In the early morning hours of the Labour Day Holiday, a turkey farm near Fort MacLeod Alberta was invaded by dozens of animal rights activists.
A barn containing thousands of turkeys, owned and operated by Jumbo Valley Hutterite colony, was the site of a 30 person animal welfare sit-in. Another 30-50 activists stood along the highway next to the farm carrying banners decrying the treatment of animals involved in commercial meat production.
Police were called to the farm, not by the farmers, but by the activists. Despite the farm being a bio-secure facility to prevent the spread of disease, with No Trespassing signs posted prominently over the property, and approximately half a dozen RCMP officers responding to the scene, no arrests were made. Instead, a six-hour negotiation, led by police, unfolded.
The protesters would not leave until media were allowed to tour the barn and they were able to take with them five turkeys to a so-called animal sanctuary of their choice.
Jumbo Valley Colony obliged these extortion demands under the advice of the RCMP!
The only on-the-farm coverage the public had received about this farm invasion came from a media outlet that was there to meet the demands of the protesters.
That's not good enough for me.
I went to the farm near Fort MacLeod, where I met with Thomas Tschetter and Frank Hofer, who happily gave me a tour of their farm and told me their side of the story. They gave me documentation about the health of their birds - which were some of the calmest turkeys this farm girl has ever seen!
Police still haven't laid charges in relation to Monday's incident, however, the colony wants to see the four lead organizers of the trespass face consequences.
If the RCMP do not pursue charges against the activists, I think farmers are going to continue to be harassed.
The question is not if Canada's farmers can do their share to feed eight billion people. The question is whether or not the activists will let us.