The application to drop the charges in a high-profile chicken abuse case began in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Monday.
The hearing is scheduled for five days during which lawyers for Elite Farm Services Ltd., the company’s owner Dwayne Paul Dueck, and Ontario-based Sofina Foods, are asking Justice Thomas Crabtree to issue a stay of proceedings.
A publication ban prevents reporting on the contents of the application.
Each defendant originally faced 38 counts under the Health of Animal Regulations, after undercover video was filmed by California-based animal rights activist group Mercy For Animals (MFA). The video showed employees ripping live birds apart, stomping and throwing chickens.
The case goes back to 2017 when the undercover videos were recorded at multiple farms in the Fraser Valley. Incidents on the file make allegations of abuse at farms in Langley, Abbotsford, Lindell Beach, Aldergrove, Chilliwack and Surrey.
Defence are arguing there are a number of Charter violations by the prosecution.
If the defence applications are not granted, the case is scheduled to go to a jury trial in the new year with jury selection slated for Jan. 21 and 23, 2021.
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