Animal rights activist makes first court appearance after allegedly taking baby goat

A national animal rights activist made his first court appearance here in the mountains Tuesday.

Wayne Hsiung was arrested Thursday after landing in Asheville where he was speaking at VeganFest.

Authorities say Hsiung took a baby goat from the Sospiro Goat Ranch in Pisgah Forest, a business that specializes in providing goat meat to consumers.

According to Hsiung, he removed the baby goat because it had pneumonia and lice. Hsiung claims he was legally justified under the doctrine of legal necessity.

“Goats have the same feelings as a dog and are just as deserving of good care,” Hsiung said. “The law should target animal abusers, not animal rescuers.”

Hsiung now faces felony charges of breaking and entering and larceny, and up to 6 years in prison.

Tuesday, a probable cause hearing was set for July 5th.