On 13th June 2023, several vegan activists of the group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) rescued 18
chickens from a Petaluma Poultry processing plant they had already visited before and rescued other
chickens. They dressed in garb similar to that of employees to go undetected, and they intercepted
an incoming flatbed truck that was transporting live chickens to the Lakeville Highway
slaughterhouse, in Sonoma County, California, US.
About 200 or more protesters entered the commercial poultry operations in Sonoma County
involving Petaluma Poultry, purveyor of Rosie Organic and Rocky Free Range chickens sold widely at
major groceries and food retailers. These activists said unauthorized entry is legally defensible if it’s
necessary to save lives, as in the case where someone breaks a car window to rescue an overheated
dog inside.
Zoe Rosenberg, a Cal Berkeley student and activist with DxE, said: “We have repeatedly reported
Petaluma Poultry, but no one has taken action to protect the birds. We have the right to take action
to save those sick birds… There have been a series of rescues taking place in Sonoma County, due to
Sonoma County authorities’ refusal to take action… Leaving Sonoma County on Tuesday with four live
birds, “my eyes started to well up with tears, because these four birds are safe…These four are going
to get the care that is needed and hopefully live the lives they deserve.”
Alison Morikawa Barnard, press liaison for Direct Action Everywhere, said: “We’ve investigated time
and time again…No matter which facility we go into in this case — we’re talking specifically about
Petaluma Poultry — we gather more evidence showing that criminal animal cruelty is happening,
and we continue to ask authorities to do something.”

according to the Judicial Council of California, state law allows for the “necessity defence” in cases
where defendants can establish significant bodily harm or evil to them or another, where there is no
adequate legal alternative, the act did not create a greater danger than the one avoided, the person
believed the act was necessary, a reasonable person also would have believed the action necessary,
and the defendant did not contribute to the emergency.
Four DxE activists are currently facing criminal charges for other open rescues from Sonoma County
poultry farms.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.