PETALUMA, CA - As seen on Facebook livestream, around 60 activists -- including 18 in the midst of a 150-mile-march to the State Capitol Building in Sacramento -- returned to Reichardt Duck Farm outside Petaluma, the site of a June 3 protest and duck rescue.
The grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere organized the action, which included musical performances and speeches from activists who recalled their experiences inside the slaughterhouse last month. Activists left flowers at the slaughterhouse gate, paying their respects to the ducks killed inside. Sonoma county sheriff’s deputies and their vehicles were inside the property during the demonstration.
During the June 3 demonstration, 79 activists were arrested, many chaining themselves to a fence and slaughterhouse machinery. 32 baby ducklings were rescued and taken to a sanctuary.
DxE says says authorities at all levels have refused to take action, despite evidence of criminal animal abuse inside several Sonoma county farms, and are instead prosecuting whistleblowers who are exposing abuse. Currently over 100 are potentially facing charges, including six facing trial on seven felony charges each.
“Sonoma county authorities are wasting hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars, effectively serving as a private security force for corporate factory farming,” said Priya Sawhney, among the six facing seven felonies each. “They’re shielding the very criminal conduct they ought to be investigating and prosecuting.”
18 vigil attendees will be continuing their march, set to arrive at the State Capitol in Sacramento on July 9. They will go to the offices of Attorney General Becerra and Governor Newsom, requesting support for ordinary citizens’ legal right to rescue animals in need, as well as action to stop criminal animal cruelty and the prosecution of factory farm whistleblowers.
July 9 is also the date of the next CA senate hearing on AB-44, a statewide ban on the sale and manufacture of fur, which DxE has also organized extensively to support. Supporters can sign-up here to help pass the ban.
Investigators with Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) enter farms, slaughterhouses, and other agricultural facilities to document abuses and rescue sick and injured animals. DxE’s investigatory work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC Nightline, and a viral Glenn Greenwald exposé, and DxE activists led the 2018 effort to ban fur products in San Francisco. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at directactioneverywhere.com/. Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.