Report to Congress on Animal Enterprise Terrorism
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1993:
WASHINGTON D.C. – – The newly released Department of
Justice/USDA Report to Congress on Animal Enterprise Terrorism man-
dated by the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992 found that “The
FBI has categorized only a few animal rights-related incidents as acts of
domestic terrorism,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Sheila Anthony and
Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Eugene Branstool stated in presenting it.
Therefore, they explained, “for purposes of this report, the term
‘animal rights extremism’ includes all acts of destruction or disruption per-
petrated against animal enterprises or their employees.”
Thus widening the topic to include petty vandalism, the report
recorded 313 “animal rights-related incidents” from 1977 through June 30,
1993. None involved significant injury to either people or animals.
Among the incidents were 160 cases of petty vandalism, 77 thefts or
releases of animals, 29 personal threats, 26 cases of major vandalism, 21
arsons, 16 bomb threats, 14 fire bombs, nine bombing hoaxes, and three
actual bombing attempts. The report failed to note the role of security
agents hired by U.S. Surgical Corporation in encouraging, aiding, and
abetting Fran Trutt in the best known bombing case. Trutt, who had only
marginal involvement in animal rights, served a year in jail for placing a
pipe bomb in the U.S. Surgical parking lot in November 1988––paid for by
the operatives for U.S. Surgical, one of whom drove her to the site.
The incidents peaked in frequency during 1987-1988, when 105
of the 313 occurred. Of the rest, 31 came in 1984, 37 in 1989, 22 in
1990, and 37 in 1991––followed by just 24 in all of 1992 and the first half
of 1993. All 16 incidents that did more than $10,000 worth of damage
actually did at least $58,000 worth; 13 of them did at least $100,000
worth; and 10 of them did at least $200,000 worth. The targets in these
cases included 11 biomedical research centers and five meat plants.
Overall, the targets of recorded incidents included 92 biomedical
research centers (39%), 60 fur retailers (16%), 43 private homes, 33
butcher shops, 28 feedlots and slaughterhouses, 21 private research facili-
ties, and no more than seven of any other type of facility. There were only
two attacks each against stables and rodeos, and just four against cosmetic
companies, but five against mainstream animal shelters.
Sixty percent of the incidents were attributed to the Animal
Liberation Front, the only perpetrator believed to have links to England,
where as many activism-related incidents have occurred in some single
years as in the U.S. in the past 15. The release of the report coincided with
eight firebombings against hunting publications in Windsor, England, by
the Hunt Retribution Squad, last heard from in 1984. The bombings were
purportedly a response to recent accidental death verdicts in connection
with the deaths of Thomas Warby, 15, and Mike Hill, 18, during hunt
sabotage. Warby was crushed by a horse trailer last February at a
Cambridgeshire Foxhounds hunt, while Hill was run over by a trailer
belonging to the Cheshire Beagles Hunt.