The following are the trial documents in the Anita Krajnc case.
Anita Krajnc is a co-founding leader of Toronto Pig Save, a group of local activists which “bear witness” at the gates of slaughterhouses. This practice often involves a modest form of direct action that holds up transport trucks at the gates for a few minutes, whereby activists scramble to give water to the animals in the trucks and photograph the witness.
On June 22, 2015 outside of Fearman’s Pork slaughterhouse in the City of Burlington, ON, activists gave water to pigs on a transport truck from Van Boekel Hog Farms. The driver took exception to the giving of water to pigs in the truck.
A video of the interaction is below:
The owner of Van Boekel Hog Farms, Eric van Boekel, filed a case against Anita the next day. As a result, Anita was formally charged on September 9, 2015 with criminal mischief and interference with property, under section 430(1)(c) of the Criminal Code and potentially carrying severe penalties. The case went to trial August 24, 2016 and included 5 days of evidence. Closing arguments were made March 9, 2017. The decision of Justice David Harris was delivered yesterday morning, acquitting Anita of all charges.
This case is somewhat notable for the various defence strategies that were employed – most particularly turning the courts’ attention from mischief to the notion of “public good” and introducing animal-centric expert testimony that virtually never gets heard in court.
But although the case has become a minor cause célèbre- and the defence of activists in struggle remain an obvious priority- it is important to make sense of what has actually been at stake, and the meaning of these results. It remains unclear what this means for animal activists before the law in Canada and many of the defence strategies did not improve the movement case within the Canadian legal system. Most sobering, virtually nothing has changed in the material lives of animals.
These facts should give cause for serious reflection on continued movement building for animal liberation. This includes more critical self-examination of how our movements are structured, and to what exact ends. They can, at the very least, inspire a renewed sense urgency for the struggle.
There are 12 trial documents attached immediately below, which include the Crown and Defence submissions, 4 prepared expert testimonies, 5 evidence transcriptions, and the decision.
Transcripts are reproduced on ALC with permission of the court.
EXPERT TESTIMONY – DEFENCE
David J A Jenkins, MD, FRSC
Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism, University of Toronto
Staff Physician and Director of Clinical Nutrition, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto
Expert Witness Report: Animal Products, Health and Nutrition
Lori Marino, PhD
Founder and Director of Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy
Previously Bio-psychologist at Emory University
Expert Witness Report: Cognitive Characteristics of Pigs and Their Welfare on Factory Farms
Armaiti May, DVM, CVA,
Veterinarian in private practice in Los Angeles, California, USA
Expert Witness Report: Conditions of Pigs in Transportation to Slaughter on June 22nd, 2015 in Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Associate Professor, Geography, Western University
Expert Witness Report: Environmental Impacts of Modern Industrial Pig Farming
Evidence documents are per day of proceedings. Witnesses before the court on the day in question are noted.
August 24, 2016
Veldjesgraaf (1)/ Van Boekel (2)
August 25, 2016
Van Boekel (2)/ May (3)
October 3, 2016
November 1, 2016
Marino (5) / Jenkins (6)
November 10, 2016