Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hybrid Turkeys hires Ottawa lawyer

Kurtis Andrews of Ottawa is the lead lawyer defending Hybrid Turkeys Ltd. against three charges of animal cruelty laid by the Ontario Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after news media coverage of an underground video from Mercy for Animals.

Andrews is filing a constitutional challenge, claiming the law governing the system Ontario has set up is “granting police powers to a private organization without due restraints, accountability and transparency.”

Pamela Kraus of Kitchener is the lawyer representing five employees who face eight animal cruelty charges.

The crown attorney was not ready when the case came up in court in Woodstock Wednesday because the OSPCA didn’t turn over its package of documentation until Tuesday.

The trial is set to begin Nov. 20. The case is being heard in Woodstock because the farms where the video was shot has a Bright address.

Hybrid, which is owned by Hendrix Genetics Ltd. of the Netherlands, has a 60 per cent market share in the global turkey-breeding business. It has only one major competitor.

Hybrid, which is headquartered in Kitchener, runs 50 barns at 11 farms.