Brad Johnson, former Smithfield farm pig manager is facing prison time because he rescued 42 pigs that were destined for the gas chamber. The pigs were worthless to Smithfield, yet one of the largest animal agriculture in the world decided to press serious charges against Brad: felony larceny.

You can read about  his story in numerous blog posts here. 

Are you an animal rights organization that would like to defend this innocent former manager of a Smithfield pig farm who rescued 42 pigs from his own farm?

Would you like the publicity and satisfaction of helping to get the right to rescue law passed that would enable farm animal sanctuaries to obtain animals that will be destroyed because of their size or health problems.

Would you like to support a brave man who has sacrificed all aspects of his life because of his actions?

Do you want to show how big ag corporations like Smithfield mistreat their employees and help prevent that from happening in the future?

Do you know of an animal rights organization that might be interested in defending Brad and publicizing the dramatic story–not only of the pig rescue, but how his life was completely changed–for the worse? He has suffered so much because of his compassionate act.

Can you help make the end of Brad’s tragic story a happy one, for Brad, the animal rights movement and the animals?

If so, please continue reading

Brad Johnson is in dire straits.  Wayne Hsiung, former lead organizer of Direct Action Everywhere, and Bonnie Klapper, an attorney who defends Direct Action Everywhere’s cases, gave Brad a verbal commitment to defend his case. For reasons that DxE is not officially revealing, they are no longer supporting Brad.

One of the main reasons DxE wanted to get involved was because the Right to Rescue law could get invoked in the case of animals which are going to be killed because they are not fit for raising for slaughter.  Good for DxE!

I  have grown to respect, trust, and value Brad as a person who is being severely traumatized by his circumstances.

Without a lawyer who is brilliant, Brad could go to jail for his compassionate act of saving 42 pigs from dying in the gas chamber.  Without a spotlight shown on this case, Smithfield will use Brad as an example of what happens when a Smithfield employee becomes aware of their corruption in other areas as well.

The pigs were worth nothing to Smithfield and yet the company is charging Brad with felony larceny which could land him in jail for several years and get him branded as a thief in a state where stealing pigs could be keep him from getting a good job.

With a great lawyer and support from an animal rights organization who can publicize Brad’s situation, the case could get massive international publicity and if won, great progress for animal rights in general.

We are looking for an animal rights organization or an attorney who will help Brad win his case. Here are numerous reasons that an organization will benefit from this endeavor:

  1. A precedent will be set that shows that it is okay for people to rescue pigs and other animals who are going to be destroyed anyway.
  2. If it goes to court, there will be a lot of publicity, and the case can be taken all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, all the while bringing attention to the horrific conditions in factory farming both for employees and for animals.
  3. You will gain credibility. DxE generated a fundraiser and his video was watched by more people than any other DxE video.
  4. Brad might be the first employee of factory farms who has rescued the animals he was working with. If the case is won, workers in big ag will take heart and stand up for the animals and their rights. If he loses, he will be made an example of, and much momentum will be lost.
  5. The story of his plight–how he lost his family, home,  and job and spent time in prison–is heart breaking. When DxE hosted a fundraiser for Brad, people gladly came to his aid to raise money to help him get back on his feet, raising $18,000 within two days.
  6. Brad has the opportunity to file a lawsuit against Smithfield because of evidence he has gathered that proves that he was treated unjustly by the owner, and that proves that Smithfield is committing unlawful acts in order to keep the farmers and employees from getting bonuses.
  7. Any group that gets involved in helping with this can reap many benefits, including publicity.
  8. Momentum has already started with DxE’s initial support. You can see how almost 2000 people signed a petition to support Brad and getting the Right to Rescue law passed here. 

About a year ago,  Brad made a decision that turned his life upside down. He decided to save the lives of 42 pigs that were destined for the gas chamber. They were deemed by Smithfield to be unfit to grow to completion, and so they were worthless.

You can read about the dramatic rescue here. Brad told the heroic people who read his Craig’s list ad, and stretched their resources to the limit to pick them up and get them to sanctuary, that if anyone stopped them, to give them his number.

The owner of the farm had given Brad the verbal permission to give the pigs away. But later, for reasons we don’t know for sure, the owner decided to press charges. So when the sheriff came to Erika her partners home when they were unloading the pigs, they called Brad and Brad took the responsibility.

Brad spent 17 days in prison because of his act of compassion, and lost everything. Erika and her partner started a farm animal sanctuary and got much publicity because of the saving of these 42 pigs.

I am helping Brad because I consider him to be a hero. He has become my friend, and I have promised him I will do my best to help him find the help he needs. Please contact me and I will put you in touch with Brad Johnson. Please be clear about wanting to help Brad Johnson so I can be sure to answer you.

Patricia Mikkelson