On April 5, the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for a raid on a University of Minnesota lab
that released over 100 animals and vandalized the lab doing more than
$2 million in damage.
The lab was conducting experiments
with rats, pigeons, salamanders and mice on a variety of research projects
including efforts to better understand cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Walter Low, a researcher at the University of Minnesota, said the
raid set back studies being conducted on Alzheimer’s by at least two years
(the University of Minnesota is well known for developing a strain of
mice that mimic the traits often found in Alzheimer’s patients.)
Along with freeing the lab
animals, the ALF operatives smashed computers, wrecked microscopes and
photocopiers and even destroyed human tissue that were part of a research
program to find a vaccine to attack brain tumors. As Low pointed out,
this is rather ironic since the animal rights activists insist tissue
cultures should be used to replace animals in medical research.
Several people in the Minnesota
area, including a cancer patient, are offering a reward of $10,000 for
information leading to the capture and conviction of the perpetrators.
The reaction from animal rights
groups was predictable. Lisa Lange of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
was quoted in New Scientist as saying, “We do things in a very different
way, but I understand their frustration. The real crime is that millions
of animals are being tortured and killed.”
On the other hand Freeman Wicklund, executive director of the nonprofit Animal Liberation League,
told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that such actions hurt the animal rights
cause. “We hope everybody realizes that the visible minority within
the animal-rights community doesn’t represent the broader movement,” Wicklund said. “A
lot of people who care about animals are upset about the actions.”
Although it is nice to see
Wicklund oppose such raids, he is ignoring reality when he implies
his view is in the majority. In fact he has been widely denounced by animal
rights activists for his stance against terrorist activities.
Animal activists suspected in lab damage. Jim Adams, Minnesota Star Tribune, April 6, 1999.
Activists up the ante. Kurt Kleiner, New Scientist, April 17, 1999.
Research labs vandalized, 75 animals taken. Associated Press, April 6, 1999.
NC A.L.F. Liberates 116 from Vivisection Lab. No Compromise, Press Release, Arpil 9, 1999.
Doctor refutes claim animal experiments have brought us closer to cure for Alzheimer’s disease, call such claims “exploitative” of stricken families. New England Anti-Vivisection Society, Press Release, April 9, 1999.
Veternarian charges U of M experimenters exaggerated claims of research progress. In Defense of Animals, Press Release, April 9, 1999.
ALF tactics condemned. Letter to the editor, Minnesota Daily, April 9, 1999.
More lost U lab animals found in Woodbury field. Jim Adams, Minnesota Star Tribune, April 9, 1999.
Minn. research labs vandalized. Associated Press, April 6, 1999.
Animal Liberation Front claims responsibility for liberation of 116 animals from University of Minnesota, while destroying violent research. North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office, Press Release, April 5, 1999.
A.L.F. Raids University of Minnesota Animal Lab. North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office, Press Release, April 5, 1999.
Vigil for lab animals. Animal Liberation Front, Press Release, April 7, 1999.