Back in April animal advocates released hidden camera footage from Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford revealing sick, dead, and dying pigs. Some pigs can be seen to have abnormal growths and mobility issues. As this footage was released anonymously and without timestamps or indications as to the location being filmed, the BC SPCA was not able to bring charges forward, despite the video evidence suggesting a high level of suffering along with unsuitable conditions and improper monitoring for illness and injury.
Less than a week after the video’s release, dozens of animal advocates ventured to Excelsior to stage an occupation of the property, Canada’s first #MeatTheVictims event. Locked in with the pigs, the advocates began broadcasting and posting to social media, with live video and photos inundating Facebook and Twitter timelines. During the day of the occupation, friends of the farm came to show their support while several media outlets were eventually brought through the farm by the owners for a tour. One activist was arrested for break and enter as well as mischief. Many farmers and individuals spoke out against the animal advocates and defended the farm and the family who owns and operates it (the patriarch also happens to be a board member of BC Pork).
Now, months later, a second hidden camera video was released (and since removed from YouTube). This video showed
the owners of the farm kicking and mishandling pigs, castrating piglets without pain management, as well as showing pigs being shocked on their faces with electric prods. The person behind the camera has since come forward to the BC SPCA, who have re-opened the cruelty case against Excelsior.
It’s important to remember the “friends of the farm,” and many of those who have defended Excelsior, have ties to the animal agriculture industry. What you or I see as inhumane may be considered standard operating procedure in the eyes of a farmer, as many claimed after the release of the first video. While our Society does not approve of farming animals in principle, we nevertheless expect those who live and work with non-human animals to meet a certain standard of care, and what’s been shown in the two videos released is far from anything resembling care for these animals. We will continue to follow this story.