Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of the animal rights extremist group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), was found guilty of a felony conspiracy charge and two criminal misdemeanors in Sonoma County, California, court on November 2, 2023. DxE is known for employing tactics that include trespassing, stealing livestock, poultry, and lab animals, and breaking and entering into private properties in the name of animal “open rescue.” DxE was founded in Berkeley, California, in 2013, with its goal of ending animal agriculture, animal ownership, and most human-animal interaction.
The Sonoma County, California, jurors reached their verdict on an “open rescue” incident at two poultry operations, Sunrise Farms and Reichardt Duck Farm, which occurred in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The misdemeanors were both for trespassing, one of which includes “the intent to disrupt a lawful business,” in addition to one felony charge of conspiracy to commit trespass. DxE’s website is currently treating Hsiung as a martyr, as he’s in jail until his November 30, 2023, sentencing, instead of the common criminal he was found to be.
Hsiung’s criminal history
This isn’t Hsiung’s first time in court, as he has previously been charged with crimes in Utah, Colorado, and North Carolina, all related to animal rights extremist activities. In 2017, Hsiung and DxE extremists stole pigs from a Smithfield hog farm and released them to sanctuaries.