MONTREAL -- Eleven animal rights activists from the group Direction Action Everywhere - DxE occupied a pig breeding facility in Saint-Hyacinthe Saturday demanding full access inside the agribusiness operation and a meeting with Quebec Premier Francois Legault to discuss animal rights.

The activists entered around 4 a.m. and live-streamed their occupation on Facebook.

DxE activist Jenny McQueen narrates the video and points out conditions for the animals in their enclosures at Por Greg Farm.

"The mother pig is on her side, and she had a huge abscess on her teats," said McQueen in the video. "We are demanding that the media come and film the conditions that we find here."

The video records small enclosures the windowless rooms and the activists claim the pigs show signs of illness.

"These are adult pigs. They know their plight. They know how miserable their conditions are," said McQueen.

DxE would like Quebec to enact Rose's Law Animal Bill of Rights - which includes a right to rescue, and right to protection of animals among other policies.

In 2015 Quebec passed legislation defining animals as sentient beings but that law doesn't stop animals from being raised for food. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Have you heard of Rose’s Law @animal_bill_of_rights ?�� It’s a demand for a simple Bill of Rights for animals: Stop killing them. Stop abusing them. Stop destroying their homes. Stop prosecuting their rescuers. Imagine a massive worldwide campaign for animal rights. Imagine coordinated actions across the world to put this demand at the very centre of the political conversation. If you’d like, commit to planning an action in your city. Reach out to @DirectActionEverywhere for orientation, trainings and materials. _____ Videos taken in a horrid event that happens yearly in Toronto, where Direct Action Everywhere Toronto bore witness and disrupted the rink! _____ We consider ourselves a nation of animal lovers, they are our friends, companions and even members of our families. However, as a nation we also slaughter billions of animals every year for no necessary reason. We are born into societies and cultures that condition us from birth into believing that animal products are normal, natural and necessary. Our societies dictate many philosophies and ideologies that we carry with us through life and in the case of animals, we are told to love some - and eat others. We have normalised behaviour that we would normally consider to be horrific, using excuses and ingrained justifications to hide behind the reality of our immoral actions. We are indoctrinated with advertising and marketing, further reinforcing the idea of separation and segregation between species, with decades of devaluing and reducing the lives of animals to nothing more than commodities for human disposal. In many respects we are vulnerable to the power society holds over us, but at what point do we choose to look past what we are told and seek the truth? Animals suffer, just like us. They feel a vast spectrum of emotions including love, joy, grief, fear and pain. The fact that animals experience pain means that they have a innate preference to avoid it. Therefore it is our moral obligation to protect them from unnecessary suffering - however we have normalised exploiting them in the trillions, profiting from their gentleness and their innocence.

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Around 10:20 a.m., activist Jenny Donovan spoke to CTV News Montreal after being arrested along with her fellow activists at the farm.

She spoke about being in the building with the animals.

"We've seen a lot of footage online, on Facebook or whatever, but being there is a completely different experience," said Donovan. "The ammonia is so thick that your eyes burn. The stench in the air is absolutely nauseating, and there's a density to the air, there are particles floating around and then, of course, you're seeing these intelligent creatures stuck in cages that they can't even turn around in."

Canadian Pok Council spokesperson Gary Stordy said trespassing onto pig farms could pose a health risk for the animals. 

"Someone entering the barn not understand the biosecurity procedures of that farm... simply showing up with a mask and white suit is not biosecure, there's a number of steps involved in most facilities," he said. 

Donovan expects a court date in the new year and DxE will plan its next steps.

"We're waiting for our friends to come out and we all have to make an appearance towards the end of January, and I guess we'll see what the ramifications are," said Donovan.

Donovan did not speak with the farmers directly.

The SQ said police were called before 8 a.m., and that the mandate in these types of cases is to not comment on the arrest.