This morning Justice David Harris rendered a verdict declaring Anita Krajnc not guilty of criminal mischief for providing water to thirsty pigs in a transport truck en route to a slaughterhouse. Krajnc, a member of Toronto Pig Save, was charged with violating the law after she poured water into the openings of a metal transport trailer in Burlington, Ontario, in June 2015. The offense carried a maximum fine of $5,000 and jail time.
Krajnc had attempted to offer these animals a moment of reprieve from a lifetime of suffering. It was a simple act of kindness.
The trial, which garnered worldwide attention, left people wondering how Krajnc’s compassion could possibly be deemed a criminal act. Justice Harris noted that the courtroom was full of spectators each day. “Actually, the courtroom was more than full,” Harris said. “Every seat was taken. Many sat on the floor. There was no empty space left. Members of the press sat in what would normally be the prisoners’ box.”
The “Pig Trial,” as it came to be known, not only questioned whether Krajnc was guilty of criminal mischief, but also asked larger questions, including whether pigs should be considered property under the law. Pigs are intelligent, sensitive animals. They experience joy and happiness, form social groups, and as numerous Mercy For Animals investigations show, suffer physically and psychologically in factory farms, slaughterhouses, and transport vehicles.
In 2014, an MFA undercover investigator documented the horrors of livestock transport in Canada. Hidden-camera footage revealed pigs too sick or injured to stand being painfully shocked with electric prods, kicked, beaten, and violently rammed with heavy gates. Frightened animals were transported hundreds of kilometres in sweltering heat, suffering from heat stress and dehydration.
Watch the undercover video footage here:
Although this verdict is a clear victory for Krajnc and Toronto Pig Save, Canada’s transport regulations remain woefully outdated despite MFA’s years-long campaign to update them. As MFA works to improve Canadian laws and regulations by exposing animal cruelty inherent in the meat, dairy, and egg industries, you still hold the greatest power of all to prevent the needless suffering of farmed animals by adopting a healthy vegan diet. For information on eating more compassionately, please click here.