Dozens of Pigs Killed in Crash as Pig Defender Goes on Trial

Published by Zachary Toliver.

October 6, 2016 update: After a truck on its way to Fearmans Pork slaughterhouse overturned in Burlington, Ontario, killing 42 pigs, PETA is requesting city approval to place a 5-foot-high tombstone memorial at the site of the crash. The memorial would stand as a reminder of the pigs who were injured and who died near that spot, those who were rounded up and slaughtered that day, and all the thousands of others who have been and will be killed there. Toronto Pig Save reports that roughly 10,000 pigs are killed every day at Fearmans.

The tribute would feature an image of a pig next to these words: “In memory of the pigs who suffered and died at this spot and all who have died beyond these gates. Try vegan.” It would remind all drivers, including those with animals on board, to slow down and travel safely—while also pointing out that everyone can prevent slaughter trucks from traveling the highway by choosing vegan meals.

burlington_on_piglet_tombstoneiStock.com/Chiyacat | iStock.com/ChristianLohman

 

“Over a short span—and for nothing more than some bacon and burgers—multiple crashes in the same province have left animals mangled and suffering on an already terrifying trip to the slaughterhouse,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA’s roadside memorial can prevent further tragedies, including human ones, by reminding people to drive with care and give a thought to animals by no longer eating them.

Before pigs are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughterhouses, they suffer immensely on industrialized meat farms. Sows are squeezed into narrow metal stalls barely larger than their bodies and kept almost constantly pregnant or nursing. Pigs’ tails are chopped off, their teeth are cut with pliers, and males are castrated—all without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, they are hung upside down and bled to death, often while still conscious.

Originally published October 5, 2016.

A truck headed to the notorious Burlington, Ontario, slaughterhouse overturned Wednesday morning, killing 42 pigs and injuring many of the 160 others who were crammed inside. Bloodcurdling screams from the pigs could be heard from the toppled trailer as firefighters worked to open the crumpled wreckage. Some pigs managed to escape and wandered through the local streets until they were rounded up again to be killed.

pig-2Photo Credit: Brian Kelly

“You kill 10,000 pigs a day! Can’t some of these pigs go to a sanctuary? Do you have zero compassion?” A concerned bystander said on the scene.

“The horror that puts bacon on the plate became evident today, as pigs—already scared and banged up—spilled onto the highway when a truck carrying them to their deaths in Burlington, Ontario, overturned,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said. “PETA asks everyone to spare a thought for them or, better, spare a pig by turning away from bacon and ham, rather than turning away from what these animals endure every day.”

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The crash came just two days after Newkirk and others attended a rally in Burlington for Toronto Pig Save cofounder Anita Krajnc, who is on trial for giving water to hot, thirsty pigs who were being hauled to slaughter.

Krajnc was arrested at the scene and charged with obstructing a peace officer and breach of recognizance. She managed to share a video of the wreckage from inside a police car.

Numerous animal defenders were onsite alongside Krajnc, pleading with authorities to let them take the injured pigs to a sanctuary. Instead of receiving medical attention or any sort of compassion, the pigs laid crippled and dying on the ground as police fought to keep defenders behind a barrier.

The transport to slaughter can be nearly as miserable as the final destination. Crammed into trucks, pigs struggle to get air and are usually given no food or water for the entire journey, which is often hundreds of miles long. They endure all temperature extremes and are forced to inhale diesel exhaust. A former pig transporter told PETA that pigs are sometimes “packed in so tight, their guts actually pop out their butts—a little softball of guts actually comes out.”

What You Can Do

Every piece of bacon, pork, or ham on a plate is the end result of a process filled with cruelty from start to finish. The compassionate and responsible choice for anyone who is shocked by this incident, and the countless others like it, is to go vegan.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind