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Vegan activist is put in 'chokehold' after 'breaking into a pig farm' to protest

A vegan activist has been filmed being restrained in what appears to be a chokehold by a police officer after he was arrested while protesting against supposed animal cruelty.

Direct Action Everywhere and Meat The Victims animal rights activist Arkadiusz Swiebodzinski was one of two men charged after they allegedly trespassed on a piggery near Toowoomba in southern Queensland.

He and Shaun Figueiredo were among about 30 protesters who attended the property on Monday.

The two men Facebook live-streamed their efforts to enter the site, running through fields until they find a fence to climb under.








Animal rights activist Arkadiusz Swiebodzinski filmed inside the piggery moments before they were surrounded by police officers

Animal rights activist Arkadiusz Swiebodzinski filmed inside the piggery moments before they were surrounded by police officers

‘Animals are suffering, this is an emergency,’ Swiebodzinski explains on camera.

‘There is no time to muck around. We’re going in.’ 

They make their way to a shed, where dozens of sows and piglets are being housed in farrowing crates and stalls.

The finals moments of the 35-minute clip are scenes of chaos as police officers storm the shed.

An officer is filmed approaching Swiebodzinski from behind and grabbing him around the neck as he’s dragged away.

Another officer tells Figueiredo, who’s filming: ‘If you resist arrest you’ll be further charged.’ 

Swiebodzinski claims the officer threw his arms around his neck.

Swiebodzinski was filmed being approached from behind and grabbed around the neck in a chokehold before being dragged away.

Swiebodzinski was filmed being approached from behind and grabbed around the neck in a chokehold before being dragged away.

‘He screamed at me, … told me that I’m arrested. He was screaming ‘I told you not to go in here,’ he told news.com.au.

‘As soon as he took me out of the shed, put both knees on my body, handcuffed me behind my back and searched me.’  

Swiebodzinski added they were surrounded by at least 15 officers who appeared to be anticipating them. 

Queensland Police confirmed two men were charged with trespass and issued with fines for allegedly breaching a biosecurity order.

While a spokesman was unable to comment on the footage, he referred Daily Mail Australia to officers’ use of force options, which are listed online.

The neck restraint hold is an open hand tactics officers may be permitted to use when control of a policing situation cannot be achieved otherwise. 

He and Shaun Figueiredo illegally gained access to the site by climbing under a fence

He and Shaun Figueiredo illegally gained access to the site by climbing under a fence

‘Open hand tactics equip officers with a range of operational skills and tactics which assist officers in performing their functions safely, efficiently and effectively. Application of these tactics may allow officers to achieve and maintain control of a subject or policing situation,’ Queensland Police guidelines states.

Swiebodzinski says the pair politely asked for permission to enter the site and insists they respected biohazard security rules when they entered the property.

‘We were prepared with biohazard suits, gloves, disinfectant, masks, we know the biohazard security rules inside of those facilities and we always adhere to them,’ he said. 

Swiebodzinski claims the sow stalls and farrowing crates seen in the footage is standard practice.

‘The pigs are all around me and in front of me- the stench is unbearable,’ he says.

‘Is this ethical in any way?’

Arkadiusz Swiebodzinski (left) was charged with trespass and issued with fines for allegedly breaching a biosecurity order

Arkadiusz Swiebodzinski (left) was charged with trespass and issued with fines for allegedly breaching a biosecurity order

The RSPCA also has grave concerns about their use, citing welfare issues. 

‘Pigs that are housed in sow stalls and farrowing crates have no opportunity to engage in natural behaviour or interact socially with other pigs,’ the organisation states on its website.

‘Sow stalls and farrowing crates can also cause physical problems for the sows. Because they are unable to exercise, their muscles and bones deteriorate and they may have great difficulty in standing up or lying down.’

The two men charged have been inundated with support from fellow animal activists

‘So lucky to have such friends and colleagues. With people like I had around me yesterday, anything is possible,’ Swiebodzinski posted on Facebook on Tuesday night. 

Earlier this year, Swiebodzinski was fined $5000 for his role in theft of a $1500 calf from a farm in Western Australia in 2018.

Arkadiusz Swiebodzinski was protesting against alleged animal cruelty at the site on Monday

Arkadiusz Swiebodzinski was protesting against alleged animal cruelty at the site on Monday

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