Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Abuse of BC Homeless Persons via Chicken Manure

Weaponized Chicken Manure:   Farmers who raise chickens under a Supply Management ("SM") license appear to have supplied biohazardous chicken manure to at least 3 municipalities in BC to use as a weapon against the homeless.  Did the SM system adequately regulate and supervise the SM farmer(s) that aided &/or abetted this despicable and disgraceful act?
Figure 1:  A large farm tractor hauling a load of chicken
manure. In Abbotsford's case, the chicken manure was
manually shoveled out of a municipal dump truck on top
of the homeless and their meager possesions.
(Photo: Abbotsford Today )

Chicken manure was used by municipal employees (in Surrey BC in Aug. 2009, again in Abbotsford BC in June 2013), and Port Coquitlam shortly after Abbotsford) to contaminate municipal lands, residential tents, and personal property used by homeless persons for encampments.  The manure was also used as a weapon to force homeless people to vacate the manure treated area of municipal property.

The story "This Stinks" was originally reported by James Breckenridge on an online newspaper Abbotsford Today on April 6, 2013.  I first learned of this incident on Oct. 21, 2015 via CBC Radio As It Happens   coverage of the BC Supreme Court ruling (Chief Justice Hinkson,
Abbotsford (City) v. Shantz, Case: 2015 BCSC 1909, Dockets S156820 and S159480), against the Abbotsford BC municipality, calling the city's actions "disgraceful".

CBC News also reported that BC's Supreme Court upheld the complaints by homeless persons that their Charter rights had been violated by chicken manure, bear spray, confiscation &/or destruction of the meager possessions of the homeless, and other disgusting and callous behaviours by municipal employees and/or police.
Figure 2:  Residents at the homeless protest camp in Jubilee
Park in 2014 refused to leave, despite threats of an injunction
from the City of Abbotsford, BC. (Photo: CBC)

CBC Radio states that local police may have facilitated, acquiesced, or originated the idea of using chicken manure as a weapon against the homeless.  The Abbotsford Chief of Police was quoted at a public meeting in the Winter of 2012-2013 saying: "My policy is displace and disperse … we only respond to complaints from citizens…we don’t seek the homeless out…”; in other words, run the homeless out of town.  It is unknown if these were bona fide substantiated complaints, or maybe automatic (or self-generated) complaints.

While no By-law was passed by the Municipal Councils to authorize these misguided actions, that doesn't guarantee that one or more Councillor, Mayor, Municipal Clerk, or other senior municipal manager didn't know of this planned action in advance, tacitly approved it, or acquiesced to the plan.

Subsequent to the initial report on the chicken manure incident, the scandal spread much further (see here, here, and here).  Eventually, Abbotsford Today reported in June 2013 that the city's manager of bylaw enforcement, the general manager of finance, and general manager of economic development all left the city's employment rather abruptly, shortly after the chicken manure attack upon the homeless.

There is now a video short that you can watch privately for $3.00 or you can screen it for your local community group.  There is also a Facebook group on this issue.

Abbotsford BC:  A City of Contrasts

As of June 2015, Abbotsford Today reports:
Homelessness: This issue won’t go away. The City of Abbotsford has spent $1 million of your money fighting the homeless in court, and they continue to lose nearly every battle. It is estimated that they will spend at least another $1 million only to lose the entire war. There has been no progress whatsoever on this issue. The only real beneficiary has been the City of Abbotsford’s law firm. So where do we go from here? Watch for this column coming soon.
What terrible fate or fear has fallen upon the people of Abbotsford, Surrey, and possibly many others that those who "have-a-little" feel a need to persecute the "have-nots"?

Is this a misguided attempt by the "have-a-little" people to clear the proverbial airport runway of poverty so that the "have-a-little" gain some free space to crash land into poverty as they are shot out of the sky by the 0.1%'ers?

Contrast the weaponized chicken manure with the report by Statistics Canada that as of 2011, Abbotsford had the most generous per capita charitable donations of any Canadian city for 9 straight years.

No doubt, Abbotsford BC is a city of contrasts.

I have previously posted about the precipitous drop in the savings rate of Canadians from 30% in 1980, reaching virtually zero in 2013 (see Blog posting "Why do we need cheaper food?").  In BC, the savings rate is currently -7%, meaning that the average household must use their credit card, bank line of credit, or re-mortgaging of their house so as to afford 7% of their monthly household expenses.  No wonder Food Banks in BC reported a 24.7% increase in Food Bank usage between 2008 and 2014, which is a doubling & re-doubling of Food Bank usage every 18.6 years.  In Abbotsford, there are 7 Food Banks to serve about 134,000 people.

In 2012, Globe & Mail reported:
"The Fraser Valley city of 137,000 went from recording 11 murders — most gang-related — in 2009 to none in 2011 after four deaths in 2010, Constable Ian MacDonald said.
Based on the Statistics Canada figures for communities with a population of more than 100,000, Abbotsford was on top [worst city for murders] on a per-capita basis in 2009."
In 2005, the Abbotsford–Mission metropolitan area had the highest property crime rate and the second highest violent crime rate for cities with a population of 100,000 to 500,000 in Canada.

With the Southern city limits of Abbotsford being the Canada-US border, Abbotsford is prime real estate for cross-border traffic with the USA.  BC Business magazine estimated that the BC marijuana industry "contributed" $7.5-billion GDP in 2008 with a labor force of over 250,000 workers.  BC's marijuana industry is #2 in the BC economy (Construction is #1, Forestry is #3).  With Canadian housing teetering on the brink of a crash, the housing wealth effect will likely soon evaporate.  The construction industry in BC (and across Canada) will soon likely shrivel like a man on a New Years Day Polar Bear plunge into an iced over lake.  That may soon leave marijuana as the #1 industry in BC.

Abbotsford, and many other similar communities may soon become even more stressed.

What comes after weaponized chicken manure?

Weaponized Chicken Manure

We believe that all chicken farmers, both quota and non-quota, must ensure that weaponized chicken manure (and all similar incidents) must be prohibited and prevented from re-occurring ever again.
Scientists have studied the negative impact on people from manure, and they can be severe.  The impact isn't limited to upper middle class suburbs that are encroaching upon farmland.  The study found: 
  • Bacteria, fungi, moulds, and bioactive substances like endotoxins and glucans were present in the dust (particulate matter) from manure;
  • "Odour annoyance is a strong negative predictor of QoL [Quality of Life] among nearby residents. Sixty-one percent of the respondents complained about unpleasant odours and 91% of these accused livestock as source of these odours."
Did this manure also contain dead bird mortalities or poultry processing waste, which could be even a greater biohazard risk?

It was reported that the chicken manure was extremely odorous when it was spread on the land, as well as next to, on top of, and inside tents used by the homeless to sleep in.

Chicken manure is only highly odorous when it is fresh, prior to it being composted.  Prior to composting, chicken manure contains, or should be assumed to contain, active pathogens (bacteria, viruses, and other biohazardous materials) that can readily contaminate articles or persons.  Chickens are known to carry or transmit 60 major diseases, some of which humans can be afflicted by.  Just one of those diseases is HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or "Bird Flu").  Thousands of people have died from contracting Bird Flu during the last decade, which was in BC's Fraser Valley as recently as Spring 2015.

If the chicken manure had a mild or minimal odor, it was likely properly composted prior to the mis-use of the manure by the municipalities.  If composted, the manure would have been denatured (ie. pathogens that had previously existed had been mostly or totally killed) via the high temperatures that naturally occur during proper composting techniques.

With very stinky chicken manure used by the municipality, I therefore conclude that a significant biohazardous risk was created when the chicken manure was used as a weapon against the homeless.

Crime, Terrorism, or Just a Bad Idea?

Figure 3:   Farmer David Cannon spreads manure upon the
walls and sidewalk outside a UK bank in 2000, after a
10 year dispute.  The farmer was fined and sentenced to
60 days in jail (suspended provided he stays out of trouble).
Should the bad acting BC municipalities  and the enabling
chicken farmer(s) face similar sanctions?
In the UK, a farmer assaulted urban bank branches using farm manure in Year 2000.  He was fined and sentenced to 60 days in jail (suspended sentence). Should the bad acting BC municipalities and the enabling chicken farmer(s) face similar sanctions?

Is there sufficient grounds for the RCMP to investigate this as a criminal act or indictable offense, and possibly lay charges?

For an example of the potential hazards and to minimize the risks from manures, look at the regulation for importing manure into Canada that could be infectious or biohazardous, we have the Federal  Health of Animals Regulations, C.R.C., c. 296
41.1.  A person may import into Canada an animal by-product, manure or a thing containing an animal by product or manure, other than one described in section 45, 46, 47, 47.1, 49, 50, 51, 51.2 or 53, if:
. . .
 (c) the by-product, manure or thing has been collected, treated, prepared, processed, stored and handled in a manner that would prevent the introduction into Canada of any reportable disease, any disease referred to in Schedule VII and any serious epizootic disease to which the species from which the by-product, manure or thing was derived is susceptible and that can be transmitted by the by¬product, manure or thing, and the person produces a certificate signed by an official of the government of the country of origin that

(i) attests that the by-product, manure or thing has been collected, treated, prepared, processed, stored and handled in that manner, and

(ii) shows the details of how it was collected, treat-ed, prepared, processed, stored and handled. 

BC's Environmental Management Act has an Agricultural Waste Control Regulation that controls the proper use of manures, but this regulation likely doesn't prohibit the crazy actions of these out of control municipalities.

It appears the chicken manure used meets the definition of a noxious substance.  There appears to be reasonable & probable grounds to believe the spreading of the chicken manure was an intentional act meant to aggrieve or annoy one or more of the homeless persons who were living in that area.  Section 245 of Canada's Criminal Code states:
Administering noxious thing
245. Every one who administers or causes to be administered to any person or causes any person to take poison or any other destructive or noxious thing is guilty of an indictable offence and liable
(a) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years, if he intends thereby to endanger the life of or to cause bodily harm to that person; or
(b) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, if he intends thereby to aggrieve or annoy that person.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 229.

The chicken manures used in BC seem to meet the definition of a active biological agent.  The Canadian Federal law Biological  and  Toxin  Weapons  Convention Implementation Act (Part 23) states on page 96:
6.(1) No person shall develop, produce, retain, stockpile, otherwise acquire or possess, use or transfer(a) any microbial or other biological agent, or any toxin, for any purpose other than prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; or

(b) any weapon, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such an agent or toxin for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.
Something tells me the chicken manure wasn't used for "peaceful purposes" against the homeless.  Section 14.(1) says that if someone contravenes Section 6, they are guilty of an indictable offense and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or to both.

Criminal Mischief is defined by Section 430:
430. (1) Every one commits mischief who wilfully
(a) destroys or damages property;
(b) renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective;
(c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property; or
(d) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.
Sections (a) and (b) seem to fit the prima facie evidence.  Case law has found that mischief can be done even to property such as refuse or garbage, so damaging or destroying the meager possessions of the homeless can still justify a charge of mischief.

I also looked at whether this could be considered an act or terrorism.  It doesn't appear the use of chicken manure against homeless people sufficiently meets the definition of terrorism under Section 431.2.(2) of the Criminal Code (see page 508).  However, if it was a Muslim-Canadian who had spread the chicken manure for the intentional harassment of the homeless, the previous PC government would likely have taken a different interpretation than what I have concluded here. 

BC's Chicken Mafia Aiding & Abetting Weaponizing of Chicken Manure ?

It is unlikely that the municipal employees normally have ready access to significant quantities of fresh, non-composted chicken manure.  Therefore the city employees had to obtain that fresh chicken manure from one or more chicken farmers, likely within or proximate to these misguided municipalities.

Therefore, I conclude that one or more Canadian chicken farmers likely enabled these civil rights violations by these wayward municipalities.

I have no way of knowing if the culpable chicken farmer(s) were small flockers or quota-based CAFO farmer(s).  However, assuming that the municipality needed large quantities of manure, it is unlikely that it came from a small flock poultry farmer.  I therefore assume the guilty farmer(s) was/were quota-based chicken farmer(s) who conspired and enabled these despicable actions by municipal employees.

I hope that rules, policies, regulations, or laws of  BC Chicken Marketing BoardBC Chicken Growers’ Association, BC Farm Industry Review Board, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, and B.C. Ministry of Health
are sufficient to ensure that manure (and all similar farm products) are never again mis-used as weapons against people, homeless or not.

Under BC Poultry Biosecurity Guide, BC's quota-based poultry farms:
  • Must have a documented manure management strategy (Section 4.4);
  • Recognize that manure can be a high-risk source of disease transmission (Section 4.4);
  • Must have a manure management strategy that, at a minimum, document how the manure was utilized and/or who transported it from the farm (Section 4.4); and
  • Should not spread raw (ie. not composted) manure on fields (Section 4.4); and
  • Require a mandatory written log book, and must log the name of company or individual transporting manure off the farm and, where known, the receiver (Section 4.7.1).
I doubt that anybody's Manure Management Strategy will neither document nor authorize the selling or gifting of chicken manure to a municipality or other third party for use as a weapon against homeless people.  If it isn't documented and yet was done by a BC quota-based chicken farm, then that is a non-compliance that can be investigated, the farmer(s) that facilitated this attack on the homeless can be identified, and those farmer(s) can be suitably sanctioned by the Chicken Mafia authorities in BC.

Has that Chicken Mafia investigation of weaponized chicken manure been done? If not, why not?

Could the chicken manure (recklessly spread on municipal lands as a weapon used against the homeless) be explained as an "accidental" spill?  Under the BC Spill Reporting Regulation, manure spills greater than 200 kg or 200 litres must be reported immediately to the Provincial Emergency Program.  Did this occur?

A 6 year study of manure issues by BC's Ministry of Environment has finally resulted in a Sept. 2015 announcement that changes are required to tighten controls on manure.  Perhaps this issue needs to be added too.

When I reviewed Small Flocker's policies and Principles, I was not comfortable that our Small Flocker principles were adequate to prevent this issue on our side of the farm fence.  Therefore, today I added the following to our Principles as the new #10:
10.  All farmers shall plan and reasonably ensure that all raw materials, on- and off-farm processes, products, by-products, wastes, and emissions are done in a lawful, moral, reasonable, sustainable, and socially acceptable manner for the entire life cycle of the materials and/or processes involved.
Does the BC Chicken Mafia have a similar policy?  Shouldn't Chicken Farmers of Canada take actions so we have a Canada-wide, consistent policy on the mis-use and abuse of people by chicken manure or other chicken offal?

Do any of these regulatory bodies need a policy?  If yes, they are welcome to use Small Flocker's new policy (see #10 above), if they wish, but I doubt they see the need.  I also doubt any of them will take action to do their job.  In that case, should the BC Farm Industry Review Board, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, or the B.C. Ministry of Health force the Chicken Mafia to protect the homeless or the public in general from this type of assault in the future?

If not, we can eventually expect the same type of bad behaviour (by or enabled by a CAFO chicken farmer) some time in the future.

Chicken Mafia Answers to Serious Questions?

I have sent this Blog posting to the above BC authorities, and put some questions to them about this issue.

Any bets on whether I receive a reasonable & timely response?

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