After a prominent animals rights activist was fatally struck by a truck last month, the trucking company he works for says that they’ve received death threats.
The incident occurred on June 19 in Burlington, Ontario, when 65 year old Regan Russell was fatally struck by a truck hauling pigs while protesting with the group “Toronto Pig Save” outside of a meat processing plant.
On July 20, the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) announced that the 28 year old truck driver had been charged with Careless Driving Causing Death.
The trucking company that the unnamed truck driver worked for, Brussels Transport, now says that they have been targeted with threats from animal rights groups.
Tyler Jutzi, whose family owns Brussels Transport, told CTV News, “They threatened to blow up trucks. They threatened to sabotage trucks. They threatened to burn the slaughterhouse down.”
Jutzi also said that activist groups “put a bounty out on the driver, offering rewards for information about his name and whereabouts. This is terrifying, that someone might try to come to his home, to harm him or his family, over an accident.”
In a GoFundMe set up to help defend the truck driver as he faces both charges and threats from the activists, Brussels Transport writes:
The driver’s name is being kept anonymous in order to protect him and his family. He has already been the focus of threats by animal activist groups on social media should they determine his identity. Brussels Transport is raising the money on his behalf to continue to protect that anonymity. He needs our help to cover the big costs of fighting this. All money raised will go towards covering his legal fees in fighting this unacceptable charge, as well as tending to his mental health needs.
This charge is not acceptable to the driver, other drivers in the industry or the agricultural community as a whole. The driver was just doing his job to help feed people around the world, delivering pigs to slaughter. He shouldn’t be held responsible for activists unlawfully swarming his truck. Activists that don’t respect the blind spots of heavy equipment. Activists that verbally harass drivers in the workplace. Activists that give unknown liquids to the pigs. All of these activities are carried on while Halton Police watch and fail to act.
Russell’s death occurred shortly after officials passed Bill 156, also known as the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020, which allows the Ontario government to issue “escalating fines of up to $15,000 for a first offence and $25,000 for subsequent offences” to protesters who interfere with livestock haulers.
Toronto Pig Save shared a video on social media featuring a Brussels Transport driver clashing with protesters on a different occasion.