BURLINGTON, Ont. – An animal rights activist testified Monday that she “was just following the golden rule” when she gave pigs en route to slaughter a drink of water on a hot day last year.
Anita Krajnc, an activist with the group Toronto Pig Save, has pleaded not guilty to a mischief charge in the June 2015 incident, when she poured water through the portholes of a truck carrying the pigs.
Krajnc told a packed courtroom in Burlington, Ont., that she felt she was treating the pigs as they would want to be treated.
More than 150 people squeezed into the room to hear her testimony, some sitting on the floor.
Krajnc told court that she has spent hundreds of hours “bearing witness” to animals as they are transported to slaughter, and was sometimes accompanied by police who were keeping a watchful eye.
She said that before her arrest, police had never told her it was illegal to feed the pigs.
She took that as an implicit blessing from police, she testified.
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One of Krajnc’s defence lawyers, James Silver, said outside court that his client was acting in the public good in the incident.
He likened it to helping a thirsty dog on a hot day.
Krajnc echoed that sentiment in her testimony.
“It’s actually criminal to leave a dog in a car on a hot day,” she said. “Pigs are the same.”
But the Crown contends that Krajnc was tampering with the farmer’s property.
Krajnc started off her testimony explaining the role of Toronto Pig Save, which she said has a three-fold mission: to promote a non-violent vegan world, to promote activism and to promote a cultural shift.
She said the group holds three vigils for animals en route to slaughter each week, taking video while they do, so they can spread their message.
She testified that seeing a truck full of pigs is, to her, like seeing “a truck full of four-year-old children,” saying that pigs have the same level of intelligence as those kids.
This is the third court date in Krajnc’s trial. On the first day, court heard from the truck driver who was transporting the pigs to slaughter, and the farmer who owned the pigs.
That day, court also watched video of the 2015 incident, in which Krajnc is seen yelling to the truck driver, “Have some compassion, have some compassion!”