United Poultry Concerns
Promoting the compassionate and respectful
treatment of domestic fowl

PO Box 150 • Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
(757) 678-7875 • FAX (757) 678-5070

28 July 2005

Patty Mark (ALV President): 0417 396 236
Debra Tranter (Senior Campaigner): 0417 536 539

Activists Sexually and Physically Assaulted
During Battery Farm Raid

Meredith, Victoria - Three Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV) activists 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 access.
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."

This photo was taken at Happy Hens in 2000, note the sloping roof which deflects the birds' droppings from the cage above (the cages are stacked four tiers high) into the manure pit below.  The overcrowded debilitated birds cannot even ever stand at full height.  Animal Liberation Victoria's rescue team has carried out 20 rescues at Happy Hens (Victoria's largest battery egg factory) between 1994-2000 saving the lives of hundreds of hens.  ALV President Patty Mark has been ordered by the Magistrates Court to spend 17 days in prison starting September 1, 2005 for her refusal to pay fines for trespassing on the property and rescuing the hens.

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