On 27th March 2023, Andrew Blake, the truck driver who in 2020 ran over and killed Ontario animal rights activist Regan Russell, pleaded guilty to careless driving causing death. He was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and received a 12-month probation period, during which time he will only be able to drive to work, or to and from his job. According to his lawyers, Blake had chosen to enter a guilty plea to “bring closure to this matter for all those involved” and he said, “There’s not a day that goes by that he does not wish he had not gone to work that day and that Ms Russell was still with us.” 

Regan Russell was run over on 19th June 2020 while protesting outside a pig slaughterhouse in Burlington, Ontario, west of Toronto, as part of the Animal Save vigils conducted every week. It happened the day after Ontario passed the Security From Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, which prohibits protesters from interacting with livestock hauliers. Following her death, there were vigils held all over the world, and fellow animal rights activist and actor Joaquin Phoenix also paid tribute to her.

Toronto Pig Save, which Regan was a treasured member of, said during the anniversary of her death: “Regan Russell fought injustice all her life, she was always a voice for the voiceless. She was killed on June 19th 2020 by transport truck carrying pigs to their slaughter, while protesting bill 156, at Fearmans slaughterhouse in Burlington, Ontario. Rest in power Regan Russell, you will never be forgotten.” Speaking in court, Russell’s father Bill Russell spoke about feeling a “sharp stab” when dusting old photographs of his daughter, or hearing her voice on an answering machine. Her husband stated that he was “quite lost without her.”

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.