Petition update

BCSPCA Turned the Whistleblower Over to Police!

Kira Cheeseborough
Abbotsford, BC, Canada

Aug 31, 2020 — 

Thank you everyone for your support over the weekend. We’ve gotten more than 28,000 signatures since we launched the petition! Thanks to you, the petition has gained enough traction where we’ve been contacted by the whistleblower who came forward for the footage taken at Excelsior Hog Farm. The BCSPCA had recently been saying that no one came forward yet - which is an obvious lie.

The anonymous whistleblower has reached out to thank us, and also provide us with more information. Not only did the BCSPCA fail to recommend animal cruelty charges against Excelsior, but they took it upon themselves to turn the whistleblower over to police. There is no indication that the BCSPCA received any warrant for this.

The whistleblower has shared with us what they received from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. This FOI revealed that a BCSPCA Senior Manager, Shawn Eccles, reported the whistleblower coming forward to Abbotsford Police Detective Jaycene Mitchell on August 13th, 2019.

The whistleblower was assured by the BCSPCA call centre that their information would be kept confidential unless it was needed in order to proceed with animal cruelty charges, or if police issued a warrant. In a letter addressed to the whistleblower (see below), the BCSPCA claims that Shawn Eccles was legally obligated to turn the whistleblower in, but this appears to be against their own policy.

On the BCSPCA confidentiality for informants webpage, it clearly states that informant information “could be released is in the event of a court order, legal proceedings or if we ask (the informant) to provide a statement to obtain a search warrant.” https://spca.bc.ca/faqs/reporting-cruelty-confidential/ (screenshot in link below). Again, there is no indication the BCSPCA received a warrant for this information, but rather gave it voluntarily against their own policy.

The letter from the BCSPCA also indicates that Crown counsel deemed the informant’s animal cruelty video as inadmissible in court, although they will not say when or how the determination was made. The lack of transparency for this “discussion,” as previously stated in an email to us, is appalling.

For full information, documents and screenshots, click here.

Please email the BCSPCA board (board@spca.bc.ca) to get some answers:

  • Did BCSPCA actually confirm with Crown counsel that evidence was inadmissible?
  • Why didn't BCSPCA do anything about animal cruelty at Excelsior, even if charges could not be recommended?
  • How can BCSPCA turn the informant over to police if their policy is to not disclose confidential informant information without a warrant?

Also, please continue to email the Attorney General's office: AG.minister@gov.bc.ca
250-387-1866

  • WHO at Crown Counsel spoke to the BCSPCA about the animal cruelty at Excelsior Hog Farm?
  • WHAT details were discussed in the conversation?
  • WHEN did the discussion take place?
  • WHY was the evidence deemed inadmissible?
  • HOW was the admissibility of the evidence determined without having it submitted to the Crown?

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