Australian police seized a calf from vegans to take him back to the veal farm where he was allegedly found collapsed on the floor and needed medical care.
The calf, who the activists named “Theo,” was taken from a Benger veal farm by members of the animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), according to police.
The vegan activists defended their actions, saying that they felt “compelled to act” and rescue the calf as they found him “collapsed on the floor of a massive factory farm” and obviously needed emergency medical care.
“Ordinary Australians support us in these efforts. But instead of addressing the animal cruelty, the authorities are terrorizing vegan families and sending their companion animals to slaughter.”
The incident occurred as tensions rise between animal rights activists and farmers in Australia.
The activists held signs with animal rights messages, while others blocked the road using their vehicles, where some activists chained themselves to while also holding signs containing vegan messages.
Some activists also held signs urging the public to watch the vegan documentary “Dominion,” which was viewed for more than 55,000 times in 48 hours since the protest.
Speaking about the documentary, Christine Lee, one of the organizers of the protest, told Nine News: “The film shows the truth about what is happening to animals in this country and around the world, but it was all Australian footage.”
“We want to show we’re regular people who have had enough, we are killing the planet and killing animals at rates that are just unacceptable.”
Chris Delforce, co-organizer of the protest and director of Dominion, added: “The industry is telling people these animals are being killed ethically, that they are being killed humanely – the reality is … it’s the furthest thing from humane.”
Farm owners in the country are now being urged to film vegan activists storming their properties then send the footage to the police so they can be prosecuted.
“What they are doing is breaching the law. I’m extremely angry and have really had a gutful of these people,” Queensland’s Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said in a statement.
“They need to take video footage with their phones or whatever they have available and give that to the police as evidence so that a prosecution will be successful but they need to complain to police to start the process.”
However, Delforce defended their protests and other forms of animal rights activism, saying that consumers should know what happens to animals raised and killed for human consumption.
“They need to be showing the footage of every single pig going into that chamber screaming and thrashing in agony,” Delforce said in an interview with Sunrise.
“The fact is these animals don’t want to die. They fight to the very last breath and there are plenty of cruelty-free alternatives. We can live happily without killing animals, so why wouldn’t we?”
DxE vegana activists are planning on taking to social media in order to urge the police to return the rescued calf safely by using the hashtag #ProtectTheo.