Abbotsford – Last week, representatives of the BC Pork Producers Association (BCPPA)responded to concerns regarding animal care brought to the organization’s attention by a Vancouver TV station.
A video was provided to the news agency by an animal rights organization (PETA). Animal rights activists allege the video was taken at an Abbotsford-area pig farm (Excelsior Hog Farm on Harris Road ).“The video was taken by a trespasser at night, it has been edited and lacks context and understanding, but some of the scenes are of concern,” says Chad Goertzen, director of the BC Pork Producers Association. “As soon as we saw the video, BC Pork arranged for a swine veterinarian to visit the farm to ensure national standards were continuing to be met.”
FVN learned that around 6AM on Sunday Morning, a number of buses showed up at the farm, preparing for a protest. While the group “Meat The Victims” claims there were 200 that showed up, some pictures on social media suggest that number was half.
By early afternoon APD Sgt.(and communications Officer) Judy Bird told media that there was one arrest, some 60+ protesters were escorted off the property. The Protesters wanted media to take a look around, chaperoned by the property owner, which took place. Bird says an investigation continues. Possible charges include alleged mischief, break-and-enter and trespassing .
The B.C. SPCA said it is assisting the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) with an investigation into the farm and of the video.
The CFIA has not yet confirmed it is conducting an investigation
One of the organizers with Meat The Victims is Amy Soranno, who on Instagram bills herself as a Vegan and Animal Liberation Activist from Kelowna.
Here is part of their statement:
At 6:00am today, a group of 65 concerned citizens peacefully entered Excelsior hog farm, in Abbotsford BC, as well as another 135 individuals who are gathered outside of the property in support.
“We have come together from all over North America in response to an investigation that was recently released from this farm. We are speaking out against the cruelty of the animal agriculture industry, and to stand in solidarity for the animals.”
“The aim of this action is to expose the reality of what is happening to the victims of the ‘meat’ industry and to challenge the current mindset within our society. The truth is being hidden from the public and we believe that people are making choices that go against their values. Most people are against animal cruelty and would not want to support this industry if they knew what was truly happening. The public has a right to know.”“These industries perpetuate the ‘humane myth’ with labels such as ‘local,’ ‘free range’, ‘grass fed’, ‘organic’, and ‘cage free’ – all terms which are used to deceive and mislead the public into believing that animals are ‘humanely raised and humanely killed’. We are here to show that this is simply not the case. We are forcing transparency in an industry that relies on secrecy.”
“The needless violence inflicted upon these animals needs to stop. This facility is not unique in their horrendous treatment of animals. This is a standard representation of factory farming here in Canada. This action is not about this one facility, or a call for better animal welfare standards, but rather a call to end the inherently violent animal agriculture industry entirely.”Our message is simple; “animals are here with us, not for us”.
“Today we are taking a stand to speak up for animals, and we are showing the public the victims of their food choices. We are demanding justice, respect and equality for ALL animals, and we will continue to do so until the message of Animal Liberation is heard loud and clear and the animal exploitation industry is permanently shut down.”