The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Matt Johnson,, 319.464.5985

Animal Rights Group Founder Arrested at Airport - Bail Set at $25,000

New felony charges for former law professor already facing decades in prison for animal rescue cases in Utah.


Former law professor and founder of the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) Wayne Hsiung was arrested Thursday upon stepping off a plane at the Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina. He faces felony charges of breaking and entering and of larceny, as well as a misdemeanor trespass charge. The Transylvania County prosecutor filed the charges related to the rescue of a baby goat, sick with pneumonia, from a North Carolina farm.

"The law should encourage the rescue of animals rather than the abuse of animals," said Hsiung. "I believe the people of North Carolina will stand for compassion and not cruelty."

Hsiung was still being held as of the time of this release.

At 4:45 ET today, Hsiung is scheduled to host a panel, including a discussion of his rescue work and related charges, at the Asheville Veganfest, which will be seen live at

Hsiung and four others have already been charged with multiple felony charges for similar investigations in Utah, with court appearances scheduled Monday and Wednesday next week.

He now also has a Monday court date in Brevard county.

Hsiung ushered the baby goat, whom he named Rain, to an urgently needed veterinary stay before bringing him to a farmed animal sanctuary.

"Goats have the same feelings as a dog or cat and are just as deserving of love and compassion." Hsiung said.

Hsiung and other DxE activists say that the string of charges will not discourage them from their efforts to expose abuse. They plan to appear in court to contest all charges -- and continue their campaign against animal cruelty.

Investigators with Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) enter farms, slaughterhouses, and other agricultural facilities to document abuses and rescue sick and injured animals. DxE's investigatory work has been featured in The New York Times, Nightline, and a viral Glenn Greenwald expose, and DxE activists led the recent effort to ban fur products in San Francisco. Activists have been