ALF bombs mink feed depot

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1997:

SALT LAKE CITY––Five pipe
bombs detonating over 10-15 minutes circa 2
a.m. on March 11 destroyed the main office
and four trucks at the Utah Fur Breeders
Agricultural Collective feed storage depot in
Sandy, Utah, shooting shrapnel into an adjacent
parking lot. A sixth bomb placed under
a truck did not go off.
Living in trailers at the site but
unhurt were truck driver Ben Flitton, his
wife, their two-year-old son, and mechanic
Flaviano Garcia, who apparently left
responding to the blasts to about 60 firefighters.
Slaughterhouse owner Michael
Speechley, of Minsterworth, England, narrowly
escaped injury during a similar attack
on June 24, 1996, when––apparently aware
only of a fire––he drove a truck away from
two burning trucks that police later found
were ignited by Molotov cocktails. A third
Molotov cocktail had been placed on top of
the front off-side wheel of the truck
Speechley moved, but did not explode.


As other trucks were available,
feed deliveries to Utah mink farms that kill
about 600,000 mink per year––20% of the
U.S. total––were not delayed. The bombing
did an estimated $750,000 to $1 million in
damage. Four hundred mink at a nearby
research ranch were undisturbed.
In Dallas, Texas, Coalition to
Abolish the Fur Trade founder J.P. Goodwin
told media he got an anonymous call at about
3 a.m. claiming the attack as the work of the
Animal Liberation Front, about the 40th
ALF action in Utah during the past six years,
including previous arsons. Goodwin said he
was told the bombings were a salute to
Jeffrey Watkins and Nicole Rogers of the
Syracuse (New York) Animal Defense
League, who were on the 12th day of a
hunger strike at the Onondaga County Jail.
Watkins on March 1 began serving seven
months for splashing red paint on a passerby’s
fur coat and jumping on a police car, at
separate protests. Rogers drew 60 days for
chaining herself to a fur store security gate.
Response
Syracuse ADL spokesperson Joel
Capolongo said the group was 100% supportive
of the attack. As of six days later, no
national animal defense organization was
known to have issued a statement.
In a personal statement to fellow
members of the Society of Environmental
Journalists, picked up by Vince Horiuchi of
The Salt Lake Tribune, ANIMAL PEOPLE
editor Merritt Clifton noted the “unconscionable
and pointless cruelty” inherent in
both trapping and fur-farming, as well as in
factory farming of all sorts, and explained
that, “I view a pipe bomber in an otherwise
generally peaceable society, regardless of the
cause, in the same light as a trapper: a
skulking coward who profanes the whole
cause of a just, humane, kind world.”
Clifton also called “obscene” the exemption
of fur farms and other agricultural operations
from the cruelty statutes of 29 states, including
Utah.
The bombing was also denounced
by Utah Animal Rights Alliance founder
Anne Davis. Stephen Hunt of The Salt Lake
Tribune credited her with winning renovations
at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City.
On January 13, Hunt disclosed that
nine days after the ALF claimed credit for
firebombing the Majestic Meats plant in Salt
Lake City, in June 1995, Davis, 37, told
police that Jaime Boulter, then a co-worker
at Public Interest Communications, had
pointed to a newspaper article about the fire
and said, “We did this.” Boulter, 18, was
charged with arson.
“Since then,” Hunt wrote, “Davis
has received death threats, including a toy
bear smeared with red dye and accompanied
by the warning, ‘You talk, you die.’ Her
own rallies were put under surveillance by
police looking for terrorists.”
In December 1996, Davis told
deputy Salt Lake district attorney Ernie Jones
that she was afraid to testify against Boulter.
“Davis was jailed as a material witness
to ensure her cooperation,” Hunt reported.
“Davis was arrested without warning and
held in lieu of $100,000 bond––four times
the bond posted by Boulter, whose lawyer
arranged for her surrender at her convenience.
Davis was locked up for 32 hours;
Boulter spent four hours in jail.”
Although Boulter was placed close
to at least one ALF action 90 minutes before
it happened, and purported ALF paraphernalia
was found in a search of her home, the
felony charge was eventually dropped.
Fundraiser
Neither Davis nor Boulter works
for PIC now. Davis told ANIMAL PEOPLE
that PIC, based in Falls Church,
Virginia, does telemarketing from a Salt
Lake City office for PETA, the Doris Day
Animal League, the World Wildlife Fund,
and Defenders of Wildlife. “The fees that
PIC charged were incredibly high,” she said.
Davis asked ANIMAL PEOPLE to investigate
PIC, but became irate, purportedly over
questioning about her retreat in the Boulter
case, when asked for particulars. “I did not
refuse to testify!” she e-mailed. “They
dropped the charges! It was someone I
worked with who caved in, Calvin. I fully
complied. I just wanted protection. So
@#$% you and your @#$%ing ilk!”
A second message from the UARA
e-mail address, signed by one Larayn
Halton, said “I’ll wait to see an article about
you being sprawled all over the city streets
with glee.”
Goodwin, recently hired as a campaign
coordinator by In Defense of Animals,
has announced at least 22 other ALF attacks
on fur-related targets in 10 states, and via
online forums has vigorously defended those
actions, including the release of about 3,000
pregnant mink near Rochester, New York
last year in late winter conditions which, as
wildlife ecologist and Animal Protection
Institute program coordinator Barry Kent
MacKay pointed out, gave them mostly a
chance to freeze or starve, but posed a significant
threat to other local wildlife at their
most precarious time of year if many of the
mink did live long enough to hunt.
Goodwin said the cost to the farmer
in that case was “a quarter of a million dollars.”
The actual loss was reportedly
$24,000

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