Primate Freedom Project and University of Wisconsin in Fight Over Land Near University’s

Many weeks ago, Rick Bogle abruptly announced the cancellation of yet another Primate Freedom Tour in order to announce some Next Big Thing near the University of Wisconsin. It turned out that The Alliance for Animals and the Primate Freedom Project were in talks to buy land and sheds near the University of Wisconsin to set up an animal rights museum to protest the University’s primate research. Hardly the earth shattering revelation Bogle had promised, but hey it might come to rival the Mutter Museum.

A gentleman named Roger Charley owns a parcel of land that is situated between two University of Wisconsin research labs. Bogle claims that Charly reached a binding agreement to sell his property for $675,000.

But the University Research Park, an entity which is independent of but closely aligned to the University of Wisconsin, has offered Charly $1 million for the property, and Charly has said he does not have a binding agreement with the activists and is leaning toward selling to the University. Charly told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he fears the building might be used to stage attacks against the laboratories,

The money is certainly a part of it. But I’ve heard from various people at various levels, various informal and not-so-informal customers, neighbors, just giving their two cents. If something were to happen a year from now because I sold this building, I would feel pretty terrible. I feel terrible about the whole thing in the first place.

But someone like Bogle would advocate for or excuse violence, would he? Well, Bogle offered this statement to the Wisconsin State Journal on what might happen if the University of Wisconsin prevails and buys the property,

If you don’t allow civil discourse on a public issue to occur, then people become frustrated and they are going to act out. My fear is that more radical elements of the animal-rights movement will react in ways that are going to upset everyone. I think the researchers at the primate center would actually be safeguarded by having us there.

Hmmm, seems Bogle has an offer for the University that they just can’t refuse.

Bogle’s evaluation of the animal rights movement is pretty telling. If they’ll react with violence if they lose out on a simple property transaction, this is a movement that isn’t worth engaging at all until it renounces such nonsense.

Imagine the situation were reversed. Imagine if by chance a building near People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ headquarters went up for sale, and the Consumer Center for Freedom made an offer on said property only to see PETA try to trump that offer with a much larger one. If CCF then said, “If they don’t sell to us I’m afraid more radical elements of the anti-AR movement might react in ways that are going to upset everyone” no one would be fooled into thinking this was anything but a veiled threat. Moreover, PETA and other activists would be justified in denouncing such an obvious appeal and encouragement of violence.

Apparently, if the animal rights movement doesn’t get its way, it will take its ball and go home and then return in the middle of the night to vandalize and destroy the opposition. Yeah, that’s certainly dedication to free speech and civil discourse there, Rick.

That said, Bogle’s quite correct that if he has a binding contract with Charly that predates any offer or contract with the University Research Park, then that should certainly prevail, as it will in court if the contract he had with Charly is as airtight as Bogle claims. Charly, however, told the University of Wisconsin that his lawyer identified unspecified problems with the document he signed with Bogle.


UW wins round on disputed land. Karen Rivedal, Wisconsin State Journal, August 14, 2005.

Land between primate labs in dispute. Associated Press, August 11, 2005.

Alliance for Animals Files Complaint Over Deaths of Marmosets at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Alliance for Animals has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the death of three marmosets at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center in July.

Center director Joseph Kemnitz told the Associated Press that the three animals died when they were left in a cage that was being sanitized. According to Kemnitz the employee responsible apparently became distracted and the marmosets were not removed before the sanitizing procedure began,

It was a terrible accident. Probably the animals died of the heat exposure. It was probably a very quick death.

Alliance for Animals’ Lori Nitzel, however, charges that it was negligence. She told the Associated Press,

This appears to be a case of gross negligence and suggests that the operating procedures and training of staff at WNPRC are insufficient to assure compliance with the animal welfare act.

According to Kemnitz, the Center reported the incident reported to the USDA in July. The employees responsible for the marmoset’s deaths were removed from caring for the primates while they underwent retraining.


Animal rights groups filed complaint over marmosets’ deaths. Associated Press, August 25, 2004.

Animal-Rights Group Files Complaint Over Monkeys. Gena Kittner, Wisconsin State Journal, August 25, 2004.

Three Marmosets Boiled Alive at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. Press Release, Animal Alliance, August 24, 2004.

Wisconsin Legislator Introduces Bill to Allow Training of Hounds with Bobcats, Coyotes and Foxes

Wisconsin state Rep. Scott Suder drew the wrath of animal rights activists for introducing a bill that would allow hunting dogs to be trained with captive bobcats, coyotes, and foxes. Currently Wisconsin allows hound owners to train their dogs with live captive rabbits, raccoons, and black bears.

Cynthia Lott of the Alliance for Animals told The Capital Times that the proposal was little more than a canned hunt bill,

This legislation is almost like ‘canned hunting’ under the pretense of dog training. It’s really inhumane.

She was joined in that opinion by retired chief of special operations for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Tom Solin, who wrote a letter saying,

Allowing the use of captive coyote, fox and bobcats to train hound dogs is brutal and far below the high standards we set in Wisconsin to ensure captive wild animals are treated humanely.

For his part, Suder told The Capital Times that this bill simply restored rights that hound owners possessed until the legislature passed the Captive Wildlife Bill in 2002. Suder told The Capital Times,

There was a mistake in the bill. The ability to train with those types of animals was left out. I am trying to restore it. I am not expanding.

State Rep. DuWayne Johnsrud, who was involved in the development of Wisconsin’s Captive Wildlife Bill, says that is not true, and since he chairs the committee through which Suder’s bill would have to pass before being considered by the legislature, it is unlikely to receive serious attention anytime soon.

The full text of Suder’s proposed legislation can be read here.


‘Canned hunting’ bill vexes opponents. Anita Weir, The Capital Times (Wisconsin), April 4, 2003.

Wisconsin Passes Constitutional Amendment to Protect Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping

On April 1, voters in Wisconsin overwhelmingly approved an amendment to that state’s constitution designed to protect hunting and fishing in the state.

The new amendment read,

The people have the right to fish, hunt, trap, and take game subject only to reasonable restrictions as prescribed by law.

Final returns had the amendment passing by a margin of 82-18, with some rural counties voting as high as 94-6 in favor of the amendment.

Supporters of the bill argued that it would help forestall efforts by animal rights activists to restrict or even abolish altogether hunting, fishing and trapping in Wisconsin. Dan Gunderson, executive director of the Wisconsin Hunting and Fishing Alliance, told the Associated Press, “This has always been about our kids and grandkids [rights to hunt and fish]. It isn’t about you or me.”

George Meyer, a former Wisconsin secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources, agreed with Gunderson in telling the Associated Press, “The major impact is 30 or 40 years down the road as there is a drift more from the traditions of hunting and fishing.”

But Alliance for Animals director Cynthia Lott said the amendment was “ridiculous” and would lead to longer legal battles, but wouldn’t fundamentally change the picture in Wisconsin as far as animal rights groups are concerned. Lott told the Associated Press,

This will tie up the court system on really ridiculous battles over whether to hunt and kill certain types of animals.

Wisconsin joins Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia in having some sort of constitutional protection of hunting and fishing.


Hunting, fishing, trapping amendment passes in landslide. The Associated Press, April 2, 2003.

Voters pass amendment to guarantee hunting, fishing as a right. Channel3000.Com, April 1, 2003.