by Denise RuttanAnimal rights activists have claimed responsibility for breaking into a pheasant-breeding farm in rural Scio late at night this week.
In an email distributed to area media outlets including the Statesman Journal, the publication Bite Back magazine at www.directaction.info said it received “an anonymous claim of responsibility” for the incident from the group Animal Liberation Front.
It is unclear from the email, which was sent March 16, whether the incident happened on March 14 or Thursday.
“Last night, the night of March 14, we infiltrated the property Queener Ridge Pheasant Company at 40485 Queener Drive, Scio, which breeds ringneck pheasants primarily to be murdered in commercial canned hunts,” according to the email.
In the statement, activists claimed they jumped a barbed-wire fence and dismantled a section of an aviary that held between 75-150 pheasants, “liberating them into the night sky.”
Linn County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Michelle Duncan said a deputy was currently on the scene of the property investigating.
“All we know now is that we received a call that pheasants were not there. We don’t know yet whether there’s been any criminal mischief,” Duncan said.
Gary Bochsler has owned Queener Ridge Pheasant Company for the last four years. According to the farm’s website, his business is to raise game birds to provide to game preserves and hunters.
When reached for comment, Bochsler said he did not know his pheasants were missing until he received a call this morning from the newspaper Capital Press.
“These birds are not being freed. They’re going to die … and these people think they’re doing them a favor by releasing them,” Bochsler said.
Bochsler would not disclose the number of birds he raises because he was afraid of further retaliation by Animal Liberation Front.
“It’s total terrorism and it’s not right,” Bochsler said.
Linn County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation into the report, Duncan said.
More information will be posted as it becomes available.
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