About one month ago, PETA shared a leaked video that went viral and it showed pigs living in horrifying conditions inside of a pig farm in Abbotsford, BC. Following the video, an investigation was launched. Although a terrible sight to see, the BC SPCA will not press criminal charges against Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford.
This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers. This article includes descriptions of animal abuse.
The terrifying video was taken by an unknown source inside Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford. In the video, you can see dead pigs lying on the ground, mother pigs trapped in small cages, and large pigs with growths on their bodies.
Following the video leak, protests were held at the farm, during which around 200 people arrived and around 50 entered the barn.
Since the video was released by PETA, the BC SPCA began an investigation. According to CBC, the BC SPCA has stated that it will not be pursuing criminal charges against the farm because it cannot verify the troubling video footage.
BC SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk told CBC that whoever shot the video had not come forward to provide a statement. Evidence was essential in the case and without it, there is not sufficient enough legal evidence to support recommending charges of distress.
Chortyk told CBC that before a charge could be considered, the integrity of the video would need to be confirmed – this would include confirming the location of the video, as well as having a vet determine if the footage met the definition of “distress.”
Narcity spoke with PETA vice president, Dan Paden, on this. While he was disappointed to hear about BC SPCA not pressuring charges, he said he understands.
"We understand that if the eye witness is not willing to verify the video and ultimately testify if needed, then the SPCA’s hands are tied in terms of charges,” said Paden.
“That being said if one person stopped eating pigs after seeing that video, that helped more pigs then low-level civil charges could ever.”
About a month ago, the BC Pork Producers Association (BCPPA) made a statement saying that the video “lacks context and understanding.” They were quick to follow by saying that “some of the scenes are concerning.”
Excelsior Hog Farm sends their pigs to a number of companies including Johnston’s - which is a Chilliwack-based slaughterhouse. Johnston’s claims to be working alongside suppliers that raise pigs under “a clear standard of care according to best treatment practices.” They then sell their product to realtors across BC including Choices Markets.
Click here to watch the full video that PETA released.