Exhibitors' Trucks Vandalized at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

The trucks and trailers of several sheep and beef producers were vandalized this week, even as the vehicles were parked in a monitored parking lot. Exhibitors were attending the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ont. No one has taken responsibility for the vandalism, though sheep and beef producers at the show believe they were targeted by animal activists.
Flats at Royal
Photo credit: Joan Finlay

The first incidence of vandalism happened Tuesday night, says Sarah Brien, a sheep producer and exhibitor at the show. Six sheep trucks were vandalized with paint, and one trailer had one of its tires valves cut. All vehicles were only five to 10 vehicles away from the street and in a lot that was to have 24-hour security. Two nights later, three more trailers had tire valves cut, for a total of six tires being damaged. This also occurred in a lot with 24-hour security.

The parking lots where the vehicles were located are not enclosed in any way, and security staff numbers were beefed up after the first occurrence and then again on Friday after the second incident.

The Royal had the vandalized tires repaired right away at the show’s expense, and reimbursed farmers who had already had their tires repaired. A representative of the show said that while it is a public lot and they are not liable for damages that occurred, the show will cover the cost of the insurance deductible for those affected by paint vandalism.

Peter Hohenadel, on behalf of the Royal, said that the show is still in tear-down mode of the 2014 event but that the show will be re-evaluating security protocols for the parking lots for 2015.

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