Animal Justice Files Cruelty Complaint After Baby Pigs Die in Truck Crash

Animal Justice is calling for an animal cruelty investigation after a transport truck full of baby pigs skidded off of the road into a ditch on Concession 4 Walpole, just outside of Haldimand County, Ontario on the morning of July 26, 2021. 

As reported in the Hamilton Spectator, the local police stated that “several piglets died” as a result of the collision. Those that remained alive were trapped inside of the toppled truck for an extended period of time in sweltering conditions, as outdoor temperatures rose above 30 degrees celsius.

When they arrived at the scene, first responders sprayed the truck with water in an attempt to hydrate and keep the remaining pigs cool throughout this incident. Despite this, the animals trapped inside undoubtedly suffered in the extreme temperatures, and experienced distress from the shock and injuries sustained from the crash itself. Whether the remaining pigs were treated, slaughtered, or euthanized is unknown. 

Shockingly, neither the police, federal officials, or provincial authorities appear to have laid any charges for unlawfully causing the piglets to suffer. The only charge that was reported to be laid in response to this heartbreaking incident is a charge of “careless driving” under the Highway Traffic Act. Causing animals to suffer during transport is a serious criminal offence, and it’s also illegal under federal animal transport regulations, and provincial animal protection laws. It’s deeply troubling that authorities have not laid any charges to address the suffering that the pigs endured.

Animal Justice has filed a complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Ontario’s Chief Animal Welfare Inspector, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, and local authorities requesting that these agencies investigate the trucking company, and address the suffering endured by the pigs.

This is not the first time the farming industry has gotten away with harming animals in traffic accidents. Last month in Minnedosa Manitoba, a transport truck carrying 500 pigs rolled over, undoubtedly injuring and hurting many pigs, yet no animal cruelty charges appear to have been laid in that case. In October, 2020, five pigs fell out of a moving transport truck on Highway 401 outside of Kingston, Ontario. Once again, only Highway Traffic Act charges were laid, despite Animal Justice filing a complaint with authorities calling for an investigation into this incident. 

In Ontario and across Canada, transporting animals is governed by federal and provincial legislation and regulations. Consistent enforcement of these laws is necessary to protect animals during transport, where they are at significant risk of physical and psychological harm.  

Animal Justice encourages citizens to report animal cruelty whenever they witness it, and to contact us for assistance. 

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