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Fort Myers woman arrested for fighting for animal rights

Posted at 10:40 PM, Jun 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-09 22:49:44-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Daniela Habermehl joined more than 70 activists chaining themselves to a duck farm in Petaluma, CA. this week.

Habermehl said on Monday Direct Action Everywhere went to Reichardt Duck Farm to expose some of the animal cruelty that happens on farms.

“Everyone thinks they're doing the right thing by changing where they’re buying their meat from. Like it’s humanely raised or cage-free. It’s all a lie,” she said.

She said she found the ducks in that farm in poor condition.

“Some of them had open flesh wounds and feathers missing, and infections and maggots and mites. This is the place, business that’s selling to a consumer that thinks this is a humane farm,” she said.

She said she and Direct Action Everywhere were simply trying to save the ducks. But the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said otherwise. They said in a press release they arrested nearly 100 protesters including Habermehl. They also said the group is known for causing trouble. Their press release said:

“This group has a history of trespassing, assault and stealing animals from Petaluma area livestock farms.”

But Habermehl said protesters have the right to care for the ducks under the CA PC 597e, which says, “It is lawful for any person to enter into any pound which an animal is confined and supply it with necessary food and water.”

The Sheriff’s Office said the protesters wanted to go to jail.

Their press release said the protest lasted all day, and “…at about 4:00 pm the protesters remained and demanded to be arrested.”

Habermehl said that’s just not true. She said activists asked law enforcement to investigate the Reichardt Farm.

“'Why don’t you guys go in there and check it out for yourselves?' We were telling the sheriffs that. He wouldn’t go in. We said all we want to do is pull the sick and injured animals and get them medical attention,” she said.

Just like Lee County Sheriff’s Office did with the farms in Buckingham, Fla., last year. The farms were investigated for illegally slaughtering horses, goats and torturing pigs.

The Sonomo County Sheriff’s Office said most protesters were arrested for trespassing.

Habermehl said the group is still working to get the California farm investigated and has a team of attorneys working to get their charges dropped.

FOX4 reached to Reichart Duck Farm, but has not heard back as of Sunday night.