Animal activist struck, killed days after anti-trespassing rules given royal assent


by John G Smith, Truck News (Canada)

June 25, 2020


BURLINGTON, Ont. – Animal rights activist Regan Russell died in a June 19 accident, protesting the very Ontario law that aims to discourage people from approaching livestock-hauling trucks and processing facilities.


It wasn’t the first time that protesters had gathered outside Fearman’s Pork to “bear witness” to pigs being transported to slaughter. Supporters of organizations such as Toronto Pig Save regularly walk up to such vehicles, extending water bottles out to pigs loaded in the trailers. But the accident happened just days after Ontario’s Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act was given royal assent.


It was also almost five years to the day after Toronto Pig Save co-founder Anita Krajnc was charged with criminal mischief for giving water to pigs being transported into the same facility in Burlington, Ont. She was later found not guilty.


“That area does see frequent plant protests,” Halton Regional Police Constable Steve Elms told Today’s Trucking.


Police continue to investigate video evidence relating to the June 19 accident, but no charges have been laid.


“This is a tragedy and we extend our sincere condolences to them,” facility owners Sofina Foods said in a public statement. “We also recognize the impact that this event had on our employees and have been providing support to them in these very difficult times.”


When introducing the legislation, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs cited concerns about people approaching moving trucks or attempting to stop the equipment on public roadways. Interacting with animals in transport would also cause additional stress to the livestock and risk introducing contaminants into the food supply, it added.


The new rules prohibit stopping or interfering with motor vehicles transporting farm animals, or interacting with the farm animals without explicit prior consent. There are also several trespassing-related measures relating to farms and processing facilities themselves.


Penalties will include fines of up to...