ALF Activist Stole Pigeons

Over the weekend Animal Liberation Front activists broke into an animal breeding facility in Glenwood, Iowa, and stole 215 pigeons. The Double T Farms was raising the pigeons for use in medical research. Most of the pigeons were released near the farm, though about 60 of the pigeons were apparently driven out of state and released in Nebraska.

On August 28, ALF activists released 179 birds from a research lab in Wellington, Colorado. The animals at Genesis Labs were being used as part of toxicity experiments.


Three Major ALF Actions in U.S. Midwest in Past Two Weeks. North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office, press release, September 10, 2000.

Is the Hunting Industry "Targeting" Women?

    It’s not quite PETA-esque, but the Fund For Animals’ recent ranting and raving against the sport hunting industry for allegedly “targeting” women to join the sport is still downright bizarre.

    According to the Fund’s recent report, “Desperately Seeking Diana,” “hunting has been a masculine pursuit … throughout recorded history” an that’s the way things should stay. But, in fact, the status quo is not holding, and hasn’t for a long time. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, almost 1.5 million women hunted in 1985 — about 9 percent of all hunters that year. In 1996, almost 1.2 million women hunted, or about 8.5 percent of hunters.

    According to the Fund for Animals, the million or so women who hunt in any given year are actually part of a giant industry conspiracy. See if you can follow the logic — most people who hunt began hunting before the reached their 20th birthday (83 percent of hunters began hunting before they were 19 according to The Fund).

    Furthermore, according to the report, since women’s role in American society today is far more egalitarian than it was in say the 1950s or 1960s, a woman’s opinion on hunting will greatly influence whether or not children are allowed to go hunting.

    Ergo, the hunting industry is trying to hoodwink women into hunting so that they will, in turn, transform their children into hunters as well.

    One of the really demeaning aspects of The Fund’s report, however, is its view that women are largely brainless dupes who are incapable of thinking for themselves. The report and an accompanying press release talk about hunters and gun groups “targeting our moms” and “recruit[ing] women — especially mothers — into sport hunting.” This is not just a queer choice in wording but seems to genuinely reflect the view of The Fund that women, in general, are so unsophisticated that they can easily be brainwashed by hunting interests. For example, here’s how the report describes a woman who told a newspaper reporter that she had changed her mind on gun control after becoming a hunter:

    With sponsors like the National Rifle Association (NRA), the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and the Federal Cartridge Company, BOW, despite its organizers’ protestations of being “non-political,” advances a pro-gun political agenda. Consider this quote from a BOW participant that appeared in an Omaha, Nebraska newspaper: “I have never taken a position [on gun control], except to realize there is too much violence. So, naturally, I thought it would be a good thing to do away with guns.” But attendance at a BOW workshop opened her eyes: “Now I understand it’s not the guns that are dangerous. It’s the way people use guns.” (Porter qtd. in Thomas et al. 12-3) Before BOW, she favored strict gun control; after the workshop, she was repeating the NRA’s mantra that “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Can that really be a coincidence?

    Well can it be a coincidence? Can a person who has maybe never shot a gun for any reason go to a seminar and learn about guns and hunting and come to the conclusion on his or her own that gun control is not a good idea? Or must it be, as The Fund report implies, that a woman would only change her mind about gun control if she was a helpless victim of NRA brainwashing? Regardless of which side of the gun control issue the reader comes down on, it is absurd to suggest that women are incapable of deciding on their own whether or not they favor gun control.

    This, of course, fits with The Fund’s generally sexist views of women which boiled down to its essence seems to be that women are incapable of violence unless brainwashed into it by men (The Fund includes a list of “Non-Consumptive Outdoors Experiences For Women” from which I deduce that men hunt, while women bicycle and hike).

    For the most part, The Fund’s report relies on stereotypical views of male and female roles, dismissing the experiences of women who choose to hunt as inauthentic because hunting is a “male” activity. Now that’s insulting.


Targeting Our Moms: Hunting and Gun Industries Set their Sights on Mothers and their Children. The Fund For Animals, press release, May 11, 2000.

Money, Motherhood, and the Nineteenth Amendment: The Hunting Industry’s Open Season on Women. The Fund For Animals, May 2, 2000.

Bill to reform baiting laws introduced in the House of Representatives

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced
much-needed legislation in the House of Representatives to reform so-called
baiting laws that make it illegal for hunters to Hunt in areas baited
to attract animals. Over 4,200 people have been charged with hunting in
a baited area over the last 5 years; all but 300 of those cases end in
guilty pleas or convictions.

Rep. Young’s bill would not overturn
the baiting prohibition, but instead remove the strict liability requirement
of the law and replace it with a lower liability standard.

The strict liability provision
currently means that in most parts of the country a hunter can be prosecuted
for being in a baited area even if he was completely unaware that the
area was baited. Former Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant was charged
in March, for example, for hunting in a baited area in Nebraska on a trip
that had been arranged by that state’s tourism office. Grant claimed he
did not know that there was some corn in a field where the guide took
his party. Under the strict liability requirement such a defense is irrelevant.

Three states — Texas, Louisiana
and Mississippi — already operate under the lower liability standard,
which requires officials to prove that hunters knew they were hunting
in a baited area, after a federal appeals court overturned the strict
liability portion of the anti-baiting law in those states.

The Fish and Wildlife Service,
which is expected to oppose the bill, argues hunters regularly claim they
do not know an area was baited. As Kevin Adams, chief law enforcement
agent for the Fish and Wildlife Service said, “It’s very common for
hunters to say they didn’t know (the bait) was there, when in fact they
either did know or more often than not they took no steps at all to determine
whether it was baited or not.”

This may or may not be true, but
it should be the burden of the state, as in any criminal investigation,
to prove wrongdoing rather than just assume it.


Philip Brasher “Bill Would make it tougher to prosecute ‘baiting’ hunters”
Associated Press April 30, 1998.