Woman who gave wa­ter to pigs headed to slaugh­ter found not guilty of mis­chief

Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

A Toronto woman who gave wa­ter to pigs on a truck headed to an abat­toir didn’t break the law since she didn’t harm the an­i­mals or pre­vent them from be­ing slaugh­tered, an On­tario judge ruled Thurs­day as he found the ac­tivist not guilty of a mis­chief charge.

Anita Kra­jnc also did not in­tend to hurt the pigs or mean to cause the slaugh­ter­house to re­ject them, Jus­tice David Har­ris told a Mil­ton, Ont., court­room packed with an­i­mal ac­tivists.

Court heard that on June 22, 2015, Kra­jnc was dump­ing liq­uid from a wa­ter bot­tle into a truck car­ry­ing pigs in Burling­ton, Ont., as the ve­hi­cle ap­proached a slaugh­ter­house.

De­spite the Crown’s ar­gu­ment that Kra­jnc gave the pigs an “un­known sub­stance,’’ po­ten­tially con­tam­i­nat­ing the food sup­ply, there was no ev­i­dence she gave them any­thing but wa­ter or that the slaugh­ter­house was con­cerned about such a risk, Har­ris said.

But the judge re­jected a de­fence ar­gu­ment that Kra­jnc should be cleared be­cause she was act­ing in the greater good, and sug­gested she may have been mo­ti­vated in part by the prospect of draw­ing at­ten­tion to her cause.

“This may be the most ironic as­pect of this case,’’ Har­ris said. “The fact that Ms. Kra­jnc gave wa­ter to a pig re­ceived lit­tle at­ten­tion ini­tially.’’

“Con­versely, the act of prose­cut­ing Ms. Kra­jnc has prob­a­bly led to enough bad pub­lic­ity for the pork in­dus­try that it might be said that the pros­e­cu­tion ac­tu­ally ac­com­plished what they ac­cused Ms. Kra­jnc of try­ing to do.’’

Cheers erupted in the court­room as Kra­jnc, an ac­tivist with the group Toronto Pig Save, was ac­quit­ted on the charge of mis­chief laid in con­nec­tion with the in­ci­dent. She had pleaded not guilty, al­though she ad­mit­ted to giv­ing the pigs wa­ter.

Out­side court, Kra­jnc ac­knowl­edged that the case has bol­stered her cause and said she hoped it would en­cour­age others to stand up for an­i­mal rights.

“This is how so­cial move­ments get their word out, we go out­side our com­fort zone and we do what’s right,’’ she said.

James Sil­ver, one of Kra­jnc’s lawyers, said the court rul­ing “ac­knowl­edges that com­pas­sion is not a crime,’’ which he deemed an im­por­tant vic­tory.


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