Vegan activists who broke into a farm in Spain and rescued 16 rabbits, before allegedly being “shot at” by farmers, may have inadvertently led to the deaths of around 100 more animals - according to vets working at the farm.
Around 50 young activists in a dozen vehicles broke into the farm near Osona, in Catalonia, last Sunday, where the farmers apparently tried to halt the theft, and called the police.
Despite police intervention, the activists got away with 16 rabbits.
But according to local paper La Vanguardia, a vet’s report prepared by the farm before it files an official complaint indicates the loss of the 16 rabbits, some of which were reportedly pregnant or lactating, has in turn led to the deaths of over 90 of their offspring who were dependent upon them.
The vet’s report also alleges five rabbits were severely injured during the raid and reportedly also died as a result.
According to a vegan activist who goes by the online avatar “Mythical Mia”, during the chaotic confrontation farmers hit the activists with metal poles, and strangled them.
After the police and the activists left, the farmers reportedly began a high-speed chase down a motorway, allegedly shooting out the windows of a car in which Mia was travelling in, leaving her with blood pouring down her face, a video shows.
Speaking to The Independent, Mia denied there was any truth to reports so many animals had died in relation to the group’s actions.
She said: "This is false information with no evidence to back it up. We were inside that farm for less than five minutes and we only touched the rabbits who we rescued, who are all doing fine now, despite being very sick when rescued due to the filthy living conditions of that farm.
“We did not leave any babies without their mothers as we only rescued young ones. We had a professional vet on site with us the whole time. I would like to see the official documentation, vet report and post mortem of any of these claims since I strongly believe that if any of the mothers were ‘forced to have abortions’ (as the farm alleged), then it was definitely due to the horrific conditions they were already living in when we arrived, that thanks to us, have now been exposed.
“We have videos of a bunch of dead rabbits left to rot inside the farm and in the bin outside, who were already there when we got there.
“It’s clearly convenient for them to blame on us a crime that was already committed before we even arrived. This industry has deceived the public for far too long.”
Writing about the farmers’ actions on Instagram, she said: “The police came and told us to leave peacefully, which we did. After we left the farmers chased us down the motorway at 200kph for an hour.”
The activists then also called the police and were reportedly given an escort as they continued their journey, but when the police left them, the farmers reportedly caught up “came alongside and shot at us”, the activist said.
In her video, she says, in an English accent: “I’m covered in blood. This is what the farmers have done. They shot through our window and chased us down the motorway. Oh my god, I’m literally covered in blood.”
Writing afterwards she said: “The window exploded in my face and there was a lot of blood from all the glass. We’re currently at the hospital and waiting to go to the police station to report this crime.”
She added: “The most important thing is that the non-human animals are safe. They are far from that hell hole.”
Another activist who was on the raid and is described as a vet, documented the state of one of the rabbits they stole from the farm.
“The female rabbit “was dehydrated, hungry and was uncontrollably [running in circles] as a result of a preventative disease. A direct result of this violent and exploitative industry.
“Immediate treatment and care will ensure her survival, as well as her fighting spirit to live especially now she is free. She began to improve quickly and is receiving all the treatment needed to make a full recovery.”
The owner of the farm also described himself as a victim of assault at the hands of the activists on Catalunya Radio.
The activists also posted links to videos made by animal rights activists Animal Equality, which has investigated conditions on several Spanish rabbit farms over two years and filmed brutal and inhumane conditions and treatment, with high rates of mortality, disease and sickness.
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