Belgian Rail Company Refuses Animal Rights Anti-Foie Gras Ads

Belgian railways company NMBS recently refused to allow Belgium’s Global Action in the Interest of Animals to take out these anti-foie gras ads,

An NMBS spokesman said that the railway refuses all political advertisements regardless of viewpoint.

On the one hand, this is a very clever ad. On the other hand, I’m not sure it would persuade many people one way or the other since it is a bit too clever — it leaves the viewer thinking “that’s a very clever ad” not “I wonder if foie gras is cruel?”

And Duval Guillaume, the agency that came up with the ad, certainly has an odd intent for it. According to Duval Guillaume’s Matthias Dubois,

Foie gras – or “fatty liver” – is still a very popular Christmas and year end dinner dish in Belgium. Because most people donÂ’t know itÂ’s made from the grotesquely enlarged livers of ducks and geese, the result of force-feeding.

I am extremely skeptical of that claim. I suspect most people who eat foie gras understand exactly what it is.

Sources:

Refused anti-Foie gras ads — too shockings ays railway company. Adland, December 12, 2005.

Interview: Inside the Foie Gras. The Spunker, December 2005.

Belgium Enacts Temporary Ban on Cat/Dog/Seal Fur Imports

In January, Belgium announced a temporary ban on the import of fur from dogs, cats and seals. The measure also requires all clothing items containing fur to carry labels to that effect.

The temporary ban is expected to last until the Belgian government can draft a permanent ban on such furs.

Belgium joins Italy, France, Greece, and Denmark as the fifth European country to ban cat and dog fur, which mostly arrives in Europe from Asian countries.

Source:

Belgium bans fur imports. Expatica.Com, January 16, 2004.

Belgian Animal Rights Terrorist Convicted

The Frontline Information Service reported that in March two animal rights activists in Belgium were recently found guilty of attempted arson. The two activists apparently tried to firebomb a vehicle owned by a judge who was involved in an animal rights case. Geert Waegemans received four years and jail, and the other activist (who FIS doesn’t name) received a five year sentence.

According to FIS, the two activists are also awaiting sentencing in a series of arsons at McDonald’s and two meat companies as well.

Source:

Two Belgian Activists Found Guilty. Frontline Information Services, Press Release, March 23, 2001.

ALF Activist Receives Two Year Prison Sentence

In September I wrote about the capture of Animal Liberation Front activist Justin Samuel. Samuel was arrested in Belgium after fleeing the United States to avoid federal charges related to the release of animals from fur farms. Upon his return to the United States, Samuel plead guilty to two misdemeanors.

Last week Samuel became the first person sentenced under the federal animal enterprise terrorism law and received a two year sentence in federal prison for his role in the animal releases. He was also ordered to pay more than $360,000 to business he had harmed. The sentence was the maximum allowable for misdemeanor charges under the statute.

In sentencing Samuel, federal magistrate Stephen Crocker told Samuel that, “You have the right to voice an opinion, but you’re not being prosecuted or sentenced for voicing an opinion but for engaging in an act of terrorism.”

Peter D. Young, who allegedly accompanied Samuel on his fur farm raids, also fled after being indicted and remains at large. The duo released about 36,000 mink from Wisconsin farms during October 1997, but were found in the area with a list of mink farms compiled by the ALF as well as equipment designed to carry out raids against fur farms.

Samuel was allowed to plea bargain to misdemeanor charges after agreeing to “make a full, complete, truthful statement regarding his involvement in violations of federal criminal statutes charged in the original Indictment, as well as the involvement of all other individuals known to him regarding the crimes charged in that Indictment. And the defendant agrees to testify fully and truthfully at any trials or hearings.”

Samuel’s decision to cooperate with authorities hasn’t exactly endeared him to the ALF crowed, but here’s hoping his testimony ensure that he’ll soon be joined in prison by other animal rights terrorists.

Source:

Animal rights activist gets two years in prison. The Associated Press, November 3, 2000.

Activist sentenced for letting minks go. Kevin Murphy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 4, 2000.

Alf Activist Justin Samuel Pleads Guilty

Last September, Justin Samuel was arrested by Belgium authorities and extradited to the United States where he faced charges of releasing mink and other animals from fur farms (see ALF Updates). At the end of August Samuel plead guilty to two misdemeanor offense related to releasing animals from four Wisconsin farms in 1997. He faces a maximum of two years in jail as well as restitution to the mink farmers who claimed losses of around $200,000. Samuel’s sentencing hearing is November 3.

Samuel admitted to authorities that he and Peter D. Young, who remains a fugitive, were responsible for the mink releases in Wisconsin. The two were implicated when police stopped their car in October 1997 after a mink release and found ski masks, a bolt cutter and a list of mink ranches in the area. FBI tests demonstrated that the bolt cutter from the car was the same one used to break into several of the mink farms.

Samuel reached a plea agreement whereby authorities dropped the felony charges against him and instead charged him with conspiracy to disrupt an animal enterprise and traveling in interstate commerce to disrupt an animal enterprise. In exchange, Samuel is to provide testimony to a grand jury about his activities.

Typically animal rights activists have responded very negatively toward ALF members who turn state’s evidence, and it will be interesting to see how they react to Samuel’s cooperation with authorities.

Source:

Washington state man admits releasing hundreds of mink by cutting fences. Kevin Murphy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 30, 2000.

Justin Samuel Arrested; Peter Young Still at Large

On September 4, suspected
animal rights terrorist Justin Samuel was arrested in Hasslet, Belgium
and the machinery is now in motion to extradite him to the United States.
In 1998 Samuel was indicted by a Wisconsin grand jury for releasing in
excess of 3,000 mink from Wisconsin fur farms. In addition the grand jury
hit Samuel and his alleged co-conspirator, Peter Young, with a racketeering
charge alleging the duo engaged in “overt acts in three states as
part of a conspiracy to engage in extortion by attempting to coerce the
farmers to close their business rather than face the threat of further
economic losses as a result of their attacks.”