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

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

RCMP are looking for “an unknown man who wrapped his arms around” a female youth in Clayton Feb. 26. (Black Press file photo)
Youth assaulted by unknown man in Cloverdale

Mounties looking for ‘tall and thin’ Caucasian man in his 40’s with short dark brown hair

Framed photos of Travis Selje and other items fill the top of a dresser in his bedroom. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Crown says defence case epilepsy caused fatal Surrey crash fails on balance of probabilities

‘She very clearly had some form of control over that vehicle,’ Crown argues

South Surrey’s Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann – the Bergmann Piano Duo – will present another colorful Surrey Civic Theatres Digital Stage concert., premiering online March 11. Contributed photo
South Surrey pianists Bergmann Duo blend musical colours

Rhapsody In Blue meets The Red Violin in online concert

St. John Ambulance is looking for financial support in its bid to install 1,000 publicly accessible AED devices throughout British Columbia. The stands which hold the defibrillator also contain naloxone and first aid kits. Cost to equip and install each stand is around $8,000. (stock photo)
St. John Ambulance aims to install 1,000 publicly accessible AEDs across B.C.

First of two defibrillators planned for Crescent Beach already in place

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for missing Chilliwack woman sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother Shaelene Bell

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Five-year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter school during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Variant of concern linked to COVID-19 outbreak at three Surrey schools

Cases appear to be linked to community transmissions, but schools will remain open

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read