Animal activists bit off more than they could chew this morning when they chained themselves to the killing area of an abattoir at Ipswich in south-east Queensland.
The 12 protesters got a fright when meatworkers took matters into their own hands and used angle grinders to cut the chains off the activists so they could get back to work.
The group had hoped their actions would disrupt the World Meat Congress, which is under way in Brisbane.
Protester Angie Stephenson says it was terrifying.
"The workers, they were standing around cheering and whooping and yelling and making lewd comments so we had to call the police and tell them to get out here straight away," she said.
Police escorted the group off the site and no arrests have been made.
Abattoir management has declined to comment.