Nashelly Chavez, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Animal welfare activists gathered in front of the Sonoma County Jail on Tuesday, protesting the arrest of about 80 people who demonstrated a day earlier at a west Petaluma duck farm.
Tuesday’s action drew about 50 members of Direct Action Everywhere. The group organized the protest at Reichardt Duck Farm that included at least 300 demonstrators and prompted a response of more than 50 local and state law enforcement officers.
Monday’s arrests mostly involved suspected trespassing and felony conspiring to commit a crime, Sonoma County Sheriff’s spokesman Spencer Crum said. Protesters were given the option to be cited out of jail, though many refused to sign the citation form, he said.
“We’re calling upon Sonoma County authorities to prosecute criminal animal cruelty, not the whistleblowers,” said Cassie King, who took part in both protests.
Read more at https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9667427-181/animal-welfare-activists-protest-at
Andrew Beale and Randi Rossman, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Nearly 100 animal welfare protesters were arrested Monday, hours after descending onto a west Petaluma duck farm as part of an organized demonstration, authorities said.
Hundreds of activists with the Direct Action Everywhere animal rights group arrived by the busloads at Reichardt Duck Farm on Middle Two Rock Road around 10 a.m., some chaining themselves together by the neck at the main gate of the property.
Local and state police made a show of force with more than 50 officers, including about three dozen in riot gear, stationed around the property. They arrested 10 demonstrators who walked onto the farm to remove birds, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.
By about 4 p.m., deputies had made 88 more arrests, mostly for trespassing. Wilmar firefighters had to cut the farm’s gate to remove some of the protesters.
The animal rights group came prepared with water, food and music, with the bulk of protesters staying on the property until around 5 p.m.
Cassie King, a group organizer currently facing seven felony charges in Sonoma County related to previous animal-rights protests, said the demonstration was intended to spur Sonoma County authorities to take action against the farm for alleged animal cruelty.
“Whistleblower footage has come forward from this facility (showing) clear animal cruelty,” she said. “Authorities in Sonoma County have ignored those reports, so activists have come together to take matters into their own hands.”
Read more at https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9664193-181/protesters-flood-petalumaarea-duck-farm
Hannah Beausang, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Tensions between animal rights activists and Sonoma County officials remained high Monday after 58 protesters were arrested this weekend attempting to take chickens from a Petaluma poultry farm.
The Saturday protest at McCoy’s Poultry Services marked the third large animal-rights demonstration organized by the Bay Area chapter of Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE, in Petaluma this year.
The group said late Monday it plans to stage a protest at the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office this afternoon after those arrested this weekend appeared in court to demand charges against protesters be dropped, claiming their actions were lawful rescue of animals, said Matt Johnson, a spokesman for the group.
Law enforcement officials condemned the latest protest in Petaluma as illegal and disruptive, while animal-rights activists called the action necessary to send a message and save the lives of chickens they described as lethargic, malnourished and injured.
Read more at https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8799484-181/animal-rights-protesters-rattle-petaluma-poultry
Robert Digitale and Susan Minichiello, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
One of the largest animal welfare demonstrations ever held at a Sonoma County farm ended Tuesday with the peaceful arrests of 40 activists on suspicion of trespassing at an egg production facility northwest of Petaluma.
An estimated 500 demonstrators rallied for more than three hours across the street from a farm on Liberty Road north of Rainsville Road. Along with egg production barns, the property houses the offices of Sunrise Farms, one of the North Bay’s largest egg producers.
Before sheriff’s deputies arrived, dozens of activists walked onto the farm and took away about 10 chickens that were sick or dying, according to organizers of the Berkeley-based group Direct Action Everywhere.
That group, also known as DXE, and affiliated organizations gathered over the past week in Berkeley for what they called their “Animal Liberation Conference.” The event, which organizers said drew 1,200 registered participants from around the U.S. and other countries, included on its website an unspecified event for Tuesday listed simply as “Action #4.”
Organizers claim the egg farm is an example of a systemic pattern of criminal animal abuse in California that isn’t being addressed by either the justice system or by state and local animal welfare agencies.
Read more at http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8377017-181/dozens-of-animal-welfare-activists?ref=most
Robert Digitale, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Fourth-generation rancher David Evans remembers the “tidal wave of demand” for pasture-raised meats that followed Michael Pollan’s 2006 book on the U.S. food system.
“We got inundated,” he recalled of the publication of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”
Evans has spent years building a regional system to serve the small but growing number of Bay Area residents who want an alternative to conventional meat production. As the owner of San Francisco-based Marin Sun Farms, he takes an approach that differs markedly from the mainstream meat industry, which typically relies on antibiotics, cattle feedlots and poultry warehouses.
via New slaughterhouse owner envisions different approach | The Press Democrat.
Stephanie Strom, NEW YORK TIMES
Hens in California are living the good life. Many can now lay their eggs in oversize enclosures roomy enough to stand up, lie down — even extend their wings fully without touching another bird.
Hens in most other states don’t have it so good. Their conditions, as the head of California’s egg trade group explained, are “like you sitting in an airplane seat in the economy section all your life.”
So if you’re a hen, you want to live in California. Short of that, you want California-size leg room. And that’s precisely what lawmakers in California are demanding of out-of-state farmers who sell eggs in California — setting off a feud over interstate commerce that has spilled over into the farmyard at large.
The Missouri attorney general has filed a lawsuit to block the California egg rules, and at least three other states are considering doing the same. The beef and pork lobbies are also lining up against the California rules in an effort to prevent any new restrictions on raising livestock.
New rules require egg layers to have more capacious cages. Credit Peter DaSilva for The New York Times
via Wishing They All Could Be California Hens – NYTimes.com.
David A. Lieb, ASSOCIATED PRESS, CSMONITOR.COM
Missouri’s attorney general has asked a federal court to strike down a California law regulating the living conditions of chickens, setting up a cross-country battle that pits new animal protections against the economic interests of Midwestern farmers.
The lawsuit by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster takes aim at a California law set to take effect in 2015 that prohibits eggs from being sold there if they come from hens raised in cages that don’t comply with California’s new size and space requirements.
Koster said Tuesday that the California law infringes on the interstate commerce protections of the US Constitution by effectively imposing new requirements on out-of-state farmers.
via California egg law under attack by egg-exporting Missouri (+video) – CSMonitor.com.