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Two Abbotsford hog-farm protesters appeal their convictions

Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer of Kelowna have 30-day prison sentences deferred
Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer spoke outside the Abbotsford Law Courts on Oct. 12 prior to their sentencing. (Jessica Peters/Abbotsford News)

The two Abbotsford hog-farm protesters who were each sentenced Oct. 12 to 30 days in prison are appealing their convictions.

Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer of Kelowna have had their sentences deferred – each on a charge of break-and-enter – and have been granted bail, pending the appeal, according to reports on their social media platforms.

But their application was rejected to stay the order for their DNA to be submitted to the national database, which can match forensic evidence at a crime scene to an offender.

“Apparently, the BC appellate court does not have jurisdiction to stay a DNA order,” the Excelsior 4 state on their Twitter page.

RELATED: Two Abbotsford hog-farm protesters sentenced to 30 days in jail

Soranno, 29, and Schafer, 36, were among four people initially charged with what the trial judge referred to as a “mass invasion and occupation” on April 28, 2019 at Excelsior Hog Farm on Harris Road in Abbotsford.

Co-accused Geoff Regier had his charges dropped before trial, while Roy Sasano was acquitted.

In sentencing Soranno and Schafer, Justice Frits Verhoeven said the pair were among the key people who “recruited and organized” approximately 200 supporters from the Meat the Victims group to go to the hog farm.

Verhoeven said that, several weeks prior to the event, animal rights activists broke onto the property and “covertly recorded” activities on the farm.

RELATED: Crown says 3 accused placed hidden cameras on Abbotsford hog farm weeks before protest

The footage, purporting to show animal abuse at the farm, was sent to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), which released it to the media.

On the day of the protest, about 50 people made their way onto the property and broke into a pig barn. The other 150 lined the road in front of the property.

Police were called, but the group refused to vacate the property until a media tour was allowed.

The four were among the only people charged following the event.

A date for the appeal hearing has not yet been set.

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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