Protester run over by a transport truck and killed at the gates to the Fearmans plant on Harvester Road.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 19th, 2020



In a Media release put out by the Halton Regional Police service earlier today the death of a 60 year old woman was reported to have taken place at Harvester Road and Appleby Line.

There was no mention of who the person was other than to say that next of kin had been notified.

Pig protester killed

Regan Russell at the intersection of Harvester Road and Appleby Line yards away from where she was killed by a truck transporting pigs.

Regan Russell, who was identified as the victim in a release by Animal Justice, was struck by a transport truck that was hauling pigs through the gates of Fearmans Pork meat processing facility at Appleby Line and Harvester Road at around 10:20 a.m. on Friday, June 19.

The truck with its cargo of pigs remained at the scene for several hours as police blocked off the area and began their investigation.

A Burlington resident sitting across the street from the plant in the Wendy’s parking lot when the incident happened, described what he saw:

“The truck was there for about four or five minutes. The protesters were there. Then they walked away from the truck when they were done,” said the observer.

“Then I saw a woman … I assumed the truck driver thought he was clear to go and didn’t see that last protester.”

Around 10 protesters who had been engaged in a regularly scheduled animal rights vigil at the plant remained on the scene following the crash.

Anita Krajnc, co-founder of the group Toronto Pig Save, talked about the victim, a Hamilton resident in her 60s.

While Krajnc was not on the scene when the collision happened, she noted Regan Russell and the other activists were bringing the trucks to a stop by standing in front of the gate to the plant and then giving water to the pigs in the truck, recording video and attempting to raise awareness of the pigs’ plight.

Animal Justice said in its media release that Regan Russell was run over by a transport truck as she attended a peaceful vigil outside of the facility.


Firefighters and slaughterhouse staff attempt to corral pigs trapped in a transport truck that flipped on its side with a load of pigs.

“Ten thousand pigs are trucked into and slaughtered at the Fearmans Pork slaughterhouse every day. Advocates with the Animal Save Movement hold regular vigils outside of the slaughterhouse to document the suffering of these animals in transport. On a scorching hot day like today, many pigs are likely to arrive at the facility already dead from heat exposure.

“The tragic death comes two days after the controversial agricultural gag (“ag gag”) law, Bill 156, was passed in Ontario. Bill 156 is designed to cover up animal cruelty on farms and during transport. Among other troubling provisions aimed at preventing whistle blowers and animal advocates from exposing the abuse of farmed animals, the new law aims to restrict the peaceful protest rights of those who hold vigils at slaughterhouses across the province.

Silent vigil - pigs being photo'd

Protesters photograph the pigs in a transport truck – part of their documenting what they see as cruel.

“It does so by making it an offence to “interact” with farmed animals in a transport truck—a prohibition widely denounced by animal advocates and constitutional law experts as an unconstitutional restriction of rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Today’s vigil was one of the last opportunities for a vigil before the bill becomes law.

Pigs being watered - trial

Protesters giving pigs on the way into the slaughterhouse water.

Movement founder Anita Krajnc, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief for giving water to pigs in a transport truck outside of the Fearmans slaughterhouse. Ms. Krajnc was acquitted in 2017 after a much-publicized trial. Vigils at Fearmans Pork adhere to strict safety protocols.

“Regan Russell was a kind, elegant, strong, and courageous person,” said Anita Krajnc, founder of the Animal Save Movement. “She was a mentor to others, and she always did activism with kindness in her heart.”

“She had been an animal advocate since 1979, attended vigils weekly for years, and cared deeply about justice for animals, racial justice, and protecting the vulnerable.”

Related news story:

Police report on the death of a 60 year old female.

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