Animal rights activists sentenced to time in jail for 2019 protest at B.C. hog farm
Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer plan to appeal their convictions and sentence
Two animal rights activists have been sentenced to 30 days in jail and one year's probation for their actions at a protest at a Fraser Valley hog farm more than three years ago.
Earlier this summer, Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer were convicted of one count of break-and-enter and mischief after members of the Meat the Victims animal rights group entered Abbotsford's Excelsior Hog Farm in April of 2019 and staged a sit-in.
The protest, in response to video allegedly showing the living conditions of the animals at the farm, sparked an investigation by the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Soranno and Schafer are set to begin their sentences on Oct. 21 at the Okanagan Corrections Centre.
Two others were also arrested at the 2019 protest. Charges against Jeff Rigear were dropped after a pretrial hearing in May, and Roy Sasano was acquitted at trial.
The group, dubbed the Excelsior 4, says Soranno and Schafer will appeal their convictions and sentence. Lawyers for the pair will also file an application for bail pending appeal. If the application is granted, Soranno and Schafer may have their sentence deferred until after their appeal is heard.
Video released by PETA in 2019 showed female pigs and their piglets living in confined gestation crates alongside the bodies of deceased pigs in varying stages of decomposition.
PETA said it received the video anonymously.
The B.C. SPCA called the video "troubling" but did not end up pursuing charges against Excelsior because it said it was unable to determine the source or veracity of the footage.
In a statement, Sasano said the conviction of Soranno and Schafer is an example of misplaced priorities.
"The Crown is more interested in criminalizing and jailing nonviolent activists than holding animal abusers accountable," Sasano said in a statement issued Wednesday.
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