Police arrest animal rights activists
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 8:56a.m.
At least three protesters have been arrested at a battery hen farm in Dunedin.
Twenty campaigners from the Coalition to End Factory Farming blocked the entrance to Mainland Poultry at Waikouaiti earlier today.
Two women had suspended themselves from seven-metre-high steel-framed tripods and a third chained herself to the main gate. Access to the poultry farm is now open again, with the tripods dismantled.
Police say the three women aged 22, 33, and 43 were arrested and face charges of obstructing a public way. They have been bailed to appear in court at a later date.
Police say they asked the protestors to come down and the protestors eventually agreed, on the condition that police helped with cutting the chains which secured them to the structure.
At about 1.30pm police cut the chains and used a cherry picker to get the protestors down. Police say the protestors did not resist.
The protesters had earlier caused problems for feed trucks trying to enter the farm which had to find an alternative route.
"Police seem to have a plan to bring activists down from tripods," said SAFE campaign director Eliot Pryor earlier today. "[They're just] waiting for equipment to arrive."
Mr Scott said they were protesting against the new colony cage system that the company is using.
"An undercover investigation of Mainland Poultry's new colony cage system by Open Rescue in March revealed that hens are still suffering inside cages," said the spokesman.
"They witnessed tens of thousands of birds crammed into colony cages which are nothing more than modified battery cages."
The group said around 20 people were protesting.
According to activist Dierdre Sims, the group was suspended from the top of steel towering tripods on the road and chained to a gate, forming a blockade. They only came down when forcefully removed.
"By design, any attempt to remove the tripods, will put our lives at risk," she said.
Activists said they maintained their blockade for as long as possible before having to be physically removed.
A spokesman for Mainland Poultry said that although the road block was an inconvenience, workers are continuing to operate at the plant.
He said access to the road was more necessary this afternoon in order to get feed for the hens in and out of the facility so the animals did not starve.
There were also concerns for the safety of the protesters, with gale force winds in the area this afternoon.
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26/06/2012 1:08:42 p.m.
Soraya Nicholas wrote:
I'm so proud of the protestors - great effort! Battery farming of hens is a disgusting practice that should be banned in New Zealand. I have three free-range hens and I can tell you that they are intelligent, happy creatures that love scratching for bugs and basking in the sun.
25/06/2012 10:03:30 p.m.
Good job open rescue, people who support these awful people at Mainland poultry are LOSERS and deserve a bit of cage time themselves. Consumers do not have enough ETHICS to be given the choice, in fact most adult consumers behave like children with regard to their shopping choices..me me me I want I want I want, without a thought for others...
25/06/2012 5:54:16 p.m.
Kathrine Ross wrote:
what brave people, doing what we should all be doing - they have my full support....
25/06/2012 5:25:42 p.m.
Geoffrey Reynolds wrote:
The sheer evil of the modern egg industry is surely something worth protesting. How can it be acceptable to cage and kill chickens just to reduce the price of eggs, a product that we don't even need, a mere luxary? I support the protestors 100%
25/06/2012 4:45:29 p.m.
When did protesting become about a bunch of idiots putting themselves in danger? I'm sick of self-righteous, arrogant attention seekers infringing on the rights of others in an attempt to get publicity.
25/06/2012 2:22:42 p.m.
Hopefully this well-thought out, peaceful protest will alert New Zealanders to the fact that the wool is being pulled over our eyes. Colony cages are a horrific system devised to make money and to appease the angry public. It is a big con. Boycott Farmer Brown eggs, boycott all eggs from caged birds...hell, just boycott eggs altogether. We won't die if we stop eating them. Thanks to the brave activists for speaking up for the rest of us. Power to you! And power to the rest of us if we stop eating eggs.
25/06/2012 2:20:21 p.m.
I support free range chickens. It is their natural way to be. As long as they have safe shelter at night and plenty of food and clean water. If more people went free range egg farming maybe the price would come down for free range eggs. I am sure the protesters will let the trucks in that carry food for the chickens on the farm, that they are protesting on. The protesters seem to care about animals.
25/06/2012 1:41:31 p.m.
I agree with the man who said they bring their own misfortunes on themselves when they trespass. Let each NZ user decide for themselves which eggs they buy. Free range are very much more expensive so are unaffordable to many. We can use our own common sense. The farmers can be monitored and most are not cruel as I have seen in other countries where there are caged fowls. Bylaws would not allow one to keep chooks in town - we are so over-regulated in so many ways!!
25/06/2012 12:14:16 p.m.
Anthea Brown wrote:
I support what these protestors are doing. Battery hen farming has to be abolished. No more cages!!!!!!!
25/06/2012 11:49:12 a.m.
vivienne robinson wrote:
Well done animal lovers for bringing attention to further cruelty proposed by the Govt. Colony cages are 200cm larger than present cages and hens will still be living out their pitiful lives in cramped conditons unable to even flap their wings. This is not acceptable in a humane society and it is up to us the general public to put an end to this method of poultry farming by purchasing only free-range eggs.
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