. I agree that we can’t jump to conclusions though, with what we know so far. I only hope & pray that the truth will be discovered, and what goes around comes around! I am not a vegan, but i do not eat animals (since 1986) as I feel they have inherent value and many live by far more humane standards than people do( I wish my cats did not have to eat meat to be healthy!) These animsls sure don’t deserve to be neglected, abused, and killed. Hopefully justice will prevail.

  29. How dare they! They need to be stopped immediately. You know it makes me feel like killing the kind of persons who not only do such a thing but the ones whom allow them to get away with it! Damn them for that.

    Maybe to send out some gangbangers to devour and destroy would be the utmost of the righteousness. I hate those kind of people enough to torture them and then kill them while praying for their descent into Hell!

  30. Hi Valda,

    it’s a really difficult issue, I agree. I take what you wrote very seriously, and I did some research. Here is a webpage explaining the method and comparing it to typical slaughtering methods. Awful, all of them, I know, but unfortunately, dogs must eat meat. If I didn’t have dogs, I wouldn’t buy any meat at all, but I love my dogs so much, and I don’t think I could ever be without dogs. So many dogs need homes, so I couldn’t live any other way. I think in any slaughterhouse terrible things can happen, but according to the Halal way of doing it, the animal is not supposed to suffer, so I’m just going to have to hope for the best. They’ve promised me that the animals are all grass fed or pasture raised, so they’ve had natural lives, which is far better than the factory farmed animals that I’ve seen in pictures.


  31. As someone who knows French personally, I can assure you he did NOT fall on hard times. He deliberately adopted those animals with no intention of ever keeping them. In order to maintain a “farm status” and keep your property taxes low, you need to have a certain amount of livestock per acre and show that you have sold some (either for profit or not). Getting rid of these animals was a quick and easy way to maintain farm status for another year. French changed his story quite a few times in the media…first the goats were mean (really??? petting zoo goats?), then he was going through a ‘sudden divorce and had to sell his farm…another lie. His wife left him over two years before he adopted the goats (due to his on-going infidelity)…French has more than enough money to feed and care for those goats…and more than enough money to settle with his wife and keep his farm (which he has done at the time I write this).

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