Minnesota Timberwolves games protest the destruction of Iowa’s chicken

Protests over the mass destruction of chickens on an Iowa farm have repeatedly disrupted Minnesota Timberwolves postseason games.

The latest interruption to play came in Saturday’s NBA Game 4 playoffs with the Memphis Grizzles at Target Center in Minnesota. With 10:44 remaining in the third quarter, a spectator sitting second row behind the Timberwolves bench abruptly ran onto the field in the middle of a play. Security tackled her and dragged her out.

Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights activist organization responsible for two previous fan protests at Timberwolves games, identified the protester as Sasha Zemmel. She wore a “fake reference uniform (which) had 5.3 displayed on the back,” according to USA TODAY Sports Network’s Damichael Cole, who said the number referred to the 5.3 million chickens killed after an outbreak of bird flu on a farm owned by Rembrandt Enterprises.

Why are animal rights protesters attending a Minnesota Timberwolves game?

Glen Taylor, longtime majority owner of the Timberwolves, is listed in Iowa Secretary of State filings as an administrator for Buena Vista County-based Rembrandt. The destruction of the millions of laying hens at the egg factory took place on March 17.

After: Bird flu reappears in Iowa after hiatus of more than two weeks

What happens to birds in the event of an avian flu epidemic?

When outbreaks occur, state departments of agriculture work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the producer to ensure the prompt destruction of the entire flock and quarantine the surrounding area to prevent the spread of the virus. .

Methods used to destroy flocks, developed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, include smothering birds with fire-fighting foam and piping carbon dioxide into barns to smother the birds. When there is too much to destroy with these methods, growers use a third method approved by the veterinary association, shutting off ventilation.

In this scenario, farmers shut off airflow into barns, which raises temperatures to levels at which animals die. The USDA and the veterinary association recommend that farmers further increase heat and carbon dioxide levels in barns to speed up the process and limit animal suffering.

The association recognizes that its techniques “cannot guarantee that the deaths that animals face are painless and without distress”.

After:Iowa wildlife officials assess impact of bird flu on eagles, hawks and other wild birds

California-based company Direct Action Everywhere argues the method is cruel, particularly the shutting off of ventilation, which it says was used by Rembrandt. He distributed videos showing stunned and traumatized chickens still alive in barns and at a composting site after the procedure.

What happened in Minnesota’s game against Memphis on Saturday?

The organization said the stunts at the Timberwolves games were part of “ongoing efforts to get Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor to resign and return the factory farm bailout money”. On Saturday, the organization confirmed that Zemmel was “dressed in #NBA Ref…as he attempted to ‘eject’ #Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor.”

“She attempted to whistle to stop the game as she approached Taylor in her courtside seat, to issue a ‘technical foul and expulsion’, as well as a ‘fine’ against the most rich from Forbes, Minnesota,” the band said in a press release.

Another protester sitting next to Zemmel was also taken out of play.

What happened at the other two Timberwolves protests?

It was the organization’s third protest in a Timberwolves playoff game. During the Timberwolves’ playoff against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 12, an animal rights protester stuck her hand to hardwood along the baseline and stretched before security could remove her .

Animal rights activist Zoe Rosenberg is ejected from the field by security after briefly stopping play action with a first-half protest during Game 1 of an NBA basketball playoff series at the first tour between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlies on April 16 in Memphis, Tennessee.

During the Grizzles and Timberwolves series opener on April 16 at FedExForum in Memphis, a woman chained herself to the back of the basket and threw flyers onto the field. There was a brief delay as security cut the protester’s chain and led her out of the arena. According to Cole, “She was pumping her firsts as she was led away by security.”

Iowa, the nation’s top egg producer and seventh-largest turkey producer, lost the most birds from commercial and backyard flocks during this year’s wave of bird flu. at 13.3 million.

USA Today contributed to this article.

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