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Providing Thirsty Pigs Water: Compassion or a Crime?

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Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County — On a hot June day in Burlington, Ontario animal activist Anita Krajnc waited and watched as a truck loaded with pigs stopped in traffic en route to slaughterhouse. Ms. Krajnc, armed with a water bottle, approached the parched pigs. “In the summer, pigs are exceptionally hot. They don’t have sweat glands like other animals and we saw pigs that were panting heavily and foaming at the mouth and we gave them water.”

What followed next was a confrontation caught on camera between Ms. Krajnc and the truck driver. She is now charged with criminal mischief which initially carried a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a fine. But after a court appearance this week, her fourth since her arrest, the maximum penalty would now only carry up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine. The case has sparked a social media movement called “Compassion Is Not A Crime.”  Ms. Krajnc spoke Wednesday via Skype with Eyewitness News. “Everyone can relate to it and every caring and reasonable person would do the same thing. I think that’s why this idea that compassion is not a crime is something that people have rallied behind.”

Ms. Krajnc, who is co-founder of the animal rights group Toronto Pig Save, was co-producer of the 2014 documentary “Truckin” which put focus on the plight of farm animals. She was arrested twice previously for criminal trespass after videotaping and protesting cases of alleged farm animal abuse. In both instances, those charges were dropped. She hopes the latest case against her spurs a change in the law. “Animals are not property. They deserve respect. They want to defend their life and their well-being.”

Had Ms. Krajnc given water to pigs under similar circumstances in Pennsylvania, she also could have been charged with criminal mischief. She is scheduled to stand trial next summer in Canada.

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