Employees of a Fraser Valley chicken catching company in the middle of a BC Supreme Court animal abuse case are again alleged to have been caught on undercover video harming animals.
In video alleged to have been taken on July 15, 2020 at an Abbotsford egg farm on Hungtingdon Road, employees are seen loading chickens into crates in ways described by a witness as “disturbing” and showing “sever animal cruelty.”
Employees are seen coming in and out of a barn carrying chickens – described by the witness as “spent egg-laying hens” – by the legs and tossing them into the cages.
According to an emailed statement with links to the video and others sent by Janice Soranno, “The witness who took the new video said, ‘the chickens were being flung into crates head-first, some were thrown in cages by their wings and many thrown in by one leg. I saw workers close the crate lids on the necks and limbs of these poor birds.'”
Soranno told Black Press that she did not take the video but is acting as a media liaison for the person who shot the footage who “is a private citizen of Abbotsford and wishes to remain anonymous.”
“The group is not a part of any specific organization or name at this time, and they wish to remain anonymous,” she wrote via email.
One worker in the video is seen wearing a vest with the word “Elite” on the back. Chilliwack Elite Farm Services Ltd., company owner Dwayne Paul Dueck, and Ontario-based Sofina Foods face a jury trial in the fall in connection with 2017 allegations of animal abuse after California-based animal rights activist group Mercy For Animals released undercover video from multiple Fraser Valley farms.
Incidents on the file make allegations of abuse at farms in Langley, Abbotsford, Lindell Beach, Aldergrove, Chilliwack and Surrey.
Elite, Dueck and Sofina were each charged with 38 counts under the Health of Animal Regulations in connection with the alleged abuse. The number of charges has been reduced, but after the incidents, employees were fired, the companies expressed dismay at the actions of those employees, and the BC Chicken Marketing Board expressed disgust at the practices seen in the video.
The three were scheduled in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster for a pre-trial conference in the case. They are next due in court on Sept. 28, 2020.
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