Animal activists accused of stealing chickens from Berthoud farm

BETHOUD, Colo. -- A group of animal rights activists are accused of storming onto a farm in Berthoud and stealing chickens to try and save them from slaughter.

It happened Sunday at Long Shadow Farm. Owner Kristin Ramey was teaching a workshop on how to process chickens when a group of more than 40 activists showed up and took three chickens after asking Ramey's daughter if they could hold the animals.

"They just showed up and used an 8 year-old girl who adores these birds to get access to my birds so they could take them," said Ramey.

Aidan Cook is one of the activists who visited the farm. He doesn't deny his group took the birds, but says it wasn't stealing.

"We do not see animals as property. We see animals as individuals with rights," he said.

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Fellow activists also defended their actions on the group's facebook page. One protester said, "I'm here today because the three beautiful things you're about to see would have died for no crime they committed, and that is wrong."

However, Ramey says the real wrong is stealing.

"It's theft. Of course it's theft. They trespassed on the property and they stole something," she said. "One of the things they asked us is did you ask that bird if i because it can'to become food? And I didn't, because it can't answer me."

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office is now investigating and could charge the activists with trespassing and theft of livestock.

"This was a political action and the goal was to force a conversation about the fact animals are seen as property," said Cook. "We are prepared to face legal consequences. We know we're on the right side of history and we had a moral imperative to intervene."

The activists claimed to be from two local groups, Denver Baby Animal Save and Direct Action Everywhere. A teenage member of that activist group walked into a Boulder grocery store in February and placed flowers on meat in a display case.

The teenager later pleaded guilty to tampering charges.