The application, to be heard on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 by Superior Court of Justice Judge Markus Koehnen, is seeking to overturn the Security from Trespass and Animal Safety Act, a set of laws passed in 2020 that increased fines for people who trespass on Ontario farms and made it illegal to obstruct trucks carrying animals to such farms.
The group is also challenging the section of the law that imposes fines on those who interact with farm animals on trucks, which in turn can limit the ability of journalists or activists to document those animals, it argues. When Ontario passed the Security from Trespass and Animal Safety Act, the then-Minister of Agriculture in 2020, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, said the law would serve to protect farmers on their property.
“It's very, very difficult to get information on farm animals kept on private property behind closed doors,” Labchuk said.“It's a really, really valuable form of expression, exactly the kind that the charter wants to promote,” she said. The farm in question, Paragon Farms, said in a statement given to W5 at the time that it had immediately inspected the barn and “welcomed an inspection Animal Welfare Services" within hours of being notified of the allegations.
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