January 25, 2021

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Vegan activists on trial over alleged theft of days-old calf

2 min read
Vegan activists accused of stealing an 11-day-old calf from a farm have gone on trial in Perth Magistrates Court.

Police have revealed the extraordinary lengths they went to to close-in on a controversial vegan activist - accused of taking a calf from a WA farm in a bizarre stunt.

James Warden today went on trial in Perth Magistrates Court after pleading not guilty to burglary and stealing.

He is accused of hatching a plot with two other activists, to sneak into the Brunswick farm in the dead of night in October 2018 and remove an 11-day-old calf.

The court heard the animal, which they named "Theo" was placed in a hatchback and driven to a sanctuary.

James Warden and his co-accused Arkadiusz Swibodzinski are fighting the charges - claiming it's not stealing - because they were rescuing the animal.

Today encrypted messages between James Warden and the third member of the group - who admitted to the crime - were revealed in court.

Prosecutors say they show the pair planned to scope out the property, remove number plates from the vehicle, turn headlights off, and take the animal to a sanctuary which had previously been removed.

Secret police phone taps were also played to the court, where they discussed what they would say if they were arrested - and whether they should say the animal was sick.

The court heard the animal was later seized from the sanctuary, and identified through DNA testing.

Outside court, where a number of protestors gathered for the appearance, James Warden said he wasn't afraid of the prospect of jail.

"We're willing to put our lives on the line, willing to put our money on the line, our liberty on the line, just as everyone behind us is willing to do as well."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/vegan-activists-calf-theft-direct-action-everywhere-members-on-trial-wa/c2f093bc-5287-4654-afca-f3cd3a907613

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