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)

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.

Just Posted

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)
Shining a light on brain injury in Canada

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read