Friday, July 29, 2005

Activists Sexually and Physically Assaulted During Battery Farm Raid

For immediate release
United Poultry Concerns

Activists Sexually and Physically Assaulted During Battery Farm Raid

Meredith, Victoria July 28, 2005


Patty Mark (ALV President): 0417 396 236

Debra Tranter (Senior Campaigner): 0417 536

Three Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV)
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

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 them."

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."


United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization
that promotes the compassionate and respectful
treatment of domestic fowl.

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