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LOCAL News :: Animal Rights

Grand Jury Targets Animal Rights Activists

Several animal rights activists have been subpoenaed to appear before a San Francisco grand Jury on June 22 and July 23...
Grand Jury Targets Animal Rights Activists - Oread Daily

Several animal rights activists have been subpoenaed to appear before a San Francisco grand Jury on June 22 and July 23 according to the San Jose Mercury News. This seems to be connected to a sudden upsurge in the hunt by federal authorities for Daniel Andreas who is wanted in connection with the placement of small bombs at two Bay area companies who partake in animal experiments.

On August 28, 2003, the Chiron Corporation located in Emeryville, California was bombed twice. The next day, an animal-rights group calling itself the "Animal Liberation Brigade — Revolutionary Cells" claimed responsibility for the bombs. A post on the Bite Back web site at the time quoted an email from the group: "There will be no quarter given, no more half measures taken. You might be able to protect your buildings, but can you protect the homes of every employee?"

Chiron has hired Huntingdon Life Sciences or HLS to perform tests on animals. Activists have documented horrendous abuses inside HLS labs.

Kevin Jonas, a spokesman for Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, (SHAC), said the Chiron explosions were the type of protest the group supports. The bombings didn't hurt anyone or cause major damage, Jonas pointed out. But Jonas said SHAC doesn't support the violent tone of the "no quarter given" message.

On September 26, 2003, the Shaklee Corporation located in Pleasanton ,California was hit. Shaklee's parent, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., is another well-known customer of the HLS labs.

A federal arrest warrant was issued in the Northern District of California on October 5, 2003, charging Andreas with maliciously damaging and destroying, and attempting to destroy and damage, by means of explosives, buildings and other property.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country police at Virginia Tech stepped up campus security following reports that Andreas was in the area. A viewer of America’s Most Wanted’s tip led the FBI to the area, and spurred university police to be especially cautious because of the veterinary school and its extensive animal research.

Jeff Douglas, a spokesman for the veterinary college said the school engages in a wide range of basic and clinical research in areas including infectious disease, nutrition and toxicology. Most lab animals in the school are rats, although dogs, cats and other animals are also used for research purposes, he said.

The stepped up security comes despite the fact that the FBI says there is no credible evidence Andreas is in the area. Kevin Foust, supervisor of the Roanoke FBI office told the Roanoke Times the feds have no credible evidence that 27-year-old Daniel Andreas was ever in the vicinity. "At this point we have no information that leads us to conclude that he is in this area, will be in this area, or was in this area. We have no information whatsoever that he is targeting any location in the entire Roanoke Valley area," he said.

Local Police Chief Debra Duncan commented after a series of sightings were reported on campus, "Him and Elvis were out on campus riding around together."

What is it about HLS that draws so much ire. SHAC says, “Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) is Europe’s largest contract animal testing laboratory. They have about 70,000 animals on site, including rabbits, cats, hamsters, dogs, guinea-pigs, birds and monkeys. These animals are destined to suffer and die in cruel, useless experiments. HLS will test anything for anybody. They carry out experiments which involve poisoning animals with household products, pesticides, drugs, herbicides, food colorings and additives, sweeteners and genetically modified organisms. HLS have been infiltrated and exposed a number of times in recent years. Each time horrific evidence of animal abuse and staff incompetence has been uncovered, including workers punching beagle puppies in the face.?

For one eyewitness account check out the diary of Michelle Rokke who worked at one HLS lab. Sources: San Jose Mercury News, ABC-7 News (Bay Area), Roanoke Times, Contra Costa Times, Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise (I kid you not), FBI

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