13 Activists Charged After Stealing Hens From Poultry Farm

In Sydney's west

13 Activists Charged After Stealing Hens From Poultry Farm Stock image

Thirteen animal activists have been charged after storming a poultry farm on the outskirts of Sydney and taking off with hens - a number of which died in the process.

Police allege the group was protesting alleged animal cruelty at the Lakesland farm, near Camden, on Thursday when they the raided the property.

"A large group of protesters allegedly forced entry to the shed of a chicken farm on Mowbray Road and threatened the owner with bolt cutters," NSW Police said on Friday.

The group refused to leave the property and put chickens in cages before fleeing.

Some chickens died during the raid, police said.

Officers later stopped a Toyota Hilux nearby containing cages of chickens.

RSPCA investigators were also at the property on Thursday after receiving "disturbing footage" of hens at the property.

Inspectors interviewed the owner and counselled him on his legal obligations to provide for the welfare of the hens.

But an RSPCA spokeswoman condemned what unfolded at the property.

"It makes it hard to do our job," Stefania Kubowicz told AAP on Friday.

She said trespassing was illegal and taking the hens "can further harm the birds".

Thirteen people - eight women, four men and a 17-year-old girl - were taken to the local police station and charged with animal cruelty.

One man, aged 46, was also charged with assaulting police, common assault and use an offensive weapon with intent to commit indictable offence.

Before the arrests, one of the NSW Hen Rescue campaigners told a local newspaper the group was at the farm as a "voice for the hens".

"There's a small number of us here and we have carriers ready just in case we are able to make a rescue today," Catherine Kelarher told the Camden-Narellan Advertiser.

"We're here to be a voice for the hens and put some pressure on authorities."

The 12 adults were given conditional bail to appear at Picton Local Court on August 14.

The 17-year-old girl was given bail to appear at a children's court also in August.