Animal Liberation Front activists
claimed to have broken in to a Marmotech, Inc. testing laboratory in New
York and released 150 woodchucks. Bud Tennant, who runs the laboratory,
said the number was closer to 30 — most of the animals remained in or
around the facility.
The woodchucks were being used
for research into a possible vaccine for |hepatitis B|. A communiquÃ© from
ALF claimed, “Tennant is merely satisfying his own curiosity about
every minute detail of a specific type of hepatitis found only in woodchucks.”
Tennant told the Ithaca Times that the woodchuck strain of hepatitis
is in the same family as hepatitis B. The experiments on the woodchucks
could lead to “development of improved treatment and prevention [of
hepatitis B] in humans,” Tennant said.
According to |Americans for
Medical Progress| more than 300 million people worldwide
suffer from hepatitis B, with the disease causing one to two million deaths
each year. A drug manufactured by Triangle Pharmaceutical and tested in
Tennants lab was able to reduce the level of hepatitis virus in
the woodchucks blood by more than 1,000-fold in only seven days.
“CU scientist defends use of animals,” Ithaca Journal, July 9, 1998.
“Born Free,” Ithaca Times, July 8, 1998.
“ALF releases woodchucks from Cornell lab,” Americans for Medical
Progress Foundation release, July 6, 1998.
Back on May 8, I reported that
Josh Ellerman, 19, had disappeared shortly before he was supposed to
be sentenced for a March 1997 attack on a fur breeding cooperative. Ellerman
had reached a plea agreement whereby he would help prosecutors identify
members of the Animal Liberation Front. There were suggestions by prosecutors
that Ellerman fled after being threatened by those he might identify.
Saying he was tired of running,
Ellerman turned himself into authorities at the end of June in Utah where
he is currently being held. A US Marshall has said Ellerman will not face
additional charges for fleeing his sentencing hearing.
“Animal liberation Front activist held in Utah without possible bail,”
North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office release, June 30, 1998.
“Tired of Running,” Salt Lake Tribune, July 1, 1998.
Josh Ellerman, 19,
disappeared shortly before he was scheduled to be sentenced for his part
in a March 11, 1997 attack on the Fur Breeders Agricultural Cooperative.
Ellerman reached a plea agreement
with prosecutors whereby he plead guilty to 3 of 16 felony counts in exchange
for cooperating with investigators in identifying other members of the
animal rights terrorist group, the Animal Liberation Front.
According to Ronald J. Yengich,
Ellermans defense attorney, Ellerman fled after receiving threats
from the ALF. Ellerman fled his home without a change of clothes, money
or a car.
On May 4th a two alarm fire
destroyed a veal processing plant near Tampa, Florida. Police believe
members of the Animal Liberation Front were responsible for the fire,
which did $500,000 in damage.
A.L.F. had been
spray-painted on the side of the plant.
A communiquÃ© from a group identifying
itself as the Florida ALF claimed responsibility for the attack saying,
…the action was done on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of calves
every year in the American veal industry who are kept in isolation, denied
freedom of movement and fed a deliberately unhealthy diet for the entirety
of their short lives until they are slaughtered at a hell like Florida
The communiquÃ© also claimed
the Florida ALF was responsible for an October 1997 arson at Palm Coast Veal
Corp. in Lauderhill, FL.
Florida A.L.F. Florida A.L.F. CommuniquÃ© May 4, 1998.
Americans for Medical Progress ALF suspected in veal plant and USDA
arson; ALF press officer surfaces.