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Animal Liberation Front Actions - Canada
Canada has been a leader for Animal Liberation Front actions since late 1979. The first primate liberation in the world by the A.L.F. happened in Ontario, which set a precedent for future primate liberations. Actions started in British Columbia and Ontario, which continued with several smaller actions until the first laboratory liberation.
Canada has been home to the North American A.L.F. Supporters Group, which was established shortly after the first arrests for A.L.F. actions occurred in Canada. By working closely with activists from the United States, Canadians have ensured that effective, nonviolent, actions will continue to be paramount to the North American animal rights movement.
The first laboratory liberation occurred June 15, 1981 in Toronto, Ontario. 1 cat, 5 rabbits, 1 rat, and 14 guinea pigs were rescued from the Hospital for Sick Children laboratory.
The first primate liberation ever in the world by the A.L.F. also happened in Canada. A rhesus monkey named "Granny" was freed from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario on January 1, 1985. Three cats were also rescued with a total of $600 in damages.
Vivisection laboratories have often been an ideal location for economic sabotage as well as liberations. When an attempt to rescue animals proved unsuccessful, A.L.F. volunteers caused $10,000 damage, which was the first large property destruction in Canada, at the University of Toronto, dentistry facility.
Occasionally A.L.F. actions seem to work only in the present moment, with not many long-term effects. There are so many examples of fur shops closing down, vivisection research abandoned, and meat markets permanently closed, all because of A.L.F. actions.
One such example occurred April 24, 1989 in Vancouver, BC. Fire soared through three meat markets, completely destroying them. Nazare Meats was closed for four months. Both Hycrest Meats, and Robson Gourmet Meats went out of business after the fire. A total of $10,000 damage was estimated for the action.
Two actions tie for the most monetary damage to animal abuse industries. The first happened the night of Dec. 14 and 15, 1991 in Edmonton, Alberta. Three delivery trucks of Billingsgate Fish Company were spray painted, had their tires slashed and were set ablaze. The building was also painted with messages and a sign damaged with paint. A fourth device failed to ignite in another truck, however the total profit loss to the company was $100,000.
The second action also caused $100,000 damage when volunteers rescued 29 cats from the University of Alberta, Ellerslie Research Station, in Edmonton, Alberta on June 6, 1992. Activists took boxes of files, which contained important information, pertaining to illegal sources that provided the dogs.
Because of these effective liberation's at vivisection laboratories, security tightened, which re-focused activists attention on fur farms. The fur industry in Canada is nearing the end, so with the end in site, activists prepare for the final actions needed to eradicate this archaic industry. Once again, these actions include the essential combination of live liberation's and economic sabotage.
The first mink liberation released 2,400 mink near Chilliwack, British Columbia, back into their native homeland. Breeding information was also destroyed at the Dargatz Mink Ranch, Oct. 2, 1995.
The largest amount of mink to be rescued in Canada took place Nov. 13, 1998 near Aldergrove, British Columbia. 6,000 mink were freed from the Rippin Fur Farm. In the early morning hours shortly after security guards had made their regular rounds, volunteers used bolt cutters to cut through fences, and opened every single cage. Additionally, 70 years of breeding information was destroyed. The timing of this life-saving action was crucial, since the mink were due to be killed in just a few weeks by carbon monoxide gassing.
Canada continues to have ground breaking actions that lead the way for activists from around the world.