Two protesters get conditional discharge after Alberta turkey farm demonstration

Some of the protesters locked themselves into a barn

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Two of three people charged following a protest at a southern Alberta turkey farm have received conditional discharges in court.

Maxwell Ming Mah of Edmonton and Claire Buchanan of Calgary were each facing one count of break and enter to commit mischief after the protest last September.

Court records show they were sentenced in Lethbridge provincial court on Friday.

A conditional discharge typically comes after a guilty plea or conviction at trial and requires a person to meet certain conditions, which are written as probation orders.

Mah and Buchanan must not have any contact with the turkey farm, not post anything publicly about the farm, not come within 50 metres of any location where animals are kept and must complete 50 hours of community service.

Kennadi Rae Herbert of Pincher Creek, Alta., is to be in Lethbridge provincial court this Friday for a plea.

The three were among about 60 people who held a protest at the Jumbo Valley Hutterite turkey farm near Fort Macleod, about 170 kilometres southeast of Calgary.

Some of the protesters locked themselves into a barn to take photographs and raise awareness about conditions on the farm.

The protest got the attention of the Alberta government, which overhauled the province’s trespassing laws last November. The changes increased the maximum fine to up to $200,000 and possible jail time from $2,000 for a first offence.

Animal rights groups have called the legislation the “Ag Gag Law” and have said it could affect those who are trying to expose wrongdoing or poor conditions on farms.

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