Two leaders of a high-profile farm invasion in April 2019 have been convicted on charges of break-and-enter and mischief.
Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer opted for trial by jury in the hope of better pleading their case and shining a light on farming practices in the province. But after a short trial, the jury ended up convicting them for their role in the invasion of Excelsior Hog farm in Abbotsford.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 26. The convictions could see the two handed sentences of up to 10 years in jail.
A much longer list of 21 charges were originally filed against four people involved in the invasion. However, prosecutors dropped charges against Geoff Regier earlier this year, leaving the three remaining individuals facing 14.
Roy Sasano was acquitted during the trial for his role in the affair, which saw 165 individuals descend on the farm on a quiet Sunday morning.
The remaining charges were ultimately pared back to just two counts apiece.
BC Pork did not have an immediate response to the conviction, but it has supported an industry-wide response to the growing threat activists pose animal agriculture.
The concerns have also impacted the dairy and poultry industries, both of which have been subject to undercover operations by animal rights activists.
The most recent incident saw the temporary suspension of the production licence for Cedar Valley Farms, an organic dairy in Abbotsford. The farm is now operating under the oversight of the BC Milk Marketing Board. BC SPCA has recommended criminal charges to Crown counsel.
The province announced stronger legal protections against trespassing for farms in 2019 in response to the Excelsior invasion. The move was applauded by the BC Agriculture Council, however BCAC had no comment on the conviction.
Soranno and Schafer are considering an appeal of the conviction.