lover has been fined after attempting to liberate battery hens from a farm
Organ, 46, and seven others had hired a van and gathered cages and bags
in order to free unhealthy or distressed birds late one night in January
They were foiled by a man out walking with a powerful lamp as they approached
a Witchampton farm.
at Bournemouth Crown Court found Mr Organ guilty of conspiracy to steal,
and on Thursday, June 17, he was ordered to pay £1,515.
James Meston, QC, told Mr Organ: “It is clear you have a long-standing
serious concern about the welfare of animals, and believe your self to be
morally justified in stealing chickens.
do not suppose the verdict of the jury will alter your views.
was no evidence the farm was run unlawfully or improperly, and it was at
that time running down.”
targeted unit has since closed for economic reasons, he added.
easily traced Mr Organ, of Lancing, West Sussex, because he hired the van
in his own name, and Judge Meston said he did not believe the group would
have forced entry to a locked barn. “I
understand that in 2012 changes in the law will improve conditions for poultry,”
thought your strong disapproval for battery hens was in the mainstream part
of public opinion, and I accept that you were just going to get unhealthy
birds that might not have been missed.”
Greene, defending, said: “This was not an offence committed for reasons
of personal gain, but for beliefs sincerely held in relation to an issue
my client feels strongly about, with others.”