Canadian on trial for giving a suffering animal a drink

By on October 4, 2016 with 23 Comments

As I write this, a woman in Canada named Anita Krajnc is standing trial for an act of pure compassion. Her alleged crime? In June of last year, the Toronto resident let pigs crowded into a trailer on a scorching summer day, obviously parched and in distress, lap up some water before they were transported to slaughter.

Footage of the incident reveals gasping, desperate pigs drinking the water that Ms. Krajnc provided through the side of the truck. Unbelievably, the driver of the vehicle and the owner of the pigs both called the police in response to Ms. Krajnc doing something that any good person would do for a person or animal in trouble.

While pigs are considered property in Canada, Ms. Krajnc’s lawyers argue that she was — both through her actions and the motivation for them — serving the public good. The pigs, they assert, were distressed, and in the absence of a sufficient law or common industry standards that compelled the hauler to act, it was her duty to help.

This wasn’t the first time that Ms. Krajnc had offered water to animals on their way to slaughter, nor, by her own declaration, will it be her last. In 2010, Ms. Krajnc co-founded Toronto Pig Save, a group dedicated to bearing witness to animals in the last minutes of their lives and, when possible, offering a final act of mercy by providing them with water. In the years since it was founded, Krajnc’s group has become well-established in the Toronto area, holding weekly vigils outside local pig, chicken, and cattle slaughterhouses. Inspired by Krajnc, dozens of Save groups have been founded worldwide in recent years, including more than 20 here in the United States.

Some might have thought the prosecution of Anita Krajnc would be a deterrent to the Save groups. But it soon became clear that the trial was bolstering their efforts by shining a global spotlight on the terrible plight of farm animals in transport. During their testimonies, both the truck driver and the owner of the pigs testified about the treatment of farm animals during transport and their statements reveal that many standard industry practices subject animals to unimaginable levels of suffering.

In 2010, Anita Krajnc co-founded Toronto Pig Save, a group dedicated to bearing witness to animals in the last minutes of their lives and, when possible, offering a final act of mercy by providing them with water. Inspired by Krajnc, dozens of Save groups have been founded worldwide in recent years. Above, Krajnc with Esther the Wonder Pig.

In 2010, Anita Krajnc co-founded Toronto Pig Save, a group dedicated to bearing witness to animals in the last minutes of their lives and, when possible, offering a final act of mercy by providing them with water. Inspired by Krajnc, dozens of Save groups have been founded worldwide in recent years. Above, Krajnc with Esther the Wonder Pig. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

In Canada, pigs can be transported in extreme weather conditions for up to 36 hours without being offered food, water, or rest. For other farm animals, the journey can extend to 72 hours. American law is hardly any better, restricting transport to 28 hours for pigs, even while all parties acknowledge it’s very difficult to enforce. In the European Union, that limit is just eight hours. According to figures from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, up to three million farm animals die during transport each year, with millions more so sick or injured that they must be euthanized upon arrival.

Late last month, California governor Jerry Brown signed AB 797, the Right to Rescue Act, into law. The new law, supported by The HSUS, protects bystanders from prosecution should they have to break into a vehicle to save a pet from overheating. The law was written in response to the tragic and avoidable deaths of a series of family pets across California and will save lives by allowing concerned citizens to act without fear of committing a crime.

As a society, we know that it’s wrong to let animals languish in hot vehicles, and our laws are changing to reflect our values. Anita Krajnc sought to relieve the suffering of animals in distress, and she did so peacefully. Just because the creatures were pigs, destined for slaughter, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve our mercy.

Ms. Krajnc testified yesterday and repeated the reason she has already given regarding the motivation for her actions––that she was practicing the “golden rule” of treating others as we would like to be treated. Krajnc has said: “If someone’s thirsty, you give them water.” I stand with Anita, and hope you will too.

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Farm Animals

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23 Comments

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  1. Catherine Winsor says:

    This woman is a saint and should NOT be prosecuted for giving a drink to a poor animal on it’s way to be slaughtered. Better yet, DON’T KILL ANIMALS FOR FOOD!!!

  2. Annoula Wylderich says:

    What an incredible blemish upon society when those who exhibit compassion are punished for it.

  3. L says:

    How pitiful How inhumane can anyone be HOW IN GOD’S NAME CAN YOU ARREST ANY ONE FOR THAT SMFH…..

  4. Tina Mangrum says:

    Where has our society gone to when a person is criminalized for giving water to a living breathing being? To shit and Hell that is where!
    Evil is prevailing and when good samaritans are punished for doing what is right then there is something very very wrong here!!

  5. BW says:

    Ms. Krajnc, in her defense and explanation regarding the motivation for her actions, should have added that “It’s what any normal person would do”. Does it have to be spelled out?

    If judges can’t appreciate what a normal motivation to action is, then laws are for nothing.

    • Edyth C Jackson says:

      I totally agree. We live in a non-compassion world when $$$$$ is more important than compassion for a God created living being. Karma will come and bite them in the ….. fill in the blank space.

  6. Tracy johnson says:

    The law needs to change it has here about the journey of animals travelling. What sort of World are we living in that’s horrendous to see

    • Edyth C Jackson says:

      We should have ALL these owners, truck drivers, (or anyone who has anything to do with this) travel on these trucks in cramped, hot, stinking conditions with no water for long distances and see how they like it. God created animals, species, mammals, etc and humans. We are responsible for ALL this environment also. We who are signing petitions are doing an awesome thing in voicing our opinion on these topics which is good. At least we are doing something awesome. Stating our positive opinion is better than doing nothing. Plus we are letting BIG BUSINESSES KNOW WHERE “WE THE PEOPLE” STAND ON THIS. There is strength in numbers.

  7. RK says:

    We live in a sick world when a person who tries to help a suffering being is forced to defend their actions in a court of law. I am encouraged by Ms. Krajnc’s actions but have overwhelming feelings of sadness and despair for the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals and immense suffering that goes on daily in this world.

  8. Fran Leard says:

    These heartless people should be jammed in a cell with no water. How can these idiots punish this caring women for helping these precious animals.

    This is an outrage and we should be everything in our power to boycott this sick pathetic government and their disgusting laws.

    • Edyth C Jackson says:

      Totally agree. Big Businesses only care about is $$$$$$. The government uh, you see how they treat us. Treat us like …… (fill in the blank space). It would be nice “IF WE THE PEOPLE” could do something to change the LAWS and this world.

  9. Donna Mitchell says:

    I stand with Anita. She is a brave, compassionate person to be admired not punished.

  10. Satish Karandikar says:

    Thank you Wayne for supporting Anita. God bless you!

  11. Elizabeth Greenwood says:

    Horrible driver and company!!

    • Edyth C Jackson says:

      These people will pay for their misguided ways one day (Karma) and will be “CRYING FOR FORGIVENESS.” I am not judging just giving my opinion. (Just as I judge others God will judge me.) My mother once told me as a young child, “you do not know what someone is going through unless you walk in their shoes or see the world through these people eyes.” With the compassion and respect that I have for ALL of God creations I wouldn’t knowingly hurt it.

  12. Jon639 says:

    SHOCKING!!!!! The humans who perpetrate this hellish factory farming and the humans who eat, buy and support the meat industry are all guilty of incredible animal abuse.

  13. marlene maceachern says:

    I stand with Anita!!!

  14. marlene maceachern says:

    Canada is so far behind towards compassion for animals—sad!!!!

  15. margarita clayton says:

    I stand for California Law 797; for compassion to all animals; for all that animal welfare organizations do & believe; I am a vegan , 30 – 40 years due to the suffering our friends the animals endure; my blood work is terrific as is my heart scan – 0 calcium deposits in all realms that have to do with the heart; statistically, by age 81 for females, heart attacks are the norm. I’m for all which the HSUS stands. Thanks for all your info. I pray for the animals.

  16. katybyrne says:

    Please be clear with us up front on these wonderful blogs….
    WHAT DO YOU WANT US TO DO?

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