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The first-ever lawsuit against an animal research lab under California's cruelty and unfair competition laws was filed in early January in a complaint with the California Superior Court of Santa Cruz County against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc., for violating state animal cruelty and unfair competition laws by failing to properly care for their animals according to numerous Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspections.
Santa Cruz Biotech operates a 200-acre animal research facility in Santa Cruz, where it confines 10,000 goats and 5,000 rabbits. National nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed the suit on behalf of Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN). APHIS investigations have documented multiple violations over the past six years at Santa Cruz Biotech, and have repeatedly cited the corporation for unlawful neglect of goats. Emaciated and severely malnourished animals were discovered with untreated skin conditions and painful respiratory ailments, and one goat had an untreated broken leg.
“Thousands of animals are suffering from illegal neglect and abuse in this lab to bolster corporate profits. Allowing Santa Cruz Biotech to get away with breaking the law and harming animals sets a dangerous precedent for the safety of all animals exploited in testing facilities,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF.
Read More | Santa Cruz Biotech Lies to USDA Inspectors, Hiding 841 Animals | Animal Welfare Institute Requests Action from Federal Agencies
On June 27th, George Cadman interviewed local activist and best-selling author John Robbins
about his latest book, No Happy Cows: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Food Revolution
John and George talked about the revolving door between Big Ag and government agencies like the FDA, the rising cost of healthcare in the United States, the predatory ad campaigns that are directed at children by big fast food companies and the misleading "Happy Cows" advertising campaign of the California Milk Advisory Board.
They also discussed the many ways in which people can make healthier choices for the environment, their communities and their own health.
Listen to the Interview
At least two individuals have been subpoenaed to a federal grand jury that appears to be investigating a fire set at the home of a UC Santa Cruz animal researcher in 2008. There was no claim of responsibility for the fire, and there is no evidence activists were responsible. Nonetheless, the incident became the impetus for the "AETA 4" case, which saw the indictment of four Bay Area activists before charges were dismissed in 2010.
Demonstrations have been held at circuses in the Bay Area and Central Valley since 1988. Animal liberation activists have had to fight in the courts after wrongful arrests outside of circus venues while they were educating those who would patronize the circuses and documenting the treatment of elephants and other circus animals. The numbers of protesters at local circuses have grown over the years, with nearly 300 demonstrating at the Oakland Arena last year.
On August 17th, opening night of the 2011 Ringling Brothers Circus in San Jose, nearly a hundred activists gathered to protest and to inform circus-goers about the cruelty involved when wild animals are forced to live in small cages and perform for audiences across the country. Ringling Brothers has a history of maltreating the animals under its care, from physically abusing them as part of their training to failing to adequately meet basic medical needs. At least one human family was seen rethinking their decision to attend the circus and left shortly after having received educational materials from demonstrators. Thousands of handbills and pamphlets were distributed, giving attendees a lot to think about before they ever possibly return to the circus.
Animal activists encourage others to help keep the heat on Ringling and its parent company, Feld Entertainment, to drop the use of animals in their live shows. Demonstrations are planned for Ringling Brothers appearances in San Francisco and Oakland from September 1st through 11th
. Ringling Bros will be stopping in Sacramento later in the month.
Photos & SF/Oakland Schedule |
Previous Related Indybay Features from 2005:
Bay Area Protests Against Ringling Bros Circus |
Fresno Animal Activists Defy Arrests/Intimidation
At a news conference on February 18th, 2011, Japanese Fisheries minister Michihiko Kano stated they will suspend their "research" whaling because the Sea Shepherd activists had succeeded in their attempts to harass those who hunt and kill whales in the Antarctic region. They Japanese have said it has become increasingly difficult to secure the safety of their crew and ships while whaling.
"The whale war in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is over. The whales have won!" announced Captain Paul Watson from the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin on February 19th. The Nisshin Maru whaling factory ship made a pivotal course change north, as the Japanese Fisheries Agency announced that the whaling fleet had been recalled for this season. The Japanese whaling fleet, engaged in commercial whaling under the guise of scientific research, has had an extremely poor season being constantly harassed and prevented from whaling in all but a few days. The whaling fleet hadn't even left Japan until early December, much later than usual.
Prior to the end of this year's hunt, it was revealed in a recent Wikileaks release that the director general of Japan’s fisheries agency, Katsuhiro Machida and others actively pushed for the US to take action against Sea Shepherd in order to help stop the disruption of Japan’s annual whale hunt. The US representative to the International Whaling Committee, Monica Medina, tried to convince the European Union and Australia to except a deal that would legalize Japanese whaling. In contrast to Medina’s support of Japanese whaling she expressed ‘‘deep disappointment’’ in Iceland for failing to end whale hunting.
Read More |
Japanese suspend their illegal whaling! |
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
Paul Watson: We Need to Stop Eating the Oceans
On February 12th, a benefit is being held for the Red Vic Movie House on Haight Street in San Francisco. Organizers state that "San Francisco is dangerously close to losing this 30-year old worker-owned community establishment. All the filmmakers and speakers in this series are donating 100% the box office revenue to the keep the Red Vic's doors open so they can continue to give voice to films like these that [the] mainstream does NOT want you you to see!" Lovers + Liberators is a fund-raising event for the Red Vic that brings together three films with the themes of liberation and domestic "terrorism".
In Bold Native
, Charlie Cranehill (Joaquin Pastor), an ALF member wanted by the government for domestic terrorism, emerges from the underground to coordinate a nationwide action, while his CEO father (Randolph Mantooth) tries to ﬁnd him before the FBI does. Simultaneously, a young idealist campaigns for more humane treatment of farmed animals on behalf of a large non-proﬁt organization, and a woman from Charlie’s past threatens to undermine his plans.
John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America
and Food Revolution
, says the film Bold Native
"is the controversial story of young adults who just can’t sit by and stay silent in the face of massive cruelty to animals. Unwilling to passively succumb to resignation and despair, they take a stand, not just with their words, but with their actions. Some might see them as threats to society, others might admire them as self-sacrificing heroes, but no one could see this remarkable film and not gain a greater understanding of what courage really means.”
The ﬁlm reﬂects a growing cultural debate about the use of animals for food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research. It introduces viewers to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) of 2006, a law which enables the prosecution of activists as terrorists if their actions result in economic damage to corporations in animal industries like factory farms, slaughterhouses, research labs or fur farms. In addition to narrative storytelling, the ﬁlm incorporates undercover footage from labs, farms, and real-life animal liberations for realism.
Interview with Bold Native Filmmakers |
Bay Area Premier of "Bold Native" with John Robbins and Jake Conroy |
John Robbins Hosts Film Bold Native on the "Nation's #1 Domestic Terrorist Threat" |
2005: FBI says animal and eco-extremists are now top domestic terror threat
The annual Friday-after-Thanksgiving protest of the fur industry, led by In Defense of Animals (IDA) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), was held in San Francisco's Union Square on November 26th. Similar demonstrations were held in Portland and other cities across the U.S. and the world. Event organizers called for demonstrators to, "Come and raise your voice for the voiceless 50 million fur bearing animals that are brutally slaughtered each year for their fur."
Fur-Free Friday is an annual event that takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving, and aims to educate people about the suffering of fur-bearing animals. Organized originally in 1986 by grassroots activists to abolish the fur trade, Fur-Free Friday has grown to be one of the most widely attended annual demonstrations of the animal rights movement.
Event Announcement |
Portland Demonstration and March |
In Defense of Animals |
Previous Fur-Free Friday Coverage on Indybay:
Dylan Powell of The Vegan Police recently interviewed Joseph Buddenberg of AETA 4, four animal rights activists who were charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Although the case was dismissed in July, it is not over. A federal magistrate signed a warrant in August ordering Joseph to provide a DNA sample to the FBI. In the interview, Joseph discusses the AETA 4 case and its implications for activists.
The U.S. District Court in San Jose has thrown out the indictment of four animal rights activists who were charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, because the government did not clearly explain what, exactly, the protesters did. The case is not over, however. The government can still re-indict the defendants with an amended bill of particulars that clearly outlines their alleged actions.
For the first time in years, the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds is considering having a rodeo. The proposed rodeo will include roping young calves running at full speed and slamming them to the ground, using pain-inflicting flank straps to force horses and bulls to buck, and other methods of inducing fear, stress, and pain to force animals to perform — all in the name of entertainment.
This rodeo is being planned by the Santa Cruz County Deputy Sheriff's Association (dba "Stars of Justice"), using public resources for the event with the claim that they are raising money for kids. People are invited to share their comments at the Fairgrounds Board meeting on Tuesday, May 18th
at 1:30pm at the Fairgrounds in Watsonville.
Read more | Stop The Rodeo!
On January 26th, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley ruled that the Animal Liberation Front is not a "gang." The government had tried to find two animal rights protestors guilty of being "gang members." Judge Wesley stated that the prosecution's expert Lt. Butte had "misled the grand jury. The ALF does not meet the legal requirements to be considered a gang. Their primary goal is to save animals, not commit crimes." That charge was dismissed though other charges remain.
This ruling stems from the preliminary hearing in the California case against Linda Faith Greene and Kevin Richard Olliff. Greene and Olliff are animal rights activists who protested and demonstrated against animal researchers. The alleged victims were animal researchers at UCLA, Dr. Lynn Fairbanks and Dr. Dario Ringach. They also protested against an employee of POM Wonderful. POM uses animal research in their advertising to try to support claims that their juice helps men with erectile dysfunction. Their trial will commence March 3, 2010
Read More |
On October 13th, two Minneapolis activists were subpoenaed to appear before an Iowa Grand Jury, ostensibly investigating a November 2004 Animal Liberation Front raid of a University of Iowa psychology department animal laboratory. On October 15th, 2009, both Carrie Feldman and Scott DeMuth refused to testify before the Grand Jury. Carrie Feldman concluded her remarks to the Grand Jury on October 15th as such: "Today my voice may waver, as I stand alone in this room. But I know I speak with the voice of every one of my friends, loved ones, and comrades when I say this: We will not be intimidated. We will not cooperate. I have nothing more to say to you."
Last Tuesday, November 17th, both again refused to testify and were then ordered jailed for contempt by a federal district judge. On that charge, they stand to remain in jail for up to 11 months until the Grand Jury completes its term. On Thursday, November 19th, Minneapolis grand jury resister Scott DeMuth was additionally charged with conspiracy to commit animal enterprise terrorism in Davenport, Iowa federal court. This is the third time activists have now been charged under the AETA, all of whom have been charged in 2009.
DeMuth Charged with "Animal Enterprise Terrorism" But Could Possibly Be Released Next Week |
Two Grand Jury Resisters Jailed in Iowa |
Iowa Grand Jury to Jail Minneapolis Resisters Carrie Feldman and Scott DeMuth for 11 Mo. |
Minnesota Activist Stands Up to Grand Jury Investigating Iowa U. ALF Raid in 2004
Support Carrie and Scott! |
Updates at Twin Cities IMC | Green Is The New Red | NoAETA.org
The ALF Strikes in Iowa! 401 Animals Rescued! Labs Smashed!
Related Indybay Coverage:
Federal Authorities Arrest Four Bay Area Animal Protesters |
Support the AETA 2 (Utah) |
What You Should Know About Grand Juries (2008) |
Call for Solidarity with Animal Advocates and Others Subpoenaed (2005)
An acrobat trained in China kept kids on the edge of their seats with juggling, unicycling, and handstands; the Raging Grannies turned people of all ages into kids again leading them in songs with vegetarian themes. These and other stage performances were punctuated with lectures by renowned vegetarian authorities in San Francisco's County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park on October 3 and 4. Other highlights of the 10th annual World Veg Festival included cooking demos, vegetarian friendly clothing booths, and international taste treats.
Presenter Howard Lyman told an enthralled audience why he is a cattle rancher but won't eat meat himself, and John Robbins provided tips for longevity from his book Healthy at 100
. Other speakers promoted vegan or vegetarian diets, sharing tips for home cooking and gardening for maximum nutritional benefit.
The San Francisco Vegetarian Society and In Defense of Animals together presented the yearly event to commemorate World Vegetarian Day. Both co-sponsors manned heavily trafficked tables selling shopping bags and T-shirts with clever quips and gave advice to festival patrons mesmerized by the variety of booths, entertainers and demonstrations. In Defense of Animals is a national, non-profit organization based in San Rafael, dedicated to protecting and advocating for the rights, welfare, and habitats of animals. The San Francisco Vegetarian Society was founded in 1968 and promotes the nutritional, ethical, social and environmental benefits of a vegetarian diet.
Photos: 1 |
San Francisco Vegetarian Society |
In Defense of Animals
On Friday, September 11th, activists demonstrated in front of the Staples office supplies store in on Cleveland Avenue in Santa Rosa. Staples was targeted because they have been documented using unmarked vans to deliver office supplies to Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). In recent years, HLS have been infiltrated and exposed multiple times for animal cruelty, including workers punching beagle puppies in the face. The protesters' goal was "to show Staples that if you deal with HLS, you deal with us."
People for Animal Liberation write:
We unfurled the banner and began chanting to get the word across that we were there to protest the murder of 500 animals in the name of mock science. They have blood on their hands for their ties with Huntingdon Life Sciences. 4 People then entered the store and ran through the aisles chanting "Puppykillers". Knocking merchandise off the shelves, and staging a lockdown at the stores entrance, until the police came. No one was arrested.
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC)