ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. (AP) — Attorneys say charges have been dropped against three animal rights activists arrested during a protest at Smithfield Foods' hog processing plant in eastern North Carolina.

Attorneys said Friday that the charges were dropped Thursday against three people who faced misdemeanor charges of impeding traffic and failure to disperse. The charges stemmed from a demonstration Feb. 1 at Smithfield's plant in Tar Heel in Bladen County.

The charges were dropped against 37-year-old Arwen Carlin of Chapel Hill; 31-year-old Curtis Vollmar of Richmond, Virginia; and 56-year-old Cheryl Travers of High Springs, Florida. Attorneys Scott Holmes and Elizabeth Haddix said eight others agreed to deferred prosecution.

A trial is scheduled Sept. 13 for another protester charged with resisting a public officer.