Protester confronts Jeff Bezos on stage

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An animal rights activist came within a few feet of Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, on a stage in Las Vegas.

Priya Sawhney evaded event security, as well as some of Mr Bezos’ personal detail, which costs a reported $1.6m (£1.25m) per year.

“Jeff, you are the richest man on the planet,” Ms Sawhney said, holding a flower. “You can help the animals.”

Mr Bezos and Jenny Freshwater, another Amazon executive on stage at the time, sat calmly as the woman was removed.

“Do you have a response to that?” Mr Bezos quipped after Ms Sawhney had been taken away.

Mr Bezos was appearing as part of the firm’s Re:Mars conference, where the company has discussed its efforts in machine learning, automation, robotics and space.

On that last topic, Mr Bezos said he wanted to provide foundational space technology for start-ups to build on for low cost, noting that Amazon was only possible because it was able to distribute through the US Postal Service.

The Direct Action Everywhere animal rights group said it was protesting against what it claims is poor treatment of chickens at a farm in Petaluma Poultry, a California farm that supplies chicken and turkey to Amazon and others.

“Animal abuse is the crime here, not animal rescue,” Ms Sawhney said in a press release published quickly after the incident.

“It’s time Amazon and Jeff Bezos take a stand for transparency, rather than actively suppressing the truth.”

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