Two #Excelsior4 Activists Convicted, One Acquitted

Following a three-week trial, two of the #Excelsior4 activists, Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer, were found guilty of break and enter and mischief, while the third remaining individual of the #Excelsior4 group, Roy Sasano, was acquitted on a single mischief charge. (See earlier stories: Issue 11, Litigation Updates; Issue 12, Litigation Updates; Issue 16, Spotlights, Litigation Updates; Issue 19, Spotlights, Litigation Updates). A distressing video of a large pig corpse and dead piglets released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ignited the 2019 protest at a Fraser Valley Pig Farm in British Columbia. PETA stated that the video was provided anonymously and was reportedly filmed at Excelsior hog farm. The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which currently investigates and enforces cases of animal cruelty, did not recommend charges against the Abbotsford farm operators, stating that they could not reach any legal conclusions that an offence occurred, even though what was depicted raised concerns. The jury deliberated for ten hours. After the verdict was issued, Sorrano and the lawyer who represented Nick Schafer, Bibhas Vaze, raised the issue of possible jury bias in favour of the prosecution and farm. Read the #Excelsior4 statement here and read more here. A written version of the judgment is not yet available. The sentencing date has been set for August 26th 2022. There are no mandatory minimum sentences for either offence, both of which carry the possibility of jail time. Soranno stated that she and Schafer are discussing the possibility of appeal with their lawyers.