Agriculture lawyer calls for conviction of trespassing activists

Letter to attorney general decries recent dropping of charges against trespassers

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Ontario agriculture lawyer Kurtis Andrews has written a letter to Ontario’s attorney general claiming that the lack of repercussions from a recent spate on animal rights activist activity in the province is “nothing short of a breakdown of law and order”.

Why it matters: An increase in animal rights activists trespassing on farms has created concern and anxiety among farmers.

Andrews cites several recent cases that cause him concern in his letter to Attorney General Carolyn Mulroney.

The crown attorney in Middlesex County announced May 1 that it was dropping break and entry and mischief charges against a woman who was accused of breaking into a barn and removing piglets. She has posted about her activism on social media and in interviews with The Toronto Star.

The Middlesex crown attorney said that there was “no reasonable prospect of conviction.”

Another activist, who was accused of breaking into mink farms, also had charges dropped.

“I am at a loss to understand how the prosecutions of these crimes are not being pursued,” said Andrews in the letter posted to his website and Twitter account.

The recent visits of numerous activists to dairy farmers in British Columbia and Ontario is also concerning, he says.

Biosecurity of farms is also being compromised and that creates threats to farm businesses.

“No matter what your beliefs happen to be, it is unacceptable to provide radical activists with a free pass to break the law. Farmers are living in fear. They should be treated with the same respect that any crime victim deserves. All farmers should be confident that the authorities will protect them like any other citizen of this province.”

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