Nearly 100 animal rights activists were arrested following a protest at a California slaughterhouse yesterday.
The campaigners, with global animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), were protesting at Reichardt Duck Farm, a massive duck slaughterhouse in Petaluma.
Many of the protestors locked their necks to the gate, slaughterhouse machinery, and slaughterhouse shackles. Others removed 32 ducklings from the premises and took them for veterinary attention. According to DxE, these animals will be taken to sanctuaries to live out their lives.
The group says it was protesting at the facility, which slaughters more than 1 million ducks annually, because it has been 'the subject of numerous reports of animal cruelty, including birds with gaping wounds collapsed on the wire floor'.
"The conditions are not normal, accepted industry practice," said former assistant US Attorney Bonnie Klapper, who reviewed undercover footage and veterinarian reports regarding the facility, said. "There is evidence of severe neglect and lack of treatment rising to the level of animal cruelty.
"When law enforcement has become aware of the existence of animal cruelty, its response has not been to address [it]. To the contrary, the response has been to hunt down and arrest the rescuers and even attempt to return the injured, sick, dying animals to the agricultural facility."
A statement from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office confirmed 98 people were arrested on Monday afternoon during the protest.
Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Crum added that the arrestees were booked into Sonoma County Jail. He said most of the arrests were on trespassing charges.