From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1993:

USDA-licensed Class B animal dealer Noel
Leach of Chase City, Virginia, facing disciplinary action
for 46 alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act, sued
Friends of Animals on May 24 for purportedly defaming
his character and interfering with his business relation-
ships in connection with bringing many of the alleged vio-
lations to the USDA’s attention. Leach claims FoA under-
cover investigators trespassed on his property while gath-
ering evidence. FoA attorney Herman Kaufman respond-
ed to the suit with a request for dismissal, pointing out
that the action is based on an alleged tort in 1990 for
which the statute of limitations is just two years, and that
the statute of limitations in defamation cases in Virginia,
where the suit was filed, is only one year. Well known to
USDA inspectors, Leach was rapped for six previous
AWA violations in 1983. His primary business is selling
dogs and cats to research labs and dissection supply firms.

A letter bomb that injured a leading geneticist
on June 23 had nothing to do with animal rights activism,
the FBI said on June 25 after identifying “signatures” that
linked the bombing to 13 similar crimes
committed against individuals in a variety
of high-tech fields, including a computer
scientist who was bombed the very next
day. The June 24 victim, Charles Epstein,
M.D., of the University of California at San
Francisco, had done minor experimentation
on mice, and an Animal Liberation Front
action was briefly suspected after investiga-
tors discovered the bomb parcel was post-
marked Sacramento, a suspected hub of
ALF activity. Epstein lost several fingers.
The string of bombings, begun in 1978,
has injured 22 people, maiming five and
killing one. Only one previous victim, a
psychology research assistant in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, had even a tenuous connection
to animal-based research.
A previously unknown group
calling itself Students Against In Vivo
Experiments and Dissection claimed to
have taken five dogs, three cats, and 10
rats from an allergy lab at the Johns
Hopkins University School of Hygiene and
Public Health on May 31. Johns Hopkins
spokesperson Carol Varma said they got
only four dogs and three cats.
Losing recent gun control battles
in the legislatures of Virginia and New Jersy,
the National Rifle Association took another
hit June 9 when Connecticut banned semi-
automatic assault rifles. The bill cleared the
state senate despite an NRA-backed attempt
to kill it with amendments making it tougher,
including a specific ban on the Colt Sporter;
47% of the Colt company is owned by the
Connecticut state pension fund. The NRA
did, however, kill a ban on assault rifles
adopted by the city of Philadelphia, as the
Pennsyvlania state senate voted 45-2 on June
3 to take away the city’s authority to regulate
guns. Of the 48 Pennsylvania state senators,
38 have “A” ratings from the NRA, which is
why the Hegins pigeon shoot won’t be out-
An amendment to the Ohio
Department of Natural Resources budget
that would have given a 25¢ surcharge on
the sale of hunting and fishing licenses to
the Wildlife Conservation Fund, an arm of
the pro-hunting Wildlife Legislative Fund of
America, has been re-amended to distribute
the surcharge among a variety of conserva-
tion groups––and the WLFA is now trying to
kill it from fear that some of the money
might go to anti-hunting organizations.
Veterinarian Richard Blease,
founder of the New Jersey anti-animal rights
group Common Sense for Animals, has
been disciplined by the USDA four times
since 1980 for improperly manufacturing
and distributing veterinary drugs, through a
mail order business serving veal farmers,
and has been convicted of related offenses at
least three times in federal court. The New
Jersey Board of Veterinary Medical
Examiners has nonetheless allowed Blease
to continue his practice.
French film star and animal pro-
tection activist Brigitte Bardot touched off
a furor May 31 by blasting Islam as well as
the ceremonial slaughter of sheep during the
Aid-el-Kebir feast––a holiday in France as
well as in Islamic nations, in deference to
the growing French Islamic population. The
sheep slaughter is not a sacrifice, which
would be forbidden under Islamic law, but
rather a custom similar to the slaughter of
turkeys at U.S. Thanksgiving. Bernard
d’Ormale, Bardot’s fourth husband, is a
close associate of National Front Party
leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has called
for expelling Arab immigrants from France.
Irked by mailings protesting wolf
control,Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has
introduced a bill to bar advocacy groups
from using nonprofit postal rates to solicit
While groups including the
American Humane Association and the
Fort Lauderdale Dog Club struggle to pay
off the cost of last year’s Hurricane Andrew
animal rescue effort, Bill LaMac of Pet
Stones Memorial Products in Matamoras,
Pennsylvania, is soliciting funds with which
to erect a monument to the pets who died.
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