Two men who allegedly freed thousands
of mink from facilities in Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota last year
were recently indicted on charges of committing animal enterprise terrorism
and unlawful interference with interstate commerce.
Peter Young, 20, of Mercer Island,
Wash., and Justin Samuel, 19, of Snohomish, Wash., were charged with
six counts arising from an alleged cross country spree of “animal
The two were stopped by police
on Oct. 28, 1997 after fur farms in Wisconsin noticed the two acting
suspiciously and tipped of police. A search of their car turned up a list
of mink farms compiled by the Animal Liberation Front.
If convicted, Young and Samuel
could face up to 82 years in jail. Both men are still at large.
“Two men accused of freeing mink on farms in three states,” Kevin
Murphy, Washington Journal Sentinel, September 23, 1998.
The Capital Research Center, a conservative-oriented group that tracks charity and philanthropic groups, recently issued a report documenting the |American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals|’ gradual shift away from a strictly animal welfare position to what is now almost a traditional animal rights organization.
The ASPCA, of course, is the oldest humane association in the United States, and is famous for its support of animal shelters. But since Roger Caras became president of the group in the early 1990s the ASPCA move closer and closer to the animal rights community. Caras has, for example, come out in opposition to meat eating saying “nothing is worse than reducing a living creature to a steak or chop wrapped in cellophane.” In its Animal Watch newsletter, the ASPCA has urged readers at Thanksgiving to “save” a turkey “instead of serving one.”
More alarmingly, Animal Watch has encouraged its readers to visit the Rutgers University Animal Rights Law Center web site. The law center seeks to have animals legally recognized
as persons. The ASPCA has also gotten firmly behind the “Pet Theft” issue and supporter various legislative proposals to make it more difficult
for medical researchers to obtain lab animals from pounds (animal rights
activists are convinced that large numbers of pet animals are stolen by
pounds specifically to be sold to medical researchers.) The ASPCA has
also endorsed various anti-Hunting and anti-Trapping legislation, including
those that would make it more difficult and expensive to deal with predators
that threaten endangered and protected species.
The Capital Research Center recommends
people concerned about animal welfare donate their money to local shelters
rather than national organizations such as the ASPCA.
From Animal Welfare to Animal Rights. Daniel T. Oliver, August 1998.
The Animal Liberation Front and
its supporters are fuming that convicted animal rights terrorists Josh Ellerman, 19, and his brother |Clinton Ellerman|, 21, are apparently
cooperating with prosecutors and providing them with detailed information
about ALF activities. A press release from the North American A.L.F. Supporters
… evidence is growing that shows that Clinton Colby
Ellerman, convicted A.L.F. activist, and one of the five facing new charges,
has been willingly giving evidence on other activists to federal authorities,
possibly for a number of months.
The five indicted individuals referred
to in the release are Josh and Clinton Ellerman, Andrew Bishop, Alexander
David Slack and Adam Troy Peace. All have been indicted by federal prosecutors
in Utah for their role in the 1997 firebombing of a mink farm. Josh
Ellerman recently plead guilty to the charges against him and received
a 7-year sentence for his role in the arson. Ellerman could have received
35 years, and his relatively light sentence is believed to stem from his
ongoing cooperation with prosecutors.
The North American ALF Supporters
release claims that “no activist has the right to endanger the lives
of and liberty of others in a strategy to save their own hides.”
Got that? ALF members have the right to commit arson, burglary and a whole
host of violent crimes, but reporting said crimes endangers the safety
and liberty of ALF activists.
In response to these allegations,
the North American ALF Supporters group announced it is
removing the Ellermans from its list of animal rights prisoners for whom
it offers support.
New arrests and b possibility of grassing
surround Utah A.L.F. Actions… North American A.L.F. Supporters
Group, Sept. 17, 1998
Animal-rights bomber gets 7-year prison sentence. The Salt Lake Tribune, September 11, 1998.
British physicist Stephen Hawking
recently denounced animal rights extremists bent on banning the use of
animals in medical experimentation. Hawking author of the best selling
A Brief History of Time, attacked the animal rights movement in
comments before a meeting of the British Association of Science.
Andrew Blake, director of the UK-based
group Seriously Ill for Medical Research, also appeared before the gathering
of scientists to denounce animal rights extremists, saying, “Medical
progress is being threatened by the extreme tactics of those who are seeking
to abolish animal research.”
Both men’s comments were occasioned
by the recent controversy over protests by UK activists against an animal
breeding farm in Oxfordshire. The establishment, |Hill Grove| farm, breeds
cats specifically to be used for animal experiments. The cats are certified
to be free of common feline viruses that might disrupt or distort medical
research. British Association of Science president Colin Blakemore, for
example, studies the cats to find clues to the development of the cerebral
cortex. Blakemore is currently developing a new imaging system for analyzing
the brain that he hopes will later be modified for use in human beings,
possibly greatly enhancing our understanding of how the brain works.
For his efforts, animal rights
activists have rewarded Blakemore with two letter bombs, packages containing
razor blades, and assorted threats over the last 11 years. Activists have
engaged in an unrelenting campaign of harassment against Hill Grove involving
everything from car bombs to rock throwing that has destroyed 80 percent
of the glass panes in the house where |Hill Grove|’s proprietors live.
UK’s Hawking condemns animal rights extremists. Patricia Reaney, Reuters,
Sept. 7, 1998.
Hawking defends tests on animals. Daily Telegraph,
Sept. 13, 1998.
About two months ago Animal Liberation Front activists released 7,000 mink from a farm in Hampshire, England.
Recently activists released another 2,000 Mink from a farm in Onneley.
What have the results of this act
of “liberation” been? Mostly a lot of dead mink and other animals.
The mink have terrorized local wildlife, attacking pets and small farm
animals. A group of mink even attacked a local fisherman who happened
to be using dog food as bait.
The local media hasn’t been fooled
by the supposedly “compassionate” animal rights activists. As
a Daily Telegraph editorial summed it up,
The sort of people who released these mink have no attachment to animals.
Some rally to this bogus cause because it offers a license to destroy
other people’s property … in other moods this is a movement that will
make war on farmers who keep livestock and set fire to butchers’ shops
… Like much else done in the name of “animal rights,” it
amounts to mindless criminal activity that serves no cause whatever.
Its only consequence has been to destroy wildlife and expose the pretensions
of those who claim to be defending animals.
I don’t think I could have said it any better.
Showdown on the
farm. Richard Askwith, The Independent, Sept. 5, 1998.
mink are back … and this time they’re angry. Science.
rights and wrongs,” The Daily Telegraph, Sept. 18, 1998.
On September 10 a judge in Utah
sentenced animal rights terrorist Josh Ellerman to seven years in jail
for his role in the March 1997 firebombing of the Fur Breeders Cooperative
in Sandy, Utah. Ellerman faced up to 35 years in jail but received a reduced
sentence in exchange for his cooperation in the prosecution of fellow
members of the Animal Liberation Front.
Earlier in the week, five other animal
rights activists were indicted in Salt Lake City for alleged acts of terrorism.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Schwendiman
warned that animal rights terrorism would be vigorously prosecuted:
We support and defend the rights
of people to say and think what they want. But when they choose to express those beliefs through violence that endangers
lives and destroys property, it will be met with swift and sure prosecution.
Ellerman and the five recently indicted
animal rights activists were members of the “straight edge”
movement whose members foreswear drugs, alcohol, tobacco, casual sex, meat
and leather — but as Steve Milloy pointed out, apparently