Over 3,000 Pigs Burned to Death at Infamous #PigTrial Van Boekel Farm

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2 min read

A barn in Ontario, Canada, owned by farmer Eric Van Boekel—the man who infamously called authorities to arrest Anita Krajnc for simply giving water to thirsty pigshas burned to the ground, killing thousands of animals.

Authorities claimed that roughly 3,000 mother pigs and an undetermined number of others died in the fire. Not surprisingly, massive deaths from barn fires are common, as these buildings can have many fire hazards—such as dry materials or shoddy wiring—and they often lack safety measures, such as fire escapes for the animals, sprinkler systems, or fire detectors. Just one week after the Van Boekel farm fire, 12,000 pigs were killed in a Saskatchewan barn fire.

Ironically, when Van Boekel complained to police in 2015 about Krajnc’s heroic actions, he hypocritically claimed that he was worried about the pigs’ safety—yes, the same pigs who were headed directly to a slaughterhouse.

It’s heartbreaking that these pigs died, but in death, they’ve escaped a horrid reality filled only with filth and pain.

PETA has repeatedly exposed horrific abuse and torment in the hog industry. Pigs are intelligent, sensitive animals who feel pain just like you and I do, yet nearly all the 110 million pigs killed in the U.S. and the more than 20 million pigs killed in Canada for food every year are raised on filthy factory farms, where they’re subjected to extreme crowding, forceful impregnation, routine mutilations like castration and ear-notching, a terrifying trip to the slaughterhouse, and a violent, painful death.

It’s standard industry practice for workers to cut off piglets’ tails, clip their teeth, and castrate male pigs—all without any painkillers. Unwanted “runts” are usually killed—workers often do this by slamming their heads against the floor.


Extreme crowding, poor ventilation, and filth cause rampant disease, and pigs often develop arthritis and other joint problems from being forced to live on slatted concrete floors and because of the genetic manipulation that causes them to grow too large too quickly. In order to save money and time, many farmers kill sick animals or leave them to die instead of providing them with veterinary care.

Activists like Krajnc have seen it all. In the winter, some pigs die frozen to the insides of trucks. In the summer, some die of heat exhaustion. Others fall and suffocate when additional animals are forced to pile in on top of them. All are in a panic—screaming and desperately trying to get away—and many die of heart attacks.

You Can Help Save Countless Animals From Tragic Deaths Right Now

These 3,000-plus pigs didn’t have to die—they were killed because humans still dine on animal flesh. The best thing that you can do for animals right now is to go vegan. By simply leaving living beings off your plate, you’ll save over 100 animals a year from a senseless and terrifying death.

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