Animal Activists Jailed for Installing Cameras that Exposed Cruelty on Abbotsford Pig Farm
We are very saddened to learn the news that a pair of people responsible for exposing extreme animal cruelty on a local pig farm are being sentenced to jail for their effort. As Animal Justice lawyer Camille Labchuk so aptly puts it in the article below: “If Ms. Soranno and Mr. Schafer had been responsible for wings being ripped off of chickens, turkeys being beaten to death with shovels, or animals being left to suffer with untreated injuries, they likely would have received a far lighter sentence.” It’s a sad to see those exposing animal cruelty treated more harshly than those who do it.
A pair of animal rights protestors were sentenced to 30 days behind bars Wednesday for breaking into an Abbotsford pig farm and installing hidden cameras there to capture animal cruelty.
Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer were convicted on one count each of mischief and breaking and entering. In addition to the jail time, they will be on probation for 12 months and need to provide a DNA sample to the national database.
The pair are part of a group known as The Excelsior 4, which went into Excelsior Hog Farm in 2019. The footage from the hidden cameras revealed staff kicking piglets, shocking adults with electric prongs, pregnant sows giving birth in cages barely the size of their bodies, and several pigs with injuries and others with tumours.
Toronto-based law group Animal Justice said it’s shocked and disappointed that the activists who broke into the farm to expose the cruelty got a harsher punishment than the farm itself.
“Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer have been treated far more severely than nearly every Canadian farm that has been convicted of animal cruelty,” lawyer Camille Labchuk with Animal Justice said.
“If Ms. Soranno and Mr. Schafer had been responsible for wings being ripped off of chickens, turkeys being beaten to death with shovels, or animals being left to suffer with untreated injuries, they likely would have received a far lighter sentence.”
She added this is the first known Canadian case where animal activists have been jailed for non-violent civil disobedience.
“The Excelsior case has exposed serious problems with the lack of oversight on Canadian farms, the unwillingness of authorities to hold the farm industry accountable for serious animal cruelty, and the vastly different treatment of farms that inflict animal suffering, compared to advocates who attempt to shine a light on the suffering,” Labchuk said.
The other members of the Excelsior 4 were Geoff Regier and Roy Sasano. Regier had charges against him stayed in pre-trial. Sasano was acquitted.
From The Daily Hive, https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/animal-activists-jailed-cameras-pig-farm