Protestors demand Sofina cut ties with contractor accused of chicken abuse
Published Saturday, June 17, 2017 7:01PM PDT
Last Updated Saturday, June 17, 2017 7:22PM PDT
Days after hidden camera footage exposed alleged abuse at several B.C. chicken farms, demonstrators outside of Sofina Foods in Port Coquitlam called for major changes to the industry.
They want Sofina Foods, parent company of Lillydale, to cut ties with its contractor Elite Farm Services whose employees were caught on camera throwing chickens into brick walls and even tearing the limbs off of live birds.
"The bigger companies have the power to make these changes. It's incumbent on them to demand the companies they contract treat chickens properly," said Geoff Regier, one of the organizers of the protest.
Regier is a former undercover investigator with Mercy for Animals. Three years ago, that organization exposed abuse at a Chilliwack dairy farm which eventually led to criminal convictions.
He's among a growing number of people calling for cameras inside chicken farms to increase accountability.
"They should… install closed circuit cameras in all of their facilities so consumers can see the truth of what's happening to the animals we purchase in grocery stores," Regier said.
Elite Farm Services says some workers will now wear body cameras on the job, but the company wouldn't say if that footage ever be made public. Instead, in a statement, they said footage would be reviewed at the end of every day and held for 30 days.
Sofina has not said whether or not it will end its contract with Elite Farm Services.
Protestors want consumers to send a message with their money by buying non-Lillydale chicken, or avoiding the meat entirely.
"The very best thing anyone can do is switch to healthier, more sustainable plant-based alternatives," Regier said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Scott Roberts.