Bernier and three accomplices broke into a hog house together, with the intent of stealing two sows for their own personal consumption. Bernier shot and killed the two sows with a rifle. The sows’ necks were cut, and the sows were dragged outside the hog house and placed in the trailer. The accused plead guilty.
Sentencing hearing after guilty plea for killing two livestock sows by slitting their throats and shooting them and break and enter into a livestock business. $30,000 in damages. Extreme victim impact because the damage caused in the pig house resulted in broken windows causing 72 piglets to become so stressed they died. Other pigs were so traumatized by the shooting and cutting of the sows that they aborted their pregnancies. Pigs demonstrated trauma. 23 year old accused, criminal record for property. He claimed he was looking to get food to eat. Pregnant girlfriend with a 1 year old child already. He was re-attending school.
Sentence: 5 months for the animal abuse and 9 months for the BE, total of 14 months to be served in community, 18 months probation, 10 year weapon prohibition.
Accused was charged with unlawfully possessing a cockpit and unlawfully encouraging, aiding or assisting at the fighting or baiting of fighting birds.
The evidence of a Crown expert in the area of illegal animal fighting operations was that the presence of cardboard walls in a corner of the barn where the accused maintained his birds was consistent with other cockpits he had seen, and that the presence of game cocks, sparring muffs and tie cords in the vicinity of that corner of the barn supported a conclusion that the area inside the cardboard walls was a cockpit. There was blood on the cardboard walls and inside the cages of a number of birds, some of whom had injuries. One of the birds had a severe leg injury and peck marks near its eyes, and had to be destroyed by the investigating veterinarian. The injuries were consistent with causes other than cockfighting. The accused gave evidence that he enjoyed cockfighting and saw nothing wrong with pitting one animal against another to the death, but denied that he had used the corner of the barn as a cockpit or that he trained his birds to fight. Held, accused acquitted. Although the circumstances were extremely suspicious, the offences had not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Cats left at address when the owners moved. Accused charged and found guilty.
Sentence: 1-year animal prohibition