July 17, 2015
Humane society says free speech denied
Vancouver – The Abbotsford News has refused to print a full-page ad from the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) that raises concerns about the treatment of animals at the upcoming Agrifair rodeo (July 31-Aug 3) in Abbotsford. VHS says the rejection is a denial of free speech.
The ad shows a photo of steer-wrestling taken at the Agrifair rodeo in 2008 with a caption asking: “That’s entertainment?” It states that rodeo animals are subjected to fear, pain and stress and urges people who care about animals not to attend the event.
VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker says the ad has been checked by VHS’s lawyers and contained nothing that should preclude publication. “This is simply fair comment on a public issue but it appears the Abbotsford News has a problem with freedom of expression,” said Fricker.
Fricker said VHS had offered to consider amending the ad to meet the newspaper’s concerns but had received no response.
The ad can be seen here.