Hamilton

Pig trial: Anita Krajnc's lawyers hope to use VR to show life in a slaughterhouse

Experiencing life as an animal inside a slaughterhouse will help show that when Anita Krajnc gave water to pigs, she was serving the greater good, her lawyers say.

Day 2 of the trial is Thursday in a Burlington, Ont., courtroom. Follow it live here

Anita Krajnc gives pigs water near a slaughterhouse in Burlington, Ont. Krajnc now faces a criminal mischief charge for the activity. (Elli Garlin)

Lawyers for Anita Krajnc, a Toronto animal activist charged with mischief for giving water to pigs on their way to slaughter, hope to use virtual reality technology in her trial Thursday to show that she was doing good work.

Krajnc, 49, faces jail time or a maximum $5,000 fine for providing water through the small openings of a metal trailer to the pigs as they were headed to Fearman's Pork Inc. in Burlington, Ont., on June 22, 2015.

Krajnc has pleaded not guilty.

Defence lawyers James Silver and Gary Grill say they hope Justice David Harris will wear the VR gear to experience what it's like being an animal in a slaughterhouse.

The experience, Grill says, will be instrumental in helping Harris understand Krajnc's viewpoint as an animal rights activist, and why she gives water to pigs outside slaughterhouses. 

Follow our live coverage in the blog below. On mobile? Click here.

On Wednesday, the first day of the trial, the Burlington courtroom was filled with her supporters, while more rallied outside.

The truck's driver, Jeffrey Veldjesgraaf, testified he was transporting 190 pigs from the Mount Elgin, Ont., hog farm of Eric Van Boekel, a load worth around $45,000. They weren't given any water during their 110-kilometre trip, which took about an hour and a half. They had some water as soon as they reached Fearman's, he said.

Van Boerken will testify Thursday morning as the Crown's second and final witness. 

Krajnc is a member of the group Toronto Pig Save, which regularly holds vigils outside Fearman's and provides water to pigs being transported to slaughterhouses.

Grill and Silver also expect to call Krajnc to testify Thursday, as well as Armaiti May, an expert in animal welfare and a member of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. May will testify about whether the pigs in the truck were in distress.

CBC Hamilton reporter Samantha Craggs will blog live from the Ontario Court of Justice in Burlington. Follow along in the above window.

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