A New Documentary About the Killing of Regan Russell, plus World Numbat Day and Updates on the Excelsior 4

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In this show, we feature an interview with local activist Roy Sasano, who shares his thoughts in the aftermath of the first face-to-face conversation the Excelsior 4 activists had with a BCSPCA representative since the Meat the Victims event 18 months ago. We also discuss the new documentary from Shaun Monson about the killing of Regan Russell at Fearman’s pig slaughterhouse in Burlington, Ontario. As November 7th is World Numbat Day, we share an informative clip about these curious little creatures as well.

BCSPCA and the Excelsior 4 engage in face-to-face conversation this week on unanswered questions

The “Excelsior 4” animal activists: Geoff Regier, Amy Soranno, Roy Sasano and Nick Schafer.

It was an eventful day on Monday, November the 2nd as the “Excelsior 4” made their second court appearance at the Abbotsford courthouse to give their plea statement. These animal activists are Amy Soranno, Geoff Regier, Roy Sasano and Nick Schafer. They have been charged with a total of 21 criminal offenses for their roles in exposing the abhorrent cruelties inflicted upon thousands of animals at the Excelsior Hog Farm. If you want more information about this case, known as the Abbotsford pig trial, we’ve been covering it extensively on Animal Voices, and you can find past episodes covering the issue here, here and here.

After the court appearance on Monday, the four then joined over 30 animal advocates who were rallying in support of these activists and against the BCSPCA at the organization’s headquarters in East Vancouver. Despite being sent hundreds of hours of video evidence, even showing exactly where violations have been made, the BCSPCA has refused to recommend that charges be laid on the Excelsior farmers, or to even publicly acknowledge that the Excelsior Hog Farm committed multiple acts of horrific animal cruelty, including several criminal acts.

While at the headquarters, as there was media present, the four decided to knock on the door of the BSCPCA offices. They were surprised to be granted a full conversation with Lorie Chortyk, the General Manager of Community Relations, in front of our cameras.

In this segment, we play a clip from this conversation, but the whole conversation can be seen here in this video:

Interview with animal activist Roy Sasano of the Excelsior 4

We also present an engaging interview with surprise guest Roy Sasano, one of the four activists charged, who gives his thoughts in the aftermath of this first face-to-face conversation with a BCSPCA staff member since this all started 18 months ago. We reflect on the conversation and Roy discusses how he feels the heated Q&A session went for him. Did the four get answers to their burning questions after all of these months? In the conversation, Roy asked Lorie to clarify her previous comments to the public about the case, which do not seem to be congruent with the Excelsior 4’s experiences and documented information.

The bottom line is that this is a quest for justice for the animals, and for those who put themselves at risk to expose what happens behind the closed doors of “family-run” farms in the Fraser Valley and all over North America. The BCSPCA stated this week that they want to work with the four activists and not against them. The four maintain that they were trying to work together, until the BCSPCA immediately turned in their whistleblower to the Abbotsford Police, against their own policy.

According to the Excelsior 4, here is what the BCSPCA needs to do at this point:

  • acknowledge that the BCSPCA took it upon themselves to turn a confidential informant over to police despite a lack of court order, or even an informal request,
  • review all the evidence that the informant provided,
  • acknowledge that Excelsior Hog Farm committed multiple acts of horrific animal cruelty, including several criminal acts,
  • publicly condemn Excelsior Hog Farm for their acts of animal cruelty,
  • warn the industry that what Excelsior did is unacceptable, and that BCSPCA will take all action within its power to ensure that Excelsior faces some consequences, even if charges are not possible.

And here are some easy actions that all animal advocates (that’s you!) can take in the aftermath of this week’s developments:

Shaun Monson on his documentary, There Was a Killing, which examines the killing of Regan Russell at Fearman’s Pig Slaughterhouse

Earthlings filmmaker Shaun Monson has a new short documentary on the death of activist Regan Russell with some shocking footage from the scene and eyewitness interviews. There Was a Killing reveals new investigative angles such as what happened immediately before and when the truck driver struck her. Interviews with a former livestock trucker and attorneys provide perspective on what led to the killing, and how the authorities handled the case.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Shaun Monson (EARTHLINGS, UNITY) tells the story of Regan Russell, a decades-long pioneer in Canadian animal rights activism. Regan was violently struck and killed by a pig transport truck during a Toronto Pig Save vigil outside Sofina Foods’ Fearman’s slaughterhouse in Burlington on June 19, 2020.

Monson examines eyewitness testimony and video evidence from the day of Regan’s death. Attorneys Robert Monson, Lisa Bloom, and David Simon expose Bill 156 as an aggressive piece of legislation that allows animal agriculture to avoid the legal and economic consequences of their behavior and the fear that animal transporters may see it as a license to kill. Former animal trucker Matthew Johnson provides valuable insight and perspective on the day’s tragic events.

On the day of her violent death, Regan had been protesting against Bill 156, which had been enacted just 24 hours earlier. Dubbed an ag-gag bill, it is an undemocratic and unconstitutional piece of legislation which infringes on the right to assemble and criminalizes activists and whistleblowers working to expose animal exploitation and the horrors of animal slaughter.

Description of There Was A Killing from their World Premiere.

World Numbat Day

November 7th is World Numbat Day!

The numbat, also called the banded anteater, is a small endangered marsupial animal native to parts of Australia. They have a long sticky tongue that allows them pick up termites, which they eat exclusively.

The numbat is under threat from habitat loss and introduced predators like foxes and feral cats. With an estimated population of fewer than 1000 individuals, help is desperately needed to protect the future of this unique marsupial.

Show produced by Elyse Jacobson and Alison Cole, with web content written by Asami Hitohara and Alison Cole, and formatted by Asami Hitohara

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