Demand a Coroner's Inquest in the Death of Activist Regan Russell

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On June 19, 2020, animal rights activist Regan Russell, 65, was struck and killed by a pig transport truck in front of Fearmans slaughterhouse in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. She was at a Toronto Pig Save vigil with 6 other activists giving pigs water on a scorching hot day. Regan - a committed activist since 1977 - regularly attended pig vigils. On this particular day, she was there to oppose Ontario ag-gag Bill 156, which had passed two days prior.

The type of vigil that Regan was in attendance at has regularly been happening at Fearmans and other Ontario slaughterhouses for the last nine years. For the last five years, community members have raised concerns with the slaughterhouse owners and the police about the practices of some transport truck drivers entering the facility. They have also called for safety protocols to be implemented after vigil attendees were nearly hit by trucks on a number of occasions and launched a petition demanding a safety agreement (“Michael Latifi: Stop endangering activists! Negotiate a safety agreement at Fearmans now!”). 

We, the undersigned, support the call by Regan's family for a Coroner's inquest. The troubling circumstances underlying Regan's death warrant a public hearing conducted by a coroner before a jury. The public deserves to have an open and full hearing into what transpired. An inquest will allow a jury to make useful recommendations to prevent further deaths at future vigils.

More information on Regan, her activism, and the campaign for justice and accountability can be found here: Animal Save Movement

More information Ontario ag-gag Bill 156 can be found here:

"Regan Russell spent the final moments of her life providing comfort to pigs who had never experienced the touch of a kind hand. While her tragic death has brought upon deep sorrow in the Animal Save [Movement] community, we will honor her memory by vigorously confronting the cruelties she fought so hard to prevent by marching with Black Lives, protecting Indigenous rights, fighting for LGBTQ equality, and living a compassionate vegan life. The Ontario government can attempt to silence us with the passage of its Ag-Gag bill - Bill 156 - but we will never go away and we will never back down." - Joaquin Phoenix statement cited in People Magazine