In September, six animal activists were arrested for stealing chickens from a poultry farm in Sonoma County, Calif. The industry website Meating Place Dot Com reported they now face felony burglary, theft, and trespassing charges.
The six people are members of the “DxE” Bay Area chapter, with the group’s self-proclaimed goal of “total animal liberation.” The group conducted a protest at McCoy’s Poultry Services in Sonoma County on Sept. 29, 2018. The six members said they believed they were following the law when they were trying to help “chickens that were in distress.” Sonoma County officials took possession of 15 chickens after the arrest, six of which were dead.
The Sonoma County Sheriff said law enforcement tries to balance between First Amendment rights and the rights of private property owners in situations like this one. The sheriff’s department also reported this move suggests an escalation in tactics by activist groups in Sonoma County.
Law enforcement officials in the area are recommending that producers boost their security with fences, lights, and surveillance cameras.