Nearly 100 animal rights activists were freed today, after being arrested by police in riot gear for carrying out a rescue mission and protest at the Reichardt Duck Farm in Petaluma, California, which they accuse of engaging in animal torture. More than 600 activists with Direct Action Everywhere stormed the slaughterhouse Monday, fanning out in teams to chain themselves together at the entrance, freeing dozens of ducks and in some cases locking themselves by the neck to the slaughter line. Several of the activists made it inside the slaughterhouse, where they began trying to rescue ducks that were hanging upside down by their feet. Inside the slaughterhouse, the activists began using U-locks on their own necks, locking themselves to the metal duck slaughtering production line. An employee of the slaughterhouse then turned on the belt, threatening the lives of the activists and nearly asphyxiating Thomas Chiang, who was dragged by the neck and wedged against a metal pole. Chiang was later taken away by ambulance and treated for nerve damage and severe pain. He’s since been released from the hospital. We speak with Priya Sawhney and Wayne Hsiung, co-founders and lead organizers at Direct Action Everywhere. Hsiung was arrested during Monday’s action and was released late Wednesday. He is facing a total of 17 felony charges in jurisdictions around the country for his animal rescue actions. Sawhney is also facing felony charges.
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