Protestors invaded Abbotsford’s Excelsior Hog Farm on April 30, 2019 after PETA released a video from an anonymous source six days before. (Ben Lypka/ Abbotsford News)

Chilliwack-Kent MLA says farmers are receiving threats of violence from animal rights activists

Laurie Throness introduced a bill to increase penalties for trespassing on farms

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness says farmers in the Fraser Valley are receiving threats of violence from activists intent on shutting down the practice of animal husbandry.

This year there have been a number of incidents of anti-meat activists attending events or trespassing on farms in protest.

To crack down on the behaviour, Throness introduced the Trespass Amendment Act 2019 to “add specific and targeted penalties against those who trespass on farms,” he said on Oct. 29 in the Legislature.

“It will also protect food processing facilities from trespass and provide even greater penalties to address a greater threat: a breach of biosecurity protocols when trespassing, since an outbreak of disease can take the lives of hundreds of thousands of animals and threaten an entire industry.”

He said further that penalties will be applied to organizations, such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), that encourage the trespass or occupation of farms. This is something the government of Alberta has done.

In April, about 60 activists entered the Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford in response to what they claimed was hidden video footage showing animals in distress.

• READ MORE: BC SPCA says no charges against Abbotsford hog farm

Throness said that, in part, is what motivated him to take action with legislation, but what really hit home was visiting Creekside Dairy in Agassiz, which is run by Julaine and Johannes Treur.

“They emailed me to ask for help so I went out to see them, tour their farm and hear their story and read some of the Facebook messages they received, which were alarming,” Throness told The Progress.

“Activists haven’t actually occupied any farms as yet in my riding, but they are talking about it on Direct Action Everywhere Vancouver’s Facebook page. They had a planning meeting this fall called ‘Dairy is Scary.’”

In bringing forth his act in the Legislature, Throness acknowledged that the NDP government recently adopted an opposition motion to include farms and livestock under the Trespass act but he said “there is much more to be done.”

“It’s fine for protesters to demonstrate about anything they want, but let them do so on public property,” he said. “It’s not all right to break the law, take away the rights of our farmers and threaten the safety of their families and livestock while making their point.”

The BC Liberals announced the Trespass Amendment Act at the same time Delta South MLA Ian Paton put forth the Home-Based Craft Food Act to allow home-based businesses to make and sell low-risk food products.

And both came under the broad call alongside dozens of farmers for the NDP to recall Bill 52, which, in part, restricts secondary homes on farms, a “devastating” policy for farmers, the BC Liberals say.

• READ MORE: Secondary home rules are killing family farms, B.C. protesters say


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Homeless count is coming to the Fraser Valley to help track the numbers

Training Feb. 27 in Chilliwack to help volunteers adopt respectful and compassionate approach

Fun workshop in Chilliwack will have tips on becoming nature stewards

Fraser Valley Conservancy is holding a Chilliwack session on how to help wildlife on Feb. 29

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Reaction to banning the strap

In 1973, students celebrated the end of corporal punishment while school admins felt anxiety.

Woman in Fraser Health region confirmed as sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

IIO called to Chilliwack after man goes into medical distress in RCMP cells

Male was arrested for assault at CGH, cleared by hospital, then had medical issue next morning

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

‘Usain Bolt he was not’: B.C. gang police seize drugs, cash after foot chase

‘The man took off running when he saw our officers approaching,’ CFSEU BC says

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

Canadians released from coronavirus-ridden cruise ship in Japan fly home

Those who were cleared to travel are to be screened again at Canadian Forces Base Trenton

Trudeau promises update on blockades as Wet’suwet’en chiefs meet Mohawk supporters

B.C. hereditary chiefs are thanking the Mohawks for supporting them in opposition to Coastal GasLink

Woman missing in Metro Vancouver

Police seek public’s help locating Atefeh Jadidian, last seen in Maple Ridge

Petition seeks to remove B.C. police department from case of murdered 24-year-old real estate agent

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Most Read