Rally held as activist charged in pig farm break-in appears in court
Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019 6:23PM EDT
A court appearance for a cause - a Toronto animal rights activist who entered a Lucan-area pig farm was joined by supporters at the London courthouse Wednesday morning.
Prior to her scheduled 9:30 a.m. court appearance, Jenny McQueen and about two dozen supporters gathered on the steps of the courthouse chanting, "Compassion is not a crime."
In March of last year, McQueen entered the Adare Pork breeding facility north of Lucan, recording and posting online what she describes as cruel conditions.
"There's about 3,000 mother pigs and their whole lives are in cages."
McQueen was charged by the OPP with break and enter and mischief over $5,000; after she allegedly took one of the piglets.
McQueen believes people should know what animals are subjected to in order to fill grocery store shelves, "The bacon, the ham, the pork the public are receiving from these places - if they could see the conditions they would be horrified."
McQueen is with an organization called Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE, and they have taken their protests into IGA stores that sell pork products source from Adare.
A number of the members travelled from Toronto for McQueen's court appearance, including DxE organizer Salma Oomer.
“We need to stand together so we can share with the world what is happening,” Oomer says.
DxE members were live streaming events surrounding McQueen’s court appearance. McQueen’s Toronto based lawyer, Gary Grill, says going to trial will only help them spread their message.
"We'll be ready. We'll be ready to talk to those 12 men and women who'll be judging her and show what Jenny's intentions were, and are."
Later in the morning the demonstrators then went to the Lucan OPP detachment to argue that breeding facility operators are the ones that should be charged, not those drawing attention to what goes on inside.
Adare Pork representatives declined to appear on camera but noted that McQueen is the only one who stands charged in this circumstance.
McQueen's next court appearance is May 1st.