Charges Dropped for 1 of 4 Activists; Others Face Excelsior Hog Farm Trial

Published by Zachary Toliver.

Update (May 10, 2022): Almost two years after a group of animal rights activists were scheduled to appear in court after live-streaming the illnesses and volleyball-size hernias that pigs suffered from at Excelsior Hog Farm, PETA is pleased to hear that charges against one activist, Geoff Regier, were dropped. The trial isn’t over, so continue reading to find out how best to support the three activists still in court and how to help pigs today:

Stand with These Activists

Although the case is currently in preliminary closed hearings, the trial will be open to the public. Here’s what you can do.

What:    Pack the Abbotsford Provincial Court of British Columbia to show support for the activists
When:   Weekdays, June 27–July 22, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Where:  32375 Veterans Way, Abbotsford, BC V2T 0K1

Excelsior Hog Farm apparently had zero qualms about keeping dead, rotting pigs in cramped cages next to slowly dying live ones—that is, until its appalling operation was exposed.

Dead Pigs at Excelsior Hog Farm

But if officials have their way, four activists will serve substantial prison time after the abuse and suffering that animals were forced to endure at the farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, was revealed.

Amy Soranno, Nicholas Schafer, Jeff Rigear, and Roy Sasano of the vegan activist group Meat The Victims are scheduled to appear in Abbotsford Provincial Court of British Columbia beginning on June 27 on charges of breaking and entering and mischief. The charges come after a disruption at Excelsior occurred and videos recorded inside the facility showing injured, sick, and distressed pigs were live-streamed.

Dead Pigs at Excelsior Hog Farm

Prior to the occupation led by Meat The Victims, PETA released a shocking video exposing the misery and deaths of pigs on the farm.

Dead Pigs at Excelsior Hog Farm

Dead pigs rotted in pens while workers threw others into bins.

In the video released by PETA, severely injured and lame pigs, including some with volleyball-size hernias, were suffering in dungeon-like conditions. Some were so sick and injured that they couldn’t walk and died slowly on the filthy floor.

Sows were forced to give birth in farrowing crates hardly bigger than their bodies. Workers confined more than 1,000 mother pigs to these crates, where they spent most of their miserable lives, able to nurse but not nuzzle or help their babies. Without vital maternal nurturing, many piglets died unattended and in agony.

Mother Pigs in farrowing crates

Every minute of every day, intelligent pigs are forced to live in these conditions.

PETA pushed for charges of cruelty to animals to be brought against the farm.

How can officials point the finger of blame at activists when Excelsior Hog Farm treats living, feeling beings like this?

Pigs can bond with humans, like to play games, and even enjoy a good massage. They’ve rescued humans from drowning and fires. No animal—human or otherwise—would ever choose to live next to rotting bodies, languishing in their own waste. But Excelsior completely ignores pigs’ ability to feel pain, fear, and sorrow.

While Excelsior Hog Farm seems to be morally bankrupt, officials apparently want to make examples of these activists, as they know that the farm’s atrocities are now known to millions of people.

Ironically, the legal case against the activists further tarnishes the pork industry’s image and is a media nightmare for the animal agriculture industry in general. Any rallies and press events surrounding each court appearance will only hurt their misguided agenda. The meat industry is throwing its weight around and making this heavy-handed prosecution take place in order to defend itself from embarrassing investigations that show rampant abuse on factory farms—all at the expense of Canadian taxpayers.

PETA and other animal rights groups know what happens to terrified animals behind Excelsior’s walls is the norm across the meat industry.

You can also save countless lives by going vegan and helping everyone you know do the same. Order a free vegan starter kit from PETA. We have all the resources necessary to support folks in ditching meat, eggs, and dairy. You can make a real difference by saving nearly 200 animals a year—simply by not eating them!

Want to do more? Take action to help keep slaughterhouses closed:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind