The Excelsior 4 on Trial
Four local Vancouver animal activists are facing a trial in BC Supreme Court for documenting the abuse of pigs on Excelsior Farm in Abbotsford, BC. The farm in question faces no charges.
What is this all about?
In 2019 a video was released by PETA of hidden camera footage showing the condition and treatment of pigs inside Excelsior farms. The video showed:
- mother pigs confined in farrowing crates
- dead and dying piglets
- growing pigs in cramped and dirty conditions in cages
- pigs with untreated medical conditions such as hernias, cuts, and growths
- pigs unable to walk
- dead pigs left to rot among other pigs
The owner of the farm is also a director of the BC Pork Producers Association.
The video footage
The video is hard to watch, even at less than 2 minutes. Do not watch it if non-graphic footage of suffering animals is distressing to you.
After reviewing the raw footage, the BC SPCA did not recommend charges against the farm because the footage was shot anonymously and could not be authenticated. While abhorent, and because there is almost no legal protection for farmed animals in this country, almost no laws had been broken.
"Meat the Victims" protest
Shortly after the footage was released, a large protest was held at the farm. During the protest 50 activists entered the farm and occupied a gestation crate area. They witnessed a number of suffering and dying pigs.
Who faces charges?
The farm was never charged with anything, but four of the activists have been charged with 21 counts related to the protest and the hidden camera footage.
Here is their statement, in their own words:
An effort to change the laws
After the release of the undercover footage and the ensuing protest, BC MLAs have made efforts to change the laws in the province to increase penalties for trespassing on farms. This is essentially an effort to further criminalize the exposure of animal cruelty. No efforts have been made to introduce laws to protect the animals on farms.
Animal activists on trial
These four activists will be tried in BC Supreme court in spring of 2022. They plan to use the trial as an opportunity to expose the regular and everyday animal abuse that happens on farms.
If you are able, please consider contributing to their legal fees fundraiser. Their team of lawyers is offering their services at greatly reduced cost, but there are still fees to cover.