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Chilliwack company’s guilty pleas to chicken abuse ‘represent progress,’ says animal welfare group

Mercy For Animals’ reaction came 2 days after Elite Farm Services pleaded guilty to animal abuse
A worker employed by a Chilliwack-based agricultural employer seen throwing chickens into crates in an undercover video filmed by Mercy For Animals. (Submitted photo)

Reaction from a prominent animal welfare group was swift after a large company pleaded guilty to chicken abuse.

“Elite Farm Services’ guilty pleas represent progress for farmed animals,” said Daina Bray, general counsel at Mercy For Animals.

The reaction came on Wednesday, Sept. 29, two days after after the Chilliwack chicken-catching company pleaded guilty to two of the 38 charges it faced in BC Supreme Court.

READ MORE: Chilliwack chicken-catching company pleads guilty to animal abuse

“Companies and their owners are responsible for the animals in their care, and they should be held accountable when animals are mistreated,” Bray said. “While Mercy For Animals of course does not know which factors ultimately contributed to Elite’s decision to plead to those counts, we are pleased that the video evidence gathered by a Mercy For Animals whistleblower — which was deemed admissible by the court — likely contributed to their decision.”

Undercover footage of employees wearing Elite jackets showed them throwing, kicking, stomping and tearing apart birds at farms in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley and Surrey in 2017.

“Companies like Elite Farm Services and Sofina Foods are responsible for the living conditions of millions of chickens,” Bray said. “Mercy For Animals continues to call on chicken suppliers and retailers to step up and take meaningful steps to end some of the worst forms of cruelty for chickens raised for meat.”

READ MORE: Fraser Valley chicken abuse case defendants want charges dropped due to delay

READ MORE: B.C. chicken farmers respond to videos of violent abuse of birds at Chilliwack farms

– with file from Paul Henderson


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Jenna Hauck

About the Author: Jenna Hauck

I started my career at The Chilliwack Progress in 2000 as a photojournalist.
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