Press Release July 20, 2020

Rally at Halton Police Station to demand transparency and accountability in the death of Regan Russell

Media contacts:

Anita Krajnc:  416-825-6080 anita.krajnc@animalsavemovement.org  www.justiceforreganrussell.com
Shane Martinez, criminal lawyer for Toronto Pig Save:  647-717-8111, shane@martinezlaw.ca 

Media Files:

Photos of Regan Russell

Justice for Regan Russell rally

WHAT: Rally for justice for Regan Russell
WHERE: 2485 North Service Rd W, Oakville
WHEN: Tuesday July 21 at 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/693924991189649/

DEMANDS: Reconsideration of the decision to not lay criminal charges

On July 20 Halton Regional Police announced they would be charging a 28-year transport truck driver with Careless Driving Causing Death in relation to the death of Regan Russell on June 19.

Animal Save Movement expressed concern by the half-measure, and questioned why the police did not lay criminal charges against the driver. It is now calling on the Halton Regional Police to reconsider the decision to lay Highway Traffic Act charges, as numerous eyewitness accounts arguably provide reasonable and probable grounds to lay charges under the Criminal Code.

The organization also asks the police to release the security video that captured the events in front of Fearmans on June 19, 2020 to ensure that there is full transparency about the events of that day.

We are shocked and appalled by the decision. These charges must be upgraded for justice to be done,” said Anita Krajnc, co-founder of Animal Save Movement. “Regan’s death was tragic and avoidable. We demand the Government repeal Bill 156 and implement Regan’s Law, a bill of rights protecting farmed animals and those exposing maltreatment.”

Losing Regan has been a terrible experience, and the lax charge in response to her death has only made that pain deeper. Grief is now compounded by anger, frustration, and confusion. We will be taking the time we need to reflect on this information. Our family is committed to revealing the truth in Regan’s death, and will be pursuing all avenues before us that work to that end,” says Joshua Powell, Regan’s stepson.

Regan gave her life while fighting against the secrecy that is fostered by Bill 156. We are continuing that fight on her behalf. We are also uniting our voices to ensure that this same type of secrecy and lack of accountability does not surround her death,” says Toronto Pig Save’s lawyer Shane Martinez.

Background:

On June 19, Russell attended a peaceful vigil organised by Toronto Pig Save outside Sofina-owned Fearmans slaughterhouse, when she was struck and violently killed by a pig transport truck. She had been providing water to pigs on one of the hottest days of the year, along with six other activists.

Two days prior, the Government approved “ag-gag” legislation Bill 156, following months of extensive lobbying by meat, dairy, egg, and other animal agriculture industries.

There’s a long history of reckless driving from truckers. Toronto Pig Save called for safety protocols to be implemented after vigil attendees were nearly hit by trucks on a number of occasions and launched a Change.org petition demanding a safety agreement addressed to Michael Latifi, owner of Sofina Fearmans pig slaughterhouse: “Stop endangering activists! Negotiate a safety agreement at Fearmans now!

Animal Save Movement further demands the Ontario government immediately repeal the deadly Bill 156, and replace it with a Regan Bill of Animal Rights that would protect the rights of protestors to demonstrate safely; defend whistleblowers, journalists, and others who document animal suffering; recognize the personhood of pigs and other animals; defund animal agriculture; and invest in plant-based food systems.