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On June 3, over 600 activists with the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) occupied Reichardt Duck Farm in Petaluma, a massive duck slaughterhouse. More than 75 were arrested, including the group’s co-founder, Wayne Hsiung, who has now accumulated 17 felony charges in Sonoma county and around the country in an effort to defend the legal right to rescue animals in court. Many of the arrestees locked their necks to the slaughterhouse shackles, gate, and other machinery. Activists also removed 32 ducklings and rushed them to emergency veterinary treatment. The rescued ducks were transported to farm animal sanctuaries for lifelong care.
Fri May 10 2019 (Updated 05/12/19)
Protest Pushes Retailer as California Considers Fur Ban
Activists with animal rights groups Direct Action Everywhere and In Defense of Animals staged a visual demonstration against fur at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto on April 28. The “Bloody Fashion Show” included a commentator, models, cages, fake blood, and even a red carpet. After the fashion show, activists entered Nieman Marcus and spoke out about the cruelty behind the fur products being sold there. The action comes on the heels of fur bans in West Hollywood, San Francisco and Los Angeles. A bill to ban fur sales statewide is being considered in the California assembly (AB 44).
The Center for Biological Diversity and Wild Fish Conservancy sued the Trump administration in April for mismanaging West Coast salmon fisheries and harming critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales, a violation of the Endangered Species Act. That orca population has dropped to just 75 individuals, mostly because declining salmon runs have left them without enough to eat. The National Marine Fisheries Service responded by committing to expanded designation of critical habitat off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund sent cease and desist notices to California restaurants and retailers that appear to continue selling foie gras despite a state ban on the sale of this cruelly-produced “gourmet” delicacy made from the liver of a duck or goose. Over the past two months, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has received dozens of tips and reports from concerned citizens identifying California restaurants and retailers that appear to be flouting the foie gras law.
Sat May 4 2019 (Updated 10/06/19)
Animal Activists March for Animals in Santa Rosa
Over 170 activists with the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere marched through downtown Santa Rosa on March 30. The crowd chanted as they walked, with several stops for singing and speeches, before concluding at Santa Rosa City Hall. The march highlighted what activists call criminal animal cruelty on factory farms throughout Sonoma county, which has been reported to local authorities. No enforcement action has been taken. Authorities have, however, prosecuted activists who have investigated the farms, with six currently facing seven Sonoma county felony charges each.
On January 31, dozens of activists with the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) put up “Caution” and “Danger” tape across the San Francisco Costco meat department in a protest of alleged animal cruelty and biohazard risk inside Costco farms. The activists were also protesting the criminal prosecution of two activists who exposed animal cruelty at Costco egg supplier Pleasant Valley Farms in 2016 and now face a massive restitution penalty. One of those activists, Paul Picklesimer, said, “If Costco truly cared about animals, they would thank us for exposing cruelty at one of their suppliers.”
Despite a court-imposed restraining order, a week of protests animal rights activists dubbed "Occupy Whole Foods" proceeded as planned on September 23-29. On the final day, a mass vigil and sit-in was held inside an industrial shed at McCoy’s Poultry factory farm in Petaluma which supplies chicken to Amazon Fresh. Activists set up an emergency medical care tent and gave aid to the sick and starving animals they liberated. Fifty-eight people were arrested. On November 2, four of them were arraigned on a total of seven felony charges each.