R v Krajnc, 2017 ONCJ 281

This case is often referred to as the “Pig Trial 1″ which garnered much media exposure.

The accused, Ms. Krajnc (”K”), was charged under section 430(1)(c) of the Criminal Code after giving water to pigs in a tractor trailer out side Fearman’s Pork Slaughterhouse in Burlington. K was giving the pigs water as part of her regular activism with The Save Movement.  The trailer with the pigs stopped at a red light. The protesters, including K, took advantage to interact with the pigs – something they did routinely. K took the opportunity to give at least one pig water. The trailer driver got out and had a rude interaction with K before driving off. This interaction was filmed. The trailer driver then phoned the employer and someone called the police.

K is alleged to have caused mischief by giving the pig an “unknown liquid”, which is created a foreseeable risk that the slaughterhouse may refuse to accept the pigs. Ultimately, court did not find K guilty as it was not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that K interfered, or that she did so willfully. The charge was thus dismissed.

Interestingly, the defence argued that the pigs were not property but persons as a “person” did not equal a “human”. The judge dismissed this argument and confirmed that pigs were property.

The judge also explored legal justification for her actions. Here, the defence asked the judge to “be on the right side”, equating this case (and K) with the causes and actions of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Susan B. Anthony. The judge noted the heavy public and media attention on the case -specifically noting how the charge and the resulting process gave K and her group the attention they desired to bring awareness to their cause.

The judge also did not dismiss that the pigs were in some sort of distress, but found that evidence was not proffered indicating the degree of distress was outside the level contemplated by governing regulations.

Accused acquitted.