Abbotsford – OCTOBER 18 UPDATE – Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer have been granted bail pending appeal, which defers their jail sentences for the time being. Their application to stay a DNA order for the National Database, was struck down.
The Abbotsford News reported that on the day of the protest, about 50 people made their way onto the property and broke into a pig barn. The other 150 lined the road in front of the property.
AbbyPD were called, but the group refused to vacate the property until a media tour was allowed.
A date for the appeal hearing has not yet been set.
OCTOBER 12 UPDATE – Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer will serve 30 days, for their roles in the 2019 occupation of the Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford.
Both will have an additional 12 months probation. They will be required to provide DNA to the national database.
Both have stated on social media that they will appeal.
Their actions were part of the groups plans to expose what they called, cruelty to the farm animals on site.
In July 2022, FVN reached out to Excelsior 4 on social media for their comment. In a prepared media statement:
On Saturday, a jury convicted two animal activists—Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer—of break-and-enter and criminal mischief for their role in exposing animal cruelty at Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford, BC in April 2019. The jury acquitted a third activist, Roy Sasano, of his single mischief charge. A fourth activist, Geoff Regier, had his charges dropped in May, after a pretrial hearing. Together, the four activists have been dubbed the Excelsior 4.
While Soranno and Schafer have vowed to appeal their convictions, BC Supreme Court Justice Frits Verhoeven is expected to schedule their sentencing hearing in the coming days.
The trial, which was expected to last four weeks, was shortened to two weeks as a result of court rulings that significantly curtailed the activists’ defence. In the first week of trial, Justice Verhoeven effectively blocked them from showing the jury any video footage of animal cruelty at Excelsior, including the footage the activists were being tried for exposing. The judge also prevented them from arguing that the hog farm had engaged in unlawful animal abuse, which foreclosing on testimony from expert witnesses the defence had intended to call to the stand.
AUGUST 26 ORIGINAL STORY – August 26 was the date for the sentencing hearing for the Two Excelsior 4 Activists Convicted of Break-and-Enter, Mischief for Exposing Animal Cruelty at Excelsior Hog Farm in 2019.
The proceedings went for a day without the final word on time to be served. FVN has learned that Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer are scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday October 12, 2022 at the Abbotsford Courthouse.
Two others had charges dropped.
Originally sentencing was expected on July 12.
On July 9, Nick Shafer and Amy Soranno were convicted of break-and-enter and mischief.