From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1996:
The Louisiana-based Coalition to
Abolish the Fur Trade said on January 22 that
it had received an Animal Liberation Front communique
claiming credit for the release four
days earlier of 200 to 400 mink from a fur farm
owned by Robert Zimbal, of Sheboygan,
Wisconsin. The release came three days after
the release on their own recognizance of 17 of
22 anti-fur activists who had refused to pay bail
and had gone on a three-day hunger strike, following
their January 13 arrest for trespassing at
a CAFT-led protest against the International
Mink Show in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Two
juveniles were released immediately and three
arrestees posted bail. Hitting fur farms in
British Columbia, Washington, Minnesota,
and Tennessee, the ALF claims to have
released 6,800 mink, 30 foxes, and a coyote in
six raids since October 1995, as well as spraypainting
$75,000 worth of furs at the Valley
River Center Mall in Eugene, Oregon, on Fur
Free Friday. Virtually all the released mink
were quickly recovered. The other releases
haven’t been acknowledged in fur trade media.
The mink releases prompted the Canada Mink
Breeders Association and Fur Commission USA
to post a $70,000 reward for the arrest and conviction
of anyone who vandalizes a fur farm.
A February 6 attempted arson at
Jacklyn Furriers in Nashville, Tennessee,
was the work of two boys circa age 14, say
police. The blaze did only smoke damage.
The Justice Department, a more
violent ALF-like group that mailed 134 known
letterbombs in England in 1993-1994, mailed
box-knife blades allegedly dipped in rat poison
to the Victoria Times Colonist, Vancouver Sun,
CHEK-TV, and 65 Alberta and British
Columbia hunting guides in mid-January.
Testing ordered by the Times-Colonist found no
trace of poison on the blade it received.
Hunting guide David Fyfe said on January 17
that the incident had scared him out of the business.
He’d been a guide, considered an overcrowded
occupation, for about one year.
The British Animal Liberation
Front Support Group was briefly knocked off
the Internet in late January when ALF press
officer Robin Webb and several staffers with
Green Anarchist, an alternative newspaper,
were charged with conspiracy. Their computer
equipment was held as evidence.
The American Civil Liberties Union
has reportedly pledged to file briefs on behalf of
Students Organized for Animal Rights members
Jessie Miner, Renee Gardner, convicted of
hunter harassment on January 26 in Shakopee,
Minnesota, and fellow SOAR member Nick
Atwood, convicted on January 30. “The
Minnesota law is perhaps the worst of all the socalled
hunter harassment laws I’ve seen,” said
Activist Civil Liberties Committee chief counsel
Larry Weiss, of Greenbrae, California. “It will
probably be tossed on appeal.”