On July 28, Animal Liberation Victoria released an odd press release claiming that members of its group had been assaulted while attempting to steal animals from an egg farm.
According to the press release, presented here in its entirety,
Meredith, Victoria – Three Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV) activists
today conducted a daring daylight raid at Happy Hens Egg World, in
Meredith. ALV have conducted 20 rescues at the property, each time
exposing horrific cruelty to animals. After about ten rescues farm
management began increasing security, with electrified fences and
trained guard dogs patrolling the property, so that the factory farm is
now a Dachau style concentration camp for the 220,000 battery hens
caged there. The electrified fence gate is open during daylight hours
for worker access.
Prior to being assaulted, the three ALV investigators observed battery
hens suffering severe feather loss crammed into rusty old cages. A
number of birds were also observed in the manure pits, without access
to food or water. After only five minutes of documenting these
conditions, the women were set upon by seven farm employees who started
physically assaulting them and pushing them along the length of the
dirty shed covered in dust and cobwebs.
The women asked the men to please let them go as they were happy to
leave the sheds. The violence escalated when one young man
approached rescue team member Debra Tranter from behind and put his
arms around her, grabbing and squeezing her breasts. Ms
Tranter screamed and fell to the ground at which time she was grabbed
by both her ankles and dragged along the filthy floor.
Police were called and took photographs of the injuries sustained by
the rescue team members, and took their statements. The rescue
team members are pressing for charges of sexual and physical assault,
in addition to charges of cruelty to animals, to be laid against the
farm and its employees.
Debra Tranter, a trained nurse and supervisor said outside the shed:
“For eleven years I’ve been coming to these sheds to document the
suffering of these birds. I’ve never been treated so violently. I kept
pleading to these angry males to please let me go as I was quite happy
to leave the sheds. I knew the hens were overcrowded and tormented in
their tiny cages. But the aggressive treatment of me today by those in
charge of these captive hens has only made me more determined to help
Patty Mark, ALV President, added: “The bruising and roughing up we
received today, highlights the extreme peril these birds are in. Not
only are they debeaked, featherless, and dying in tiny cages, but the
only ones there for them day to day are these violent and abusive men.
We’ve been campaigning against Happy Hens for eleven years and the
sheds were worse than ever. Today the police told us that two weeks ago
70,000 birds died after a mechanical breakdown. This property requires
urgent attention by legal authorities.”
Obviously any allegations of assault should be investigated by police, and if anyone knows anything about assault its Animal Liberation Victoria — Australian Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ chief Dr. Hugh Worth has hired bodyguards to protect him after an attempted assault carried out last October by Animal Liberation Victoria activists.
During a gala ball sponsored by the RSPCA in October 2004, three Animal Liberation Victoria activists threw red paint over Dr. Wirth because of longstanding disagreements between the RSPCA and Animal Liberation Victoria.
Animal Liberation Victoria dismissed Wirth’s concern with the assault against, with its vice-president Noah Hannibal explicitly justifying the attack,
If Hugh Wirth was as concerned with the suffering of animals as much as he is with overreacting to some washable red paint on his tuxedo, we would not have to take such drastic action to highlight the fact that the RSPCA is betraying the animals it has the statutory duty to protect.
Activists Sexually and Physically Assaulted During Battery Farm Raid. Press Release, Animal Liberation Victoria, July 28, 2005.