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Confrontation at Quality Meat Packers slaughterhouse over frost-bitten and hypothermic pigs

by Anita Krajnc

See video

* Please note there is some swearing in this video.

Friday, December 23, 2011 between 7:30-10:30 am. Toronto Pig Save activists standing at Lakeshore and Strachan bear witness of frost-bitten and hypothermic pigs in transport truck en route to Quality Meat Packers pig slaughterhouse at 677 Wellington St. West. The actual temperature is -5 degrees Celsius and -10 degrees with windchill, but on the highway it feels closer to -30 degrees Celsius for the pigs in the transport trucks travelling at 80 km/hour.

This video begins with a vigil on Lakeshore and Strachan where activists from Toronto Pig Save bear witness of the conditions of the pigs and try to feed the pigs organic apples, bananas, carrots, and kale as Holiday gifts drawing on this German Santa for inspiration

But the pigs do not eat a morsel of food!

* Most of the pigs' ears, faces and bodies are extremely discoloured with a reddish hue--signs of frost bite and hypothermia.
* Many pigs are lying down on the metal floor huddling together for warmth
* There is one pig in especially bad shape with his/her back legs splattered out behind; his/her legs and backside is extremely red. It looks like a case of what the animal exploitation industry calls a 'downer'--in reality and in plain, truthful language, a severely crippled and sick animal. These 350 pound animals tragically often undergo the worst treatment at the unloading dock with electric prods poked at them at all sorts of places to get them to move (see Gail Eisnitz's revealing book Slaughterhouse, in which she interviews workers on how they would poke crippled animals in the anus and face to get them to move).
* Only 3 of the 9 transport trucks we see between 7:30 and 9:30 am on Friday, December 23, have their panels covering the air holes. In the rest of the trucks the all the air holes are open leaving the pigs fully exposed to cold wind currents. Even in the trucks where the panels are mainly closed, pigs in the areas of the open panelling are severely discoloured, and the floors of the trucks are wet, the metal exposed, and the saw dust soaked; there is no straw, in the truck on the QMP lane-way with mainly closed panelling, which would provide insulation, so despite mostly closed panelling the pigs still appear to have frost bite and may possibly be suffering from hypothermia.
* Most of the trucks have no straw (insulation for the pigs), but only wet sawdust, in some cases saw dust so soaked than it appears like a thin dark black layer or the metal floor is clearly visible with no covering.
* The pigs do not appear to have normal metabolic and regular body functions -- also a sign of hypothermia

All four of us TPS activists were shaking with cold after a two hour vigil from 7:30-9:30 am. Despite wearing hats, boots, gloves, many layers, our entire body temperatures dropped in the last hour or so of the vigil.

Next, I (on my own) follow the trucks to Quality Meat Packers, first the lane-way leading to the unloading area and then the unloading area itself and have a confrontation with Quality Meat Packers' management. They say I am trespassing and ask me to leave. I respond that I am bearing witness and playing the role of a good Samaritan (my defence) and that they are violating more significant law, namely causing unnecessary extreme pain and suffering to the pigs by not protecting them from the extreme weather and allowing them to suffer and die from frost bite and hypothermia.

Quality Meat Packers' management calls in the police and trespassing charges are laid on me. No unnecessary cruelty charges laid on trucking companies and Quality Meat Packers slaughterhouse.

Video by Anita Krajnc, Toronto Pig Save
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