A worker employed by a Chilliwack-based agricultural employer seen throwing a chicken in an undercover video in 2017 filmed by California-base animal rights activists Mercy For Animals.

A worker employed by a Chilliwack-based agricultural employer seen throwing a chicken in an undercover video in 2017 filmed by California-base animal rights activists Mercy For Animals.

Fraser Valley undercover video chicken abuse trial to go ahead

Sofina Foods and Chilliwack chicken catcher company to face jury trial in 2021

The high-profile Fraser Valley chicken abuse trial will go ahead despite an application by the accused parties to drop the charges.

After a multi-day hearing last week, Ontario-based Sofina Foods, Elite Farm Services Ltd., and Elite’s Dwayne Paul Dueck, were back in court Monday in front of BC Supreme Court Justice Thomas Crabtree.

Lawyers for the defence had asked Justic Crabtree to issue a stay of proceedings for reasons that cannot be reported due to a publication ban.

That application was denied, and the parties were back in court starting Nov. 16 for a series of voir dire hearings in advance of the jury trial in 2021.

The three defendants originally faced 38 counts under the Health of Animal Regulations, after undercover video was filmed in 2017 by California-based animal rights activist group Mercy For Animals (MFA).

The video showed employees ripping live birds apart, stomping and throwing chickens.

The undercover videos were recorded by an MFA activist who got employed as a chicken catcher by Elite Farm Services. Incidents on the file make allegations of abuse at farms in Langley, Abbotsford, Lindell Beach, Aldergrove, Chilliwack and Surrey.

READ MORE: Trial by jury for defendants in Chilliwack chicken catching abuse case

READ MORE: UPDATE: Defence in Fraser Valley chicken abuse cases asks BC Supreme Court to drop the charges

Jury selection for the trial is slated for Jan. 21 and 23, 2021.

Because of current pandemic protocols that include a limited number of people in any room at the Chilliwack Law Courts, a jury trial is impossible to facilitate in either BC Supreme Court room. Justice Crabtree informed the parties that the likely location for the trial will be Evergreen Hall.

The Chilliwack Cultural Centre, which was where a jury trial was held this summer, is no longer available.

READ MORE: OPINION: The theatre of court proceedings on stage at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

@PeeJayAitch
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

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Bears are coming out of hibernation with the warm days of spring. (Pixabay)
WildSafeBC: How to avoid bear encounters

Bears can now be seen out on the trails after waking up from hibernation

Rossland City Council issued a press release critical of Mayor Kathy Moore's travel to the U.S.
Rossland council addresses issue of mayor’s travel to U.S.

Prior to her trip, some councillors and staff expressed deep concerns about her plans

Teck has reported three separate incidents of ammonia leaks at Trail fertilizer ops this year. Photo: Trail Times
Teck Trail reports third ammonia leak this year

The company closed Bingay Road temporarily as a precaution

Photo: File
Fruitvale councillor responds to online criticism

“The bullying has to stop. People want to be heard, everybody wants to be heard” - Lindsay Kenny

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

A black bear made a visit to downtown Vancouver Tuesday, May 4. The animal was spotted on train tracks in Gastown shortly after at 2:30 p.m. (Twitter/Craig Minielly)
VIDEO: Black bear spotted meandering around downtown Vancouver

The bear was reportedly tranquilized by conservation officers Tuesday afternoon

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Most Read