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The year 2013 was a busy one for animal liberation actions across the U.S., primarily at businesses that breed and/or sell fur. That September, Los Angeles animal activists Tyler Lang and Kevin Johnson
were arrested in rural Illinois, charged with felony "possession of burglary tools." Tyler served four months and was released. Kevin was sentenced to thirty months in jail and remains behind bars. In July 2014, both were charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), a 2006 law that reclassified a wide range of petty criminal activity as “terrorism” if done in the name of harming the profits of animal enterprises. In June and July of 2015, Kevin and then Tyler pled guilty and currently await sentencing. SupportKevinandTyler.com
On July 24, 2015, the FBI arrested two more animal rights activists for allegedly freeing mink and other animals from fur farms, and vandalizing the property of animal-abusing businesses. Joseph Buddenburg and Nicole Kissane of Oakland were charged under AETA. The government alleges that since the summer of 2013 the two caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to corporations that they viewed as being cruel to animals. They are alleged to have freed 6,000 animals, including mink and bobcat, from fur farms in Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. They’re also alleged to have traveled the west coast of the U.S. and used super glue and glass etching fluid to vandalize the property of fur retailers in San Francisco, San Diego, and Minneapolis.
In 2009, Joseph Buddenburg was one of the first four people ever arrested under AETA, largely related to to free speech activism targeting animal research at the University of California. A year later, charges against the "AETA4" were dismissed.
A call-out for support for Joseph and Nicole went out for their court appearance on July 28 at the Oakland Federal Courthouse. At the hearing, Judge Ryu released Nicole from electronic monitoring and allowed her to travel but ordered that Joseph remain on home lockdown with continued monitoring. Their next scheduled court date is September 9 in San Diego.
Court Support for Nicole and Joseph |
Two Oakland Activists Accused of Freeing Animals Are Charged as Terrorists |
DOJ Press Release and Indictment |
Oakland animal advocates accused of vandalism spree against fur industry |
Unlike the So-Called Left, Government and Industry Really Get Animal Rights |
Crime and Punishment: Ben Rosenfeld & Animal Industry Lobbyist Debate Oakland AETA Arrests |
San Francisco fur shop vandalized |
New list of 92 fox farm addresses released by the Fur Farm Intelligence Unit
Previous Related Indybay Features:
Over 10,000 Animals Released in Total Since July in Massive ALF Fur Farm Campaign
Interview with Joseph Buddenberg of the AETA 4
AETA 4 Case Dismissed, But Re-Indictment Possible
Rights Attorneys Argue Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act Is an Unconstitutionally Vague Law
Federal Authorities Arrest Four Bay Area Animal Protesters
Environmental groups petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to protect the Humboldt marten under the California Endangered Species Act. The Humboldt marten is a cat-sized carnivore related to minks and otters that lives in old-growth forests in Northern California and southern Oregon. Most of the marten’s forest habitat has been destroyed by logging, and the remaining martens in California likely number fewer than 100 individuals.
The animal rights activist group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) held their May Day of action in downtown San Francisco on May 23. The activists traveled from cities in the U.S., Canada, and even Denmark, to once again bring their “It’s Not Food It’s Violence” campaign to the streets of San Francisco.
Approximately 100 activists took the message to a Whole Foods Store in downtown SF, to a food court inside the Westfield shopping center, and to Union Square. The group is trying to create a movement for animal liberation that is not afraid to say what they truly believe: that every animal, no matter how small or how weak or how different from us, has the right to be safe, happy and free; that the brutal violence against our animal brethren is an atrocity of the highest order; and that each of us has the power to make change for this world.
The group held a memorial service inside the food court in Westfield Mall for a chicken named Julia. They say Julia was rescued from an egg farm, but she died from ovarian cancer caused by the so-called "humane" practices Whole Foods uses to sell the public eggs. The activists claim there is nothing humane about egg farms.
Read More with Photos and Video |
Direct Action Everywhere
Related Indybay Feature:
San Francisco Chipotle Closes in Face of Animal Rights Protests
The National Park Service has acknowledged that that more than 250 tule elk died inside the fenced Pierce Point Elk Preserve at California’s Point Reyes National Seashore from 2012 to 2014, likely due to lack of access to year-round water. While nearly half the elk inside the fenced area died, free-roaming Point Reyes elk herds with access to water increased by nearly a third during the same period.
The news comes as the Park Service considers a ranch management plan to either remove or fence in some of the free-roaming elk herds, while extending park cattle grazing leases for up to 20 years.
“Tule elk need room to roam, and native wildlife in our national park should not be fenced in or prevented from finding water and food,” said Jeff Miller with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The loss of nearly half the Pierce Point elk herd highlights how important it is that the Park Service not cave to commercial ranchers who want free-roaming Point Reyes elk fenced in.”
Read More | Center for Biological Diversity
At least 145 of America's last wild, migratory bison have already been captured inside Yellowstone National Park's Stephens Creek bison trap this week as a result of the park and other entities working under the controversial Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). They intend to kill upwards of 900 of the gentle giants under the guise of population control and "disease risk management."
In response, Friends of Animals (FoA) Wildlife Law Program and the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) filed a lawsuit Jan. 15 against the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for allowing the horrific roundup to proceed and failing to respond to an emergency rulemaking petition filed Sept. 15 by the two groups to protect the genetic diversity and viability of the bison of Yellowstone National Park.
Every winter and spring, snow and ice cover the bison's food and hunger pushes them to lower elevations across the park boundary in Montana. When they cross this arbitrary line, the buffalo enter a zone of violent conflict with ranchers. Last winter 653 bison were slaughtered, and back in the winter of 2007/2008, the largest scale wild buffalo slaughter, claimed the lives of 1,631 animals. At the turn of the 20th century, similar reckless behavior nearly drove bison to extinction.
Read More | Buffalo Field Campaign | Documentary Film: Silencing the Thunder
Previous Indybay Coverage:
BFC Audio Interviews: Apr 2005
|| Feb 2006
|| June 2007
|| Feb 9, 2008
|| Feb 19, 2008
|| Apr 2008
Stephany Seay writes:
Many believed that a Salmon, Idaho-based wolf and coyote killing spree was canceled when organizations released to the media that the BLM had revoked permits for the event. However the Forest Service still allowed it, and the derby was still on. Eight individuals, rallied by Brian Ertz of Wildlands Defense, braved the hostile Salmon community to be on the ground and document the carnage. We were able to expose it, let them know people are watching, and we shamed them into hiding their carnival parade of cruelty.
Christopher Ketcham writes:
Salmon, like many small towns in the rural West, is a ranching society. Ranchers who run their cattle on the open range have historically regarded wild predators not as majestic creatures but as vermin to be exterminated. Investigative journalist Jack Olsen, writing in his 1971 book Slaughter the Animals, Poison the Earth, concluded that the livestock industry's hatred of predators—wolves and coyotes foremost, but also cougars, black bears, grizzlies, wolverines, lynx, bobcats, hawks, eagles, and on and on—went "so far beyond the dimensions of reality as to be almost pathological in origin."
Read More | How to Kill a Wolf - An Undercover Report from the Idaho Coyote and Wolf Derby | WildLands Defense
On December 22, with the full support of marine conservation organizations, a group of California legislators called on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service to transition away from deadly California drift gillnets. “California drift gillnets are deadly curtains of death for marine wildlife like whales and sea turtles,” said Doug Karpa of Turtle Island Restoration Network.
On December 17, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit against the California Rodeo Salinas and its head veterinarian Tim Eastman for failing to report animal injuries to the state veterinary medical board, as required under California law. The defendants are accused of significantly under-reporting the number of animals injured at the California Rodeo Salinas, the largest rodeo in the state and one of the largest in the country.
In the last two years, the nonprofit SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) has documented injuries to 41 animals—yet the rodeo has reported only four of those injuries. The lawsuit was filed in the Monterey County Superior Court on behalf of SHARK, who has had to spend its limited resources monitoring the rodeo and documenting unreported injuries to animals.
The California Rodeo Salinas holds an annual rodeo each summer in mid-July, drawing crowds of approximately 50,000 people. Events include steer wrestling, bull riding, calf roping, and team roping, all of which pose serious risks of injury to animals. For the last two years, SHARK has attended the California Rodeo Salinas and videotaped more than forty injuries to animals, including calves limping in pain after being dragged to the ground, and a horse with a tennis ball-sized wound on his neck. Expert veterinary assessment of this footage confirms that these injuries required immediate veterinary care, and should have been reported. But to mask the inherent dangerousness of rodeo events, California Rodeo Salinas has drastically and chronically under-reported animal injuries.
Read More | Showing Animals Respect & Kindness (SHARK) | Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)
On November 4, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a second complaint against one of the world’s largest research antibody suppliers, Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT). It alleges violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) from September 26, 2012, through April 22, 2014. Importantly, the complaint also requests the suspension or revocation of SCBT’s dealer license, a serious potential consequence given that USDA policy requires both a research registration and a dealer license for such labs to sell animal-derived antibodies.
The additional violations outlined in the complaint include repeated failure to provide adequate veterinary care — resulting in needless animal suffering — and repeated research oversight violations. The citations also include failure to provide fresh, nutritive food and ensure that procedures avoid or minimize animal pain and distress.
At the heart of USDA’s latest complaint is the grave charge that SCBT willfully refused to allow USDA inspectors access to an entire site housing over 800 goats “from at least March 6, 2012, through October 30, 2012.” When USDA inspectors were finally allowed access to the site, they reported finding goats suffering and in need of veterinary care. The inspection report from October 31, 2012, states that “[t]he existence of the site was denied even when directly asked” during multiple prior inspections.
Previous Coverage: ALDF Lawsuit Against Santa Cruz Biotechnology Animal Testing Facility Gains Support
|| Federal Investigations Reveal Severe Neglect of Animals at Santa Cruz Biotechnology
Newly proposed U.S. dietary guidelines should include meat and dairy reductions to create a sustainable food system in the United States that helps curb climate change, reduce environmental destruction and protect wildlife, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, currently in the process of developing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, is taking sustainability concerns into account for the first time.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has released new data showing that the California-based drift gillnet fishery targeting swordfish killed an estimated 53 marine mammals from May 2013 through January 2014. Fishery observers monitored 34 percent of the drift gillnet sets made last year; they documented that the fishery killed an estimated three California gray whales, six short-finned pilot whales, nine northern right whale dolphins, nine California sea lions and 26 short-beaked common dolphins.
On August 21, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) announced a settlement on behalf of plaintiffs Animal Place
, Farm Sanctuary
, and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary
in the animal groups’ lawsuit against egg industry defendants Andy Cheung and Lien Diep. The defendants abandoned 50,000 hens without food at a facility near Turlock, which led to the largest farmed animal rescue in California history. The settlement permanently prohibits Cheung, who managed the facility, from working directly with animals again—and places similar restrictions on Diep.
“The egg industry is rife with routine animal suffering, but today’s settlement ensures that those responsible for the tragedy in Turlock are permanently out of the business of raising animals,” said Matthew Liebman, senior attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Read More |
Animal Legal Defense Fund