Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Matt Johnson,, 319.464.5985

Press Release

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 exposé, and DxE activists led the recent effort to ban fur products in  San Francisco. Activists have been subjected to FBI raids and felony prosecutions for these investigations and rescues. Visit Direct Action Everywhere on Facebook and at Follow us on Twitter @DxEverywhere.

Watchdog: Secret Service Didn't Notify Capitol Police of Threat to Pelosi Until After Jan. 6 Attack

"This is deeply disturbing and requires a full investigation," said one legal expert.

Jessica Corbett ·

Advocates Welcome Temporary Block on South Carolina's 6-Week Abortion Ban

"Today's decision is a huge relief for people who desperately need abortion care in South Carolina right now," said one reproductive rights lawyer.

Brett Wilkins ·

Federal Court Strikes Down Ruling That Blocked Biden's Drilling Moratorium

"Today's decision demonstrates how flawed the preliminary injunction issued in June 2021 was, and that Interior must quickly take action to reform the federal fossil fuel program," said one environmental lawyer.

Julia Conley ·

Two Weeks Before Payments Resume, Progressives Tell Biden 'Time to Cancel Student Debt'

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that "we're having conversations daily with the White House and borrowers will know directly and soon from us when a decision is made."

Jessica Corbett ·

Progressive Mandela Barnes Leads Ron Johnson by 7 Points in New Poll

"People are done being represented by an out-of-touch, self-serving multimillionaire like Ron Johnson," said Wisconsin's Democratic Senate nominee.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo