The BC SPCA says it will not be recommending charges against an Abbotsford hog farm that was the subject of a protest last month.
The protest followed the release of a video that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said was shot at the Excelsior Hog Farm on Harris Road.
PETA claimed the footage was provided to the organization by an anonymous person and that it depicted corpses of dead piglets among live animals, several animals with visual injuries or medical ailments, and adult pigs living in tight conditions.
But Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer with the BC SPCA, said Wednesday that the video presented is “not sufficient evidence” to support the recommendation of charges to Crown counsel.
“The individual who took the video has not come forward, and that is essential, from a legal perspective, in order to investigate further into the video and whether there was any breach of legislation,” she said.
Moriarty said the investigation into the video is now closed.
She said the BC SPCA also conducted a physical inspection of the hog farm, and found no evidence to support charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The video, released April 24, was followed by a protest at the farm on April 30 by the group Meat the Victims.
About 60 activists entered the property, and another 100 or so protested on Harris Road.
Abbotsford Police attended, and one person was arrested, but has not yet been formally charged, said Sgt. Judy Bird on Wednesday. She said the matter is still being investigated.
Excelsior Hog Farm reported to police on March 23 that they had discovered two hidden cameras inside a barn and one on the outside. They had not been placed there by anyone living on the family-run farm.
The farm’s veterinarian, Josh Waddington, said at the time of the protest that he believed some of the video footage was recorded in a special-care section of the farm where animals under observation and treatment for medical conditions.
– with files from Ben Lypka and Tyler Olsen