Czech animal rights activists chain themselves to Agrofert slaughterhouse

The plant in Mirovice processes chickens and ducks; organizers say this is the first non-violent direct protest event in the Czech Republic.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 31.08.2021 11:14:00 (updated on 01.09.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

UPDATE: Police have unchained animal rights activists who had chained themselves to the gate to the local slaughterhouse in order to prevent its operation this morning. Police did so after the protesters had refused to obey orders to leave the area. The police detained about 20 protesters.

Mirovice, South Bohemia, Aug 31 (ČTK) - Some 20 Czech animal rights activists have chained themselves to the entry to a local slaughterhouse in order to prevent its operation this morning.

The activists behind the protest say this is the first non-violent direct protest event in the Czech Republic. They have blocked the plant by sitting down at the entry and chaining themselves to one another.

The plant in Mirovice, which belongs to the Agrofert holding, owned by Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš until 2017, processes chickens and ducks.

“We are here because we are desperate. Animals are sensitive beings, treated by man with an enormous cruelty," one of the protesters said.

"As informed people we feel the responsibility to stand up and warn of the useless suffering and violence committed on innocent victims of the so-called animal husbandry industry on a daily basis,” he added.

The activists want to help save 15 animals and secure safe homes for them today. They said they wanted to save the poultry against a violent death and "provide them with life-long security and freedom."

Additional participants are positioned around the chained activists, holding banners saying "Life Belongs to The One Who Lives It" and "We Came to Save 15 Of Them."

The spokeswoman of the protest said the activists were communicating with the owner of the plant, negotiating the rescue of 15 animals. They also want to attract attention to the way the animals are treated.

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"We have safe homes where they can spend the rest of their lives without being maltreated," she added.

A Písek police spokeswoman told CTK that police had advised the activists how to behave safely and were checking their identity and that so far no conflict has occured.

Agrofert has dismissed the idea that it maltreats animals. Spokesman Karel Hanzelka said it insisted on animal welfare and there were permanent veterinary checks. He went on to say that the even has not affected the operation of the plant.

"We resolutely deny the allegation that we maltreat animals. Our abattoir is one of the top modern plants where animals are killed in a humane way," he added.

The firm has seen some protests before, but the activists had never been chained to the gate, Hanzelka said.

"We are under constant state veterinary control and we observe all the legislation and rules. Since every Czech (judging by statistical data) consumes tens of kilograms of meat annually, someone must produce it on the industrial scale or it must be imported from abroad," he added.

The plant employs 270 people. In a year, it processes four million ducks. It opened in 1948.

In May 2014, animal rights activists blocked a pig farm in Lety, also in the Písek district in South Bohemia.

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