2 animal rights radicals arrested on domestic terrorism charges
Two animal rights activists have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The two men took off on a cross-country crime spree, freeing more than 5700 captive minks, destroying property, vandalizing homes, and generally terrorizing the fur industry for more than a year.
"Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, there are legal ways to make your opinions known," U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement. "The conduct alleged here, sneaking around at night, stealing property and vandalizing homes and businesses with acid, glue, and chemicals, is a form of domestic terrorism and can't be permitted to continue."
Buddenberg and Kissane are accused of sneaking onto farms in Idaho, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Minnesota to free mink. They also allegedly destroyed breeding records as well. In one case, they released a bobcat rom a farm in Montana, according to the FBI.
Among other crimes, the pair allegedly drove from Oregon to Southern California with paint, paint stripper, Super Glue and two types of acid to vandalize Furs By Graf in San Diego and the homes of its current owners in San Diego, Spring Valley and La Mesa, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. They are also charged with vandalizing and attempting to flood the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin home of an employee of the North American Fur Auctions.
The indictment states that they covered their tracks by avoiding phones or logging into known online accounts and email. Instead, they used public Internet computers and encrypted email and cash for purchases while traveling. They would allegedly withdraw hundreds of dollars while back home in the San Francisco Bay Area before another trip.
The FBI states that they drafted communiques and posted them online to publicize their actions on websites associated with "animal rights extremists."
Industry practices for raising mink vary wildly from farm to farm. Some fur farm owners are responsible stewards of a valuable resource, and make the minks as comfortable and healthy as possible during their short lives.
But others do not, forcing the poor creatures to live in small, filthy cages where they suffer from diseases and near starvation. As the US attorney states above, this is not the way to go about reforming the industry. And there is certainly no excuse for terrorizing people, vandalizing their homes and businesses, and endgangering the minks, who have no surivival skills outside of their cages.
For all their destructive behavior, the two men can get a maximum of only 10 years in prison. Seems a small price to pay for all the trouble they caused.