Farm & Food Care Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario released a joint statement last week in response to the dismissal of charges announced by Justice David Harris on Anita Krajnc’s charge for criminal mischief related to interfering with farm animals while in transit. (Editor’s Note: Krajnc, animal rights activist and co-founder of Toronto Pig Save, had been charged as a result of giving water to pigs in a slaughter truck on the way to Fearman’s Pork Inc. slaughterhouse in Burlington in June 2015.)
The Ontario farm organizations are extremely disappointed with the decision and are concerned that activists will be encouraged to engage in escalating activities that are a growing threat to animal welfare, food security and human safety.
Bruce Kelly, Farm & Food Care Ontario said that “Ontario farmers work hard to ensure high standards of animal welfare and a safe and healthy food supply for Canadians. Actions by Krajnc and activists like her should not be condoned by the courts as they threaten acceptable and legal farming practices and are a threat to food safety.”
Eric Schwindt, board chair for Ontario Pork added, “This is frustrating for Ontario pork producers, who adhere to federal regulations and high standards of animal care, and are constantly evolving to further enhance their commitment to healthy animals and communities. Our concern in this instance was specific to the safety of food and people.”
Furthermore, Pat Jilesen, Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture said, “The livestock industry abides by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Health of Animals transport regulations. This ensures the well-being of all livestock during movement and transport. Interfering with animals during transport is simply unsafe for the animals and the people involved.”
Clarence Nywening, President of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, concluded, “This is a huge disappointment to Ontario farmers who are committed to keeping animals healthy and safe throughout their lives. Actions like this by activists are putting pigs, families, communities and livelihoods at risk.”
Farm & Food Care Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario share a mandate to support agriculture and Ontario farmers. The four groups will meet to discuss next steps related to this issue.