Animal Liberation Victoria's Openrescue team saved the lives of 13 battery hens from abysmal conditions inside an Australian egg laying factory today (June 22, 2008). The rescue was in solidarity with the ten Austrian animal activists who have been imprisoned without reasonable cause since May 21. Some of the activists are on hunger strike, including Dr Martin Balluch who hasn't eaten for a month and is currently being forcefed inside the prison hospital.
Six activists literally saved the lives of many hens as well as removing them from the putrid shed. Two hens were found near death caught trapped in the wire and baffle plate of their cages, and eight others were rescued from a manure pit filled with oozing excrement, dead bodies, dying hens, beetles, rats and feral cats. When Setha, who was on his first rescue, realised the hens were trapped in the manure pit he immediately jumped down to help them. One of the numerous hens he saved from a sure death of starvation and dehydration in the pit we named Martina in honor of Martin Balluch. This hen was severely emaciated and dehydrated and on death's door, she weighed less than half a kilogram. Martina has incredible spirit and is slowly starting to eat again. Others were ill and weighted down with heavy manure balls.