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CRIMES OF COMPASSION: Two British Columbia animal rights activists convicted for roles in factory farm protest

Protesters occupy a barn at Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford, B.C., on Sunday April 28, 2019. Approximately 50 people gathered inside a barn and another 135 individuals protested on the rural road outside the farm after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a video last week that it says shows dead piglets as well as fully grown pigs with growths and lacerations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Speaking outside of court where dozens of supporters had gathered, Soranno and Schafer both said whatever sentence the judge hands down will 'pale in comparison' to the suffering endured by the animals.

LISA STEACY: Two animal rights activists have been found guilty of break-and-enter and mischief in connection with their actions at a protest at a Fraser Valley pig farm in 2019. Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer were both convicted of the two criminal charges they were facing. A third, Roy Sasano, was acquitted on a single mischief charge.

The 2019 protest was sparked by the release of a disturbing video by animal rights group PETA. The video showed dead piglets as well as the corpse of a larger pig. Some pigs in the video appeared to have growths, and one seemed to have trouble standing. PETA said the video had been provided anonymously and alleged it had been filmed at Excelsior hog farm.

Speaking outside of court in Abbotsford Saturday where dozens of supporters had gathered, Soranno and Schafer both said whatever sentence the judge hands down will “pale in comparison” to the suffering endured by the animals. “The verdict is unfortunate but I am grateful that a vast amount of people have got to see what happens in farms like Excelsior.” Schafer added.

Soranno also repeated the demands for change that the activists have made throughout the trial, including making CCTV cameras mandatory at all farms and slaughterhouses in the province, and shifting the responsibility for animal cruelty investigations to a government agency.

The BC SPCA, which currently investigates and enforces animal cruelty cases, did not end up recommending charges against the operators of the Abbotsford farm. The organization said that while what was depicted raised concerns, they could not come to any legal conclusions that an offence had taken place…

A date for sentencing will be set… There are no mandatory minimum sentences for either offence, but both do carry the possibility of jail time. Soranno said they have not ruled out the possibility of appealing. SOURCE…

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