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, THE PRESS DEOMOCRAT
After a massive animal welfare rally this week at a Petaluma egg farm, both Sonoma County farm leaders and a Bay Area animal rights activist foresee more showdowns at local ranches and livestock production facilities.
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s peaceful demonstration, where 40 activists were arrested, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau is planning to offer new training to farmers who may face similar standoffs.
“We need to help our members understand what to do when an animal rights demonstration happens on their property,” said Farm Bureau Executive Director Tawny Tesconi. “We’re being asked to react to something we haven’t had to react to before.”
Cassie King, an organizer with Berkeley-based Direct Action Everywhere, which sponsored Tuesday’s protest, suggested that those who share her views will return to the county in an ongoing effort to bring an end to the confinement and killing of animals for agriculture.
Read more at http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8386026-181/sonoma-county-farm-officials-animal
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
Associated Press, LOS ANGELES TIMES
A dozen states are banding together to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block a California law requiring any eggs sold there to come from hens that have space to stretch out in their cages.
Missouri Atty. Gen. Josh Hawley said Monday that he plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of the states alleging that since California’s law took effect in 2015, it has cost consumers nationwide up to $350 million annually because of higher egg prices. The suit argues that California’s requirements violate the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause and are preempted by federal law.
A federal appeals court panel rejected similar claims last year in a separate case brought by six states, ruling that they failed to show California’s law would affect more than just individual farmers. The latest lawsuit seeks to address that by citing an economic analysis of the California law. It also asks the Supreme Court to take up the case directly instead of requiring that it first move through the lower courts.
Hawley, a Republican who is running for U.S. Senate in 2018, is leading the lawsuit. Other plaintiff states are Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin. All have Republican attorneys general except Iowa, which has a Democrat.
Read more at: Block California’s egg law, 12 states ask the Supreme Court – LA Times
Robert Digitale, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
For the second time in two weeks, animal rights protesters were arrested early today on suspicion of resisting police officers during a delivery of chickens to Petaluma Poultry Processors off Lakeville Highway.
Three Berkeley residents — Rachel Ziegler, 24, Chai Masala Canaglia, 25, and Lewis Bernier, 18 — were arrested about 1:05 a.m. after several protesters ran into a public street near the plant as a truck arrived, said Petaluma Police Lt. Tim Lyons. Officers ordered the protesters out of the street, but Ziegler, Canaglia and Bernier stood firm, he said.
An officer feared the truck might not be able to stop in time, so he pulled Ziegler and Bernier aside, Lyons said. It was unclear how Canaglia got out of the way, but the big rig passed without anyone being injured.
A press release by the protest’s organizer, Bay Area Animal Save, suggested the truck driver might have approached the entrance too fast. Police raised no concerns about the truck’s operation, Lyons said.
The protests have been going on for a few months.
Source: Three more animal rights protesters arrested at Petaluma chicken plant | The Press Democrat