Elite Farm Services workers seen throwing chickens at a Chilliwack farm in undercover video filmed by Mercy for Animals. (Submitted)

1 year later, still no charges in B.C. chicken abuse case

Vancouver Humane Society calls on Attorney General to take action

The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is not happy it’s been nearly a year since the release of video showing violent abuse of chickens on a Chilliwack farm and yet no one has been charged.

“There would no doubt be considerable public outrage if the alleged perpetrators of these extreme acts of cruelty were not brought to justice,” VHS executive director Debra Probert said in a May 28 letter to B.C. Attorney General David Eby.

The video in question shot at an Elite Farm Services operation in Chilliwack and showed chickens being kicked, stomped on, sexually abused and having their limbs torn off.

In the wake of the undercover footage filmed by an employee working for Mercy for Animals, five employees and one supervisor of the local farm labour company involved were fired, according to the company’s president.

“We are sickened with the footage and want to ensure all our suppliers and producers that this is not reflective of who we are, our fundamental beliefs or behaviour we accept from our employees,” said Dwayne Dueck of Elite Farm Services in a statement issued in June 2017.

The BC Chicken Marketing Board, too, expressed disgust at the practices seen in the video.

“This is beyond anything that any normal person would conceive of to be normal behaviour,” executive director Bill Vanderspek told Black Press in an interview nearly a year ago. “I was just disgusted.”

• READ MORE: B.C. chicken farmers respond to videos of violent abuse of birds at Chilliwack farms

Given the long delay, the VHS is calling on Eby to ensure those responsible for the animal cruelty are brought to justice.

The B.C. SPCA has produced a report for Crown Counsel recommending animal cruelty charges, but no charges have been laid, according to the VHS.

“We are concerned at this undue delay and any potential impact it might have on a successful prosecution proceeding,” Probert said in her letter to Eby. “

The letter calls on the Attorney General to “take whatever action is necessary to expedite Crown Counsel’s work on this case.”

• READ MORE: Chicken catchers to wear body cameras following abuse video


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paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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