Animal Activist Activity Expected to Increase

June 7, 2018

Success of recent protest in California may motivate others

On May 29, hundreds of animal activists, led by the group Direct Action Everywhere, forced their way onto a laying farm in California. The activists utilized the Animal Liberation Conference, which was being held nearby, to recruit participants and ensure details of their plan remained relatively concealed. The protest was live-streamed on Facebook for over three hours.

The activists asserted they conducted high biosecurity measures during their break-in, even claiming it was higher than that utilized by the laying industry. Yet many of the activists were seen on camera on the farm without the biosecurity coveralls, booties or gloves, in addition to many other violations.

Thirty-seven hens, which the activist claimed required veterinary care, were removed from the farm and taken to an undisclosed sanctuary. Throughout the live broadcast, the activists mentioned their vegan agenda and how they view their actions as civil disobedience. Troubling, they cited a legal opinion written by Hadar Aviram, a professor of law at UC Hastings, regarding California Code 597e, which they claim gave them the legal authority to enter the facility. This tactic caused confusion for the officers and those attempting to resolve the issue.

Forty activists later attempted to re-enter the farm and were arrested.  “We tried everything in our power to negotiate with them. But there were 40 people who were determined to elevate their cause and voluntarily get arrested,” said Sonoma County Sheriff, Sgt. Spencer Crum (MSN News, 2018).

Direct Action Everywhere is calling the event a huge success and encouraging more activism through raising money, sharing videos, and organizing similar events.   No doubt, other activist groups will be motivated to try similar tactics.  UEP advises all farms to be vigilant and include the handling of an onsite animal activist protest in its emergency plan.


California Code 597e (referenced above)  

“Any person who impounds, or causes to be impounded in any pound, any domestic animal, shall supply it during such confinement with a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water, and in default thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor. In case any domestic animal is at any time so impounded and continues to be without necessary food and water for more than 12 consecutive hours, it is lawful for any person, from time to time, as may be deemed necessary, to enter into and upon any pound in which the animal is confined and supply it with necessary food and water so long as it remains so confined. Such person is not liable for the entry and may collect the reasonable cost of the food and water from the owner of the animal, and the animal is subject to enforcement of a money judgment for the reasonable cost of such food and water.”(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 497, Sec. 135. Operative July 1, 1983, by Sec. 185 of Ch. 497.)