VICTORY! In court yesterday charges of ‘burglary’ and ‘theft’ were dropped
against seven Animal Liberation Victoria
activists. The charges
were in relation to the (alleged) rescue of 320 hens last year. Police were
ordered to pay $11,800 in costs.
Last year an animal abusing chicken farmer alleged to police that ALV
rescuers had removed 320 chickens from her farm, at the same time giving a
written confession that her hens had been starving to death and
cannibalising each other over a period of months. Instead of prosecuting
the chicken farmer for aggravated animal cruelty, the police instead
decided to prosecute ALV activists for (allegedly) saving the lives of the
last surviving 320 hens.
Police aggressively pursued ALV activists for months. This included an
incident where police visited the house of ALV President Noah Hannibal, cut
off his electricity and, with police stationed at his front and back doors,
nearly smashed his back door down. Noah was then handcuffed and marched
down the street to the divisional van. At the police station he was
photographed and given a pat down full body search, then simply given a
court date and immediately released. Shortly after this, all charges were
withdrawn due to complete lack of evidence.
We are deeply troubled that the farm operator admitted to police that the
hens were left for days without food and were resorting to cannibalism, yet
the police chose to charge animal rescuers instead of the farm operator –
even though they had admitted to actions which caused horrific suffering to
the hens. Hopefully yesterday’s decision means police have decided to focus
their limited resources on prosecuting animal abusers instead of volunteers
dedicated to helping animals.