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A day after disturbing video from a B.C. egg farm was made public, CTV News has learned an investigation into the footage includes a company with ties to a previous cruelty case.

The BC SPCA is investigating how chickens ended up in the conditions shown in several videos captured in April in Abbotsford. The clips showed birds buried up to their necks in manure – some alive, some dead. 

The videos were captured by activists and shared with CTV and PETA

Footage from one of the farms, Jaedel Enterprises, prompted investigations both from inside the industry and from the SPCA.

The SPCA said Tuesday that its probe into Jaedel also includes a company that was the subject of a previous investigation.

Chicken-catching company Elite Farm Services Ltd. was the subject of another video exposé last year after undercover members of animal rights group Mercy For Animals showed employees stomping on live birds. The video also showed workers ripping conscious hens apart and violently slamming others against crates and walls.

Six employees from the Chilliwack-based company were fired as a result of the video captured in that investigation. 

The SPCA recommended charges at the time, but the Crown said Tuesday that the file was still being assessed more than a year later. A spokesperson said a timeline for completion could not be provided.

CTV reached out to Elite for comment, but phone calls were not returned.

Meanwhile, the association executed a search warrant on Elite Monday in connection with their investigation into Jaedel.

"Elite is used, contracted, to come and pick up, catch birds and remove them from barns, and in this particular case, we feel that there is evidence suggesting that they were linked in this particular incident," the SPCA's chief prevention and enforcement officer said.

Marcie Moriarty did not provide specific details on how Elite was connected to Jaedel, but she said it is "extremely disappointing" that officers are investigating another situation involving chickens just a year after the first case made headlines.

"We heard clear assurances by the industry and Elite that they were committed to ensuring the proper care and handling of their birds," she said.

The SPCA is also investigating at the Abbotsford farm to determine who's responsible for the condition of the chickens.

Activists also shared videos they say were taken at other Abbotsford properties, which show a number of dead chickens in cages with live birds, and many carcasses lining manure pits under the cages.

The province's agriculture minister responded to CTV's coverage, saying, "The images I saw in the video are shocking and not representative of my experience visiting B.C. egg and poultry farms."

In an email, Lana Popham said she is always concerned about reports of animal welfare issues, and that her expectation is that all animals in the province are treated with care and respect.

The BC Egg Marketing Board also insisted conditions shown in the videos are not typical of the industry. CTV was invited to visit another Abbotsford farm with both caged and free-range chickens, where cages were clean and many of the hens had room to move around.

Scott Janzen, who runs a farm with a good reputation, also said the video was upsetting, but not representative of the industry as a whole.

"That's not normal. That's not a normal practice and that's not how I would run my farm," he said.

He told CTV farms are audited multiple times a year by industry officials from the federal and provincial levels as well as third parties.

The board said a team including industry representatives, farmers and a poultry veterinarian is now assessing conditions at the farms featured in the videos. Farms found in violation of Canada's codes of practice can be given corrective actions to complete within a set timeline or risk losing their licence.

The SPCA wants the codes that set out the standard of care to be made law, built into existing animal cruelty legislation as the codes for dairy were after abuse came to light in another hidden camera investigation.

But so far their requests have been "met with silence," Moriarty said.

"My question is, what are they afraid of? If this is a standard that the industry says their care program sets out, why have they not been proactively supportive of seeing that code incorporated into legislation?"

With reports from CTV Vancouver's Maria Weisgarber and CTV National News' Melanie Nagy