(Photo courtesy of Direct Action Everywhere)

Sixty animal rights activists who protested outside a Petaluma duck farm in June returned to the farm on July 4 for a vigil, the activists said.

Members of the grassroots organization Direct Action Everywhere recalled their experiences in June inside the Reichardt Duck Farm and left flowers at the farm gate to pay their respects to the ducks that are killed inside, Direct Action Everywhere spokesman Matt Johnson said.

Nearly 80 activists were arrested during the June 3 protest. Some of the protesters chained themselves to a fence and farm machinery, and 32 ducklings were rescued and taken to a sanctuary, Johnson said.

Eighteen members of Direct Action Everywhere stopped at the Petaluma duck farm on their 150-mile march to the state Capitol building. They plan to arrive July 9 and hope to meet with Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The activists are requesting their support for citizens’ legal right to rescue animals in need, stopping criminal animal cruelty and the prosecution of factory farm whistleblowers, Johnson said.

Direct Action Everywhere members also plan to attend a state Senate hearing on July 9 on a statewide ban on the sale and manufacture of fur, according to Johnson.

Four Direct Action Everywhere members face a preliminary hearing in August in Sonoma County Superior Court on felony charges of second-degree burglary, conspiracy, grand theft and misdemeanor trespassing and unlawful assembly stemming from protests in Petaluma in May and September last year.