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ANIMAL-RIGHTS ACTIVIST WHO FILMED EGG FARM ACQUITTED OF BURGLARY

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  • Cheryl
    We, here in Rochester are thrilled with the verdict! What a coup for all activists and a blow to Battery Egg Businesses!! ... Rochester, N.Y. — An
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2006
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      We, here in Rochester are thrilled with the verdict! What a coup
      for all activists and a blow to Battery Egg Businesses!!
      -------------



      Rochester, N.Y. — An animal-rights activist who sneaked into an egg
      factory to videotape multitudes of egg-laying chickens clumped
      together in small wire cages was acquitted Thursday on felony
      burglary charges but convicted of criminal trespassing, a
      misdemeanor.

      Adam Durand, 26, denied on the stand that he broke into the egg farm
      during three nighttime visits in 2004 — he said he climbed in
      through a hole in a building wall — and maintained he had no
      intention of removing any birds. Fellow activists took away 11
      hens "because in every case they were sick or dying and there was
      just this feeling that they needed veterinary care," Duran testified
      Wednesday.

      A jury in Wayne County found Durand not guilty of third-degree
      burglary, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison, as
      well as three counts of petit larceny. Durand freely admitted
      entering the building where 700,000 hens produce more than a half-
      million eggs a day and was convicted on three counts of criminal
      trespassing.

      "I think six months would be the maximum sentence in jail, but we
      don't expect any jail time," defense lawyer Len Egert said. "It's
      just usually not given for a low-level offense like this."
      Sentencing was set for May 16.

      Two friends who accompanied Durand to the farm operated by Rochester-
      based grocery store chain Wegmans in Wolcott, 50 miles east of
      Rochester, pleaded guilty to reduced charges of trespassing and
      petit larceny, both misdemeanors. The trio were arrested last summer
      when Durand, a graphic designer and director of a consumer-advocacy
      group called Compassionate Consumers, produced a 27-minute
      documentary entitled "Wegmans Cruelty" that was screened at a
      Rochester movie house. The film contains footage of hen corpses
      lying in cages with other live hens, a few that had fallen into deep
      manure pits running the length of the building or others with their
      heads apparently caught in the wire.

      About 95 percent of the nation's eggs are produced at caged-hen egg
      farms, and Durand's group wants to alert the public to a practice it
      considers cruel and neglectful.
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