WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Five out-of-state animal rights activists were arrested Wednesday in West Des Moines after burying dead piglets in the yard of the CEO of Iowa Select Farms.
Criminal complaints show the incident happened just before 3:00 p.m. at the home of Jeff Hansen in the 1400 block of Glen Oaks Drive.
According to animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere, five of its members dug graves on Hansen’s property for the piglets, which they say were killed at an Iowa Select Farms facility. The group live-streamed the incident on its Facebook page.
The group says it was protesting the company’s use of “ventilation shutdown” practices to euthanize pigs at its facilities. The process involves shutting off ventilation to the building, raising the building’s temperature, and injecting steam into the building.
West Des Moines police took the protesters into custody and they were booked into the Polk County Jail.
Thirty-three-year-old Curtis Vollmar, 27-year-old Kyana Jones, 29-year-old Brianna Martelozzo, 27-year-old Anastasia Rogers, and 28-year-old James Crom were charged with trespassing. Fourth degree criminal mischief charges were also filed against Jones, Martelozzo, and Crom.
As of noon Thursday, all had bonded out of the jail except Vollmar.