A protester was run over in front of a slaughterhouse Friday after getting struck while at a rally in front of the processing plant by a transport truck full of pigs.
Regan Russell, a long time activist with Toronto Pig Save died after being hit, said the group’s co-founder Anita Krajnc.
Russell, 65, was killed just two days after the province passed controversial legislation that hiked fines for trespassing on farms and food-processing facilities and made it illegal to obstruct trucks carrying farm animals.
Dozens of activists gathered at the plant Friday to mourn their friend.
Russell had often joined Toronto Pig Save as they gave water to pigs on transport trucks at the entrance of the plant, she said, and Friday was no different.
“She supported Black Lives Matter, Indigenous rights and she was an intersectional vegan who understood the importance of equality in terms of racial justice and in terms of animal equality,” Krajnc said.
A large number of activists have shown up at the scene, where the group plans to hold an all-night vigil in honour of Russell and the pigs she loved, Krajnc said.
“We have asked management to get some of these pigs in the truck to a sanctuary in her name,” she said.
Halton police said they received a call around 10:20 a.m. about a pedestrian who had been struck by a transport truck. They said the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
The group has long protested the slaughter of pigs at Fearman’s Pork and were there Friday to protest the recent passage of a law activists have dubbed the “ag gag” bill.
Toronto Pig Save regularly holds “vigils” outside the facility, and on hot days activists will feed water to the pigs as they’re taken to slaughter.
Temperatures reached 30C Friday and much of southwestern Ontario was under a heat warning by Environment Canada.
“We have had many close calls here,” Krajnc said. “We have asked for trucks to stop for two minutes so we can bear witness, say goodbye to the pigs and give them water.”
The group drew international headlines in 2015 when Krajnc was arrested while giving water to the pigs on a hot day at the same spot.
She was later found not guilty of criminal mischief when the case went to trial.
Sofina Foods Inc., owner of Fearman’s Pork, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.