fall saw a dramatic increase in direct action in the United
States, with over 58% of the year’s actions occurring
between August and December, at a rate of more than one action
every week. As is usual with these sorts of actions, the vast
majority of them were taken in support of above-ground campaigns.
And as has been the case since the inception of the
campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences in the U.S.,
HLS targets accounted for the bulk (almost 40%) of actions.
against HLS targets sent a message to those doing business
with the company that their complicity in animal abuse of
animals won’t be tolerated. Three market makers who
began trading HLS stock (LSRI) were targeted during these
months, and all three quickly severed all ties with Huntingdon
most heavily-hit HLS target in the United States this fall
was Forest Labs. Forest Labs, best known for marketing the
anti-depressant drug Celexa for treating, among other things,
“Compulsive Shopping Disorder,” is being targeted
for contracting with HLS to do toxicity tests on animals.
against HLS prime players also continued this fall with a
visit to the California home of HLS’ CEO, Andrew Baker.
That visit left Baker’s home covered in spray-painted
slogans, as well as smoke billowing out the front door. This
was the second reported strike on the house this year.
actions in support of the “Stop the Killing Campaign”
in Los Angeles by the Animal Defense League accounted for
an impressive number of actions as well (14%). The campaign
uses hard-hitting tactics to target Los Angeles Animal Services
(L.A.A.S.) in an effort to reform the service and stop their
senseless killing of dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals.
While the number of actions does not seem that large when
compared to those taken in support of the HLS campaign, the
fact that the campaign is focused on just one city makes this
actions that were not tied to pre-existing campaigns were
quite effective. Two actions that particularly stand out in
this regard are the A.L.F.’s destruction of a 500-seat
cockfighting arena in Louisiana and a
raid on the University of Iowa’s vivisection lab.
Several other acts of economic sabotage occurred around the
country this fall, targeting stores involved in the meat industry
(McDonald’s and KFC) and the sale of fur (in New Orleans
and New York).
the year comes to an end, we look back and find that direct
action for animals in the United States was up by close to
30% in 2004, as compared to 2003. Worldwide, Biteback
magazine reports that 17,262 animals were liberated in
2004, and there were over 554 acts of economic sabotage. The
upward trend in direct action in the United States is expected
to extend into the new year, as this is a critical year for
the campaign against HLS.
in the first few weeks of 2005 we have seen multiple actions
against HLS customers, a targeted strike against Florida furrier
Madame de Elegance, and the release of a herd of deer being
raised for venison in California. The release of the deer
by the Animal Liberation Front was particularly notable, as
this is the first action of this type reported in the United
a dozen deer farms operate throughout California, with herd
sizes ranging from 10 to 2,000 fallow deer (a non-native species).
An estimated 50,000 deer are imprisoned on farms throughout
the United States. The male deer are typically slaughtered
while just one or two years old. Their carcasses are sold
as venison and can fetch as much as $2,500 per animal.
A.L.F. targeted the GNK Deer Farm (65801 Big Sandy Rd; 805-467-3705)
outside of San Miguel, California in southern Monterey County.
In the early morning hours of January 18th, A.L.F. members
cut through and removed over a quarter of the fence enclosing
an area of two acres, allowing the deer to escape to the mountainous
countryside and to have a fighting chance at survival.
farm owner Gerd Konieczny returned, he found the entire herd
of deer gone. Deputies reported the release of 34 deer and
the cutting away of a full five hundred feet of fencing. According
to a local news article, Konieczny is now planning to go out
of business as soon as he can sell off the remainder of the
current herd he was able to recapture. Chalk up another victory
for the Animal Liberation Front!
it’s still too early to predict just how many actions
there may be in 2005, if we use the first few weeks of the
year as an indicator, we are on pace for over a hundred reported
direct actions for animals in the coming year. Considering
that a substantial number of actions are never reported, the
coming year looks to be a bad one for animal- abuse businesses
- especially for those who have ties to Huntingdon Life Sciences.
a full list of actions, please visit www.directaction.info