British Columbia·Video

B.C. SPCA investigating after 'troubling' video of an Abbotsford pig farm

The B.C. SPCA is investigating after video from an animal rights organization was released depicting 'troubling' footage of the treatment of pigs at an Abbotsford farm.

WARNING: Story and video contain graphic content

A video released by PETA is alleged to show footage from an Abbotsford pig farm depicting pigs and piglets living in confined spaces and suffering from a number of health issues. (PETA)

The B.C. SPCA is investigating after video from an animal rights organization was released depicting 'troubling' footage of the treatment of pigs at an Abbotsford farm.

"Obviously, it's hard not to have an emotional response when you first view it," said Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer at the B.C. SPCA.

The video in question, released by PETA,, appears to show female pigs and their piglets living in confined gestation crates, along with the bodies of some deceased pigs in varying degrees of decomposition.

Many of the pigs appear to be suffering from a number of health issues including large hernias, respiratory distress and limb lameness, as well as cleanliness issues, according to the B.C. SPCA.

WARNING: the following video contains graphic footage

Video submitted to PETA allegedly shows the poor conditions female pigs and their piglets are kept in. 1:41

"There was a lot of troubling images on the video from an enforcement perspective," said Moriarty.

She says the B.C. SPCA will investigate both Excelsior Hog Farm, as well as the validity of the video.

She says if sufficient evidence is uncovered to support a violation, a charge recommendation will be made to Crown counsel. 

Video released by PETA

Dan Paden, Peta's vice president of evidence analysis says the video was sent to them in early April 2019 by a source who asked to remain anonymous.

After conducting its own investigation into the video, he says PETA is confident the footage is from the farm in question.

The crates the female pigs are confined to are called gestation crates and are legal in B.C., however, he says ,the industry has pledged to phase them out by the end of 2024.

"They're locked in these very restrictive crates where the mothers cannot turn around," 

Paden says, while in the crates, the pigs can't engage in any of their natural behaviours.

"They really can do nothing but sit and stare at a cinder block wall in front of them for four to six weeks until their piglets are taken away and they are put back through the process all over again," said Paden.

The B.C. SPCA says it will investigate the farm, as well as the validity of the video. (PETA)

Video 'lacks context'

Excelsior Hog Farm is partially owned by Ray Binnendyk, who is on the board of directors of the B.C. Pork Producers Association.

CBC News has tried to contact Binnendyk for comment but has yet to hear back.

Chad Goertzen, director with the B.C. Pork Producers Association, said he had questions about the video.

"My reaction is one of shock and disappointment that someone would be sneaking onto a farm to take video of something that is out of context," he said. "We don't know when the film was taken, why the animals were there — there's no explanation for it.

"We've contacted a local veterinarian and swine expert and he's going into the barn to check and report back to B.C. Pork," said Goertzen.