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Criminal Charge Dropped Against Witness Who Filmed Fur Farm Cruelty

Animal Justice October 23, 2018

Prosecutors in Oshawa, Ontario have withdrawn a criminal break and enter charge against animal advocate Malcolm Klimowicz, who was charged earlier this year after filming severe neglect and cruelty on a mink farm. The charge had prompted massive rallies outside the Oshawa courthouse, significant public outcry, and even inspired the hashtag #MinkTrial.

Break and enter carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Initially, prosecutors refused to withdraw the charge laid by police, even though legal experts considered the case against Mr. Klimowicz to be weak.

In 2017, Mr. Klimowicz walked on to multiple mink farms in Ontario and filmed the heartbreaking conditions that he found. He documented injured and dead minks confined in tiny, filthy wire cages, with piles of feces, puddles of urine, and crawling maggots. Minks were frequently overcrowded in the barren cages, and many suffered from open wounds and displayed repetitive behaviours that indicate severe psychological distress.

The shocking video footage was submitted to authorities, but the fur farms escaped prosecution, despite evidence of unimaginable cruelty in violation of federal and provincial laws. The only charges laid were against Mr. Klimowicz himself.

Although the Oshawa charge has now been withdrawn, Mr. Klimowicz still faces similar charges in Collingwood and Kingston.

Police and prosecutors frequently pursue animal advocates for exposing animal suffering while ignoring the crimes of the animal abusers, including Save Movement founder Anita Krajnc, acquitted of criminal mischief for giving water to thirsty pigs. The Krajnc trial made global headlines and exposed millions of people to meat industry cruelty. If the remaining charges against Mr. Klimowicz go to trial, the prosecution will undoubtedly have the same effect, increasing public awareness of horrific cruelty inherent in the Canadian fur industry.

Fur farming is largely unregulated in Canada, with few, if any, standards for the conditions under which animals must be kept. Fur farm cruelty runs rampant, as documented by Mr. Klimowicz as well as during another cross-country undercover investigation in 2014.

Mr. Klimowicz is accepting contributions toward his legal defence on his crowdfunding page, and supporters are invited to stay tuned for details on future court dates.

 

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Whistleblower Faces a Criminal Trial for Exposing Mink Farm Suffering

Animal Justice August 2, 2018

A whistleblower who exposed horrific suffering on multiple Ontario fur farms will face a criminal trial. Malcolm Klimowicz was charged with break and enter earlier this year for visiting a mink farm near Oshawa, Ontario and filming the disturbing conditions that he found there.

Prosecutors in Oshawa confirmed on Thursday that they will take the criminal charge of break and enter to trial and will not withdraw the case against him.

The undercover video footage gathered in 2017 by Mr. Klimowicz shows heartbreaking suffering on multiple Ontario fur farms. Injured and dead minks are seen confined in tiny wire cages in filthy conditions, with piles of feces, puddles of urine, and crawling maggots. Minks were frequently overcrowded in the barren cages, suffering from open wounds, and many of them displayed repetitive behaviours that indicate severe psychological distress.

The shocking video footage was submitted to authorities and investigated. Disappointingly, no charges were laid against any of the fur farms in question, despite evidence of unimaginable cruelty in violation of federal and provincial laws. The only charge laid to date is the break and enter charge against Mr. Klimowicz himself, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

 

Mink Trial

Courtesy of Malcolm Klimowicz 

This is not the first time the police and prosecutors have gone after an animal advocate for exposing animal suffering while ignoring the industries that abused animals in the first place. The hashtag #MinkTrial is already spreading on social media, reminiscent of Toronto activist Anita Krajnc’s notorious #PigTrial. Ms. Krajnc was acquitted of criminal mischief for giving water to thirsty pigs, but her trial made global headlines and exposed millions of people to cruelty in the farming industry. The #MinkTrial will undoubtedly increase public awareness of cruelty inherent in the Canadian fur industry.

Fur farming is largely unregulated in Canada, with few, if any, standards for the conditions under which animals must be kept. Fur farm cruelty runs rampant, as documented by Mr. Klimowicz as well as during another cross-country undercover investigation in 2014.

Mr. Klimowicz is accepting contributions toward his legal defence on his crowdfunding page, and supporters are invited to stay tuned for details on a rally outside the Oshawa courthouse on October 22, 2018.

 

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