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To start this episode, the hot days of summer are here, and with that comes the danger of your canine friends overheating in hot cars. NEVER leave your dog in a hot car, even with the windows rolled down a bit. We share some tips about keeping your companion animals safe this summer, and what to do if you find a dog in a hot car. Also, you can take the pledge to not leave animals in hot cars this summer, and if you’re in BC, you can receive a free #NoHotPets car decal here.
“One has the moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
We reflect upon the happenings of the morning of April 28th, 2019, when 65 activists occupied the Excelsior Hog Farm — a typical (and one of the “best”) factory farm facilities in B.C. If you eat pork in B.C., this is where your food comes from.
We, at Animal Voices, were present inside the barn on this day, and experienced abominations happening behind these closed doors. Many photographs and videos were captured inside the gestation room, where we bore witness to horrors such as a mother pig miscarrying a fetus, and stereotypic behaviours of repeated biting and chewing at nothing and pigs swinging their heads back and forth repetitiously. No water was dispensed for these sentient beings the whole 6 hours we were there. Marked with “bed sores” from the tiny cage enclosures where the mother pigs cannot turn around and can barely even stand and sit down, the stench of ammonia permeated throughout the air, as they live in their own urine and feces.
In light of recent additional video footage that was taken by hidden cameras at this farm, showing the farmers electric prodding the faces of the pigs, kicking and rough handling them, cutting holes in the piglets’ rear ends and ripping out their testicles with no anesthetic, and pigs with untreated hernias and lameness, we re-open the dialogue about this farm on this week’s Animal Voices show. This footage was uploaded to YouTube on August 2nd, and an additional 2 hours of footage has now been submitted to the BCSPCA. UPDATE: as of the evening of August 8th, YouTube has taken down the video, due to a “privacy claim by a third party”. Below is a screen shot of what it looked like. This shot shows the farm’s veterinarian sitting in the farrowing (birthing) room, smoking a cigarette, all while wearing street clothes and no biohazard wear in this biohazard zone.
Addendum: Animal activist Nick Schafer has now posted some of the footage to Facebook, which can be all seen at this post here. The following is a one minute portion of the video:
The video has since uploaded to the Vimeo platform, where it can be seen here:
Farmed Animal Advocacy Lawyer Anna Pippus on the Legalities and Illegalities of Exposed Farming Practises on Pigs
Our first interview is with lawyer Anna Pippus, who specializes in Canadian farmed animal protection law. In this interview, she shares her perspectives on the recently released 7 minutes of undercover video footage of the Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford, BC, which shows the farmers and his young teenaged son working in the factory farm facility.
Depicted in the video are the farmers causing the pigs unnecessary distress by kicking and rough handling the animals, electric prodding them in the face and as a primary means of force, keeping the pigs in an unhygienic environment, and not providing straw for the sick and injured pigs to lay on. There are other “standard” practises, however, being shown on the video that may actually be legal, like ripping out piglets’ testicles with no anesthetic, but nonetheless a cause for concern among Canadians.
Amy Soranno, Animal Liberationist
Our feature interview is with Kelowna-based animal liberationist Amy Soranno. She was an organizer of the Meet the Victims: Canada action that took place at the Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford, BC on April 28th, and joins us to discuss the latest updates with regards to the new undercover video footage from inside the barn as was published on Youtube late last week (and as of August 8th, now taken down by Youtube due to “privacy claims”).
In this interview, we discuss the charges of trespass, break and enter, and mischief that were laid upon Amy on April 28th by the Abbotsford police at the Meat the Victims: Canada occupation. We also discuss the potential for the BCSPCA to now re-open the case with irrefutable evidence (390 hours of such video footage now submitted to them, along with the identity of the investigator), and how the agricultural industry may possibly respond to this video proof of animal abuse by the Excelsior farmers, which shows their faces and repeated actions of blatant cruelty.
Also, was the intention of this investigation and the Meat the Victims: Canada day of action simply to point out existing cruel conditions for animals raised for food in the animal ag system, with the potential for improvements, or does Amy want to see animal liberation for all animals? (the title above may be a clue to the answer!)
To learn more about Amy’s personal quest for animal liberation, you can view her recent 45 minute speech entitled “Veganism & Animal Rights: Are We Doing Enough?” here:
For more information about the Excelsior Hog Farm and the April 28th Meat the Victims: Canada day of action, please see/listen to our past show on this topic here.