California Animal Activists Face Felony Charges after Chicken Theft

Six animal activists arrested for stealing chickens from a poultry farm in Sonoma County, California now face felony burglary, theft, and trespassing charges.

The six people are members of the “DxE” Bay Area chapter, with the group’s self-proclaimed goal of “total animal liberation.” The group conducted a protest at McCoy’s Poultry Services in Sonoma County on September 29th. The six members say they believed they were following the law when they were trying to help “chickens that were in distress.”

Sonoma County officials took possession of 15 chickens after the arrest, six of which were dead. The Sonoma County Sheriff says law enforcement tries to balance between First Amendment rights and the rights of private property owners in situations like this one. The sheriff’s department also said this move suggests an escalation in tactics by activist groups in Sonoma County. Sheriff Robert Giordano said, “Our concern is the trespass and the theft of animals.”

Law enforcement officials in the area are recommending that producers boost their security with fences, lights, and surveillance cameras.