Italian Activists Target Biologist

A post at animal rights extremist web site ArkangelWeb.Org reports on the targeting of employees of a testing lab in Italy,

Newspapers have reported that on the night of 5th and 6th December a car belonging to a biologist in Torino has had its windows broken, tyres punctured, paintstripper poured over it and a spraypainted message: “No RBM”.

RBM is a contract testing lab in Colleretto
Giacosa, near Torino, which is under continous
pressure with weekly demos. This is not the first time that such an attack has taken place on a worker at this particular laboratory.


Italian Activists Putting on the Pressure. ArkangelWeb.Org, December 22, 2003.

Italy Pays Couples to Have Babies

Faced with one of the lowest birth rates in the world, Italy has decided to encourage population growth by paying 1,000 euro to couples who already have one child and have another child by the end of 2004.

This follows on the announcement by the mayor of Lavino who offered couples 10,000 for any infant born in his village. Unlike the state’s offer, there are no time limits attached to this offer.

Even so, there appears to be a great deal of skepticism about whether such offers will actually significantly increase fertility rates in Italy. The 1,000 euro offer was also criticized for only being offered to Italian or European citizens — non-European immigrants need not apply.

Italian demographer Giuseppe Gesano told Reuters,

Italians are not so poor that a one-off payment of €1000 is going to make them have children . . . It may convince a few hundred couples to have kids earlier than planned but it’s not going to radically change the birth rate.

Besides, even if Italian fertility should suddenly take off, Italy’s current disparity between births and deaths would still create serious imbalances for decades.


Italy offers families baby-cash. Frances Kennedy, The BBC, December 1, 2003.

Italy tries to bribe its way to a baby boom. James Crawford, Reuters, December 6, 2003.

Animal Rights Initiatives in the 2000 Election

There were about a dozen different animal rights-related initiatives on state ballots around the country last week. Here’s a rundown of some of the more high profile ones:

  • Arizona: A measure that would have required a 2/3 supermajority vote for any initiative relating to wildlife protection failed overwhelmingly (62% opposed the measure).

  • Massachusetts: A measure to ban dog racing and betting on dog racing barely failed 51% to 49%. In this race animal activists circulated heart wrenching pictures of mistreated greyhounds. The tactic backfired when it was revealed that the dogs weren’t from Massachusetts or even the United States, but rather from Italy of all places.

  • Montana: Barely passed a ban on canned hunts, 52% to 48%.

  • Oregon: A measure to ban steel-jawed leghold traps as well as sodium cyanide was voted down 61% to 39%.

  • Virginia: Voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment establishing a “right to hunt, fish, and harvest game.”

  • Washington state: an initiative to ban steel-jawed leghold traps and sodium cyanide passed 54% to 46%.

ALF activists poison food in Italy

The Animal Liberation Front tried to disrupt Christmas celebrations in Italy by threatening to contaminate
panettone, a traditional Italian Christmas cake, with racumin, a rat poison.
The ALF sent samples of two Nestle brand panettone contaminated with the
poison to an Italian news agency.

In response, Nestle shut down
the plant that produced the panettone and most supermarkets took the Nestle
product off their shelves.

And what message was the ALF
trying to send? It wants Nestle to abandon efforts to use genetically modified wheat in products sold in Italy. Apparently the ALF is trying to branch
out into liberating wheat.


Panettone panic. The BBC, December 13, 1998.

Nestle shuts plant after Animal Liberation Front poisons cakes. Bloomburg News, December 12, 1998.