OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Animal rights activists were arrested Sunday when they stormed into a slaughterhouse in Oakland and took out live animals that were slated for slaughter.

The group — Direct Action Everywhere — rushed into the Saba slaughter house/butcher shop and began removing live animals from their cages.

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Oakland police were called to the slaughterhouse and detained 22 demonstrators.

“When we walk inside this place, we can see that these animals feel pain just like us … They cry,” said Priya Sawhney of Direct Action Everywhere. “These birds when they are taken to slaughter, you can hear their screams.”

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Activists said they took off with a quail, a rabbit and a lamb. The group said the animals were going to be taken to a veterinarian, but would not specify which one.

A family from Yemen runs the shop. They insisted they are following all the county codes about preparing food. In some cases, they are slaughtering live animals according to Muslim dietary law.

“My cousin, he called us,” said Tamim Aljhazali. “He says they came there to take sheep out. They want to free the animals, Like we are not in America! What is this? No respect for us? No respect for our business?”

Sawhney denied Sunday’s action was an attack on the business owner’s way of life.

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“Absolutely not. Because we are, the activists who led this action, are from these communities. We strongly believe that our culture promotes compassion, not violence towards animals,” she said.