Animal Protection >
Laboratory Animal Liberation
Liberations -- Q and A
Liberate Battery Hens
U of Iowa damages --
Iowa Ground 0 --
9, 2005. Ground zero of labs vs. animal-rights activists.
By Kirsten Scharnberg and Tim Jones
Hegins, an afterword
Britches was liberated by the ALF from the University of
California in 1985. Experimenters had crudely sewn up
her eyes and were keeping her in isolation. Click thumbnails to enlarge.
Liberations of laboratory animals are some of the hardest actions to
accomplish, since such tedious preparation is necessary to achieve
success. Once animals are brought to safety, they need to be treated by
a trusted veterinarian and placed in loving homes. Often times, A.L.F. volunteers
are not able to rescue every animal, because there
aren't enough homes or sanctuaries for them.
Numerous larger liberations took place in the early eighties before technologically advanced security systems were placed in most larger animal laboratories. Plenty of tax payer money is available to vivisectors which allows them to upgrade security on a regular basis. This too becomes a success for animals since money used to purchase animals is re-directed
to purchasing new equipment and supplies, while insurance premiums sky rocket.
The first A.L.F. liberation in the North America happened March 14, 1979
at New York Medical Center. One cat, two dogs, and two guinea pigs were
liberated. Because A.L.F. volunteers can only take animals that homes
have been found for, numbers remained small.
A combination of liberations and economic sabotage began Dec. 1982 in
Washington DC; at Howard University, Medical School. Thirty-five cats were
liberated, and estimated property damage was $2,640. This combination
continued to reap massive rewards for animals since cages had to be
replaced, and research was destroyed.
The greatest success of this strategy was illustrated in May 1984 at the
University of Pennsylvania, Head Injury Laboratory. $60,000 economic
damage, and sixty hours of researcher's videotapes were taken which
produced the movie "Unnecessary Fuss" that documented vivisectors
taunting and ridiculing sentient animals after horrific experiments were
This evidence recorded by vivisectors themselves, helped to stop funding for
Another, famous action, included liberating one hundred fifteen
animals (13 cats, 18 rabbits, 21 dogs, 50 mice, and more), along with
$500,000 research destruction, and $7,000 damage. The City of Hope,
National Research Center, in California never fully recovered from this
action on Dec. 1984.
The following year in April 1985, almost 1000 animals were liberated (1
monkey, 21 cats, 9 opossums, 35 rabbits, 38 pigeons, 70 gerbils, 300
mice, rabbits and 460 rats) from the University of California at
Riverside. Documents and videotapes were taken with an estimated
$700,000 damage caused. These videotapes were shown to the media to
expose vivisection at it's worst. A video entitled "Britches" was made
to document the success story of one infant primate who was isolated in
a steel cage after animal researchers had crudely stitched his eyes
shut, for a blindness experiment.
He has since fully recovered after being surrounded with other primates,
in a loving environment.
Breeding facilities prove excellent for raids since England has proven
that repeated, continual campaigns of direct action can close them permanently.
Consort Beagle Breeders in England was closed after repeated A.L.F.
actions. One such example saved the lives of 25 dogs that were liberated. The campaign began October of 1996, and nine months later, on June 3, 1997, Consort closed down and emptied the kennels. Fifty beagles were turned over to animal rights activists.
An example for North America is the University of Oregon,
Breeding Facility which saw 264 animals (12 hamsters, 28 cats, 24
rabbits, 100 rats and pigeons) rescued October 26, 1986. $120,000 worth
of damage was inflicted on the laboratory.
Because of increased security, liberations haven't been as frequent in
the 1990's. However, June 19, 1992 at the University of Alberta,
Ellerslie Research Station, 29 cats were liberated and $100,000 damage
done with documents taken. Activists took boxes of files pertaining to
illegal sources of the dogs they used.
Most recently, July 4, 1998 at Marmotech Inc. in New York, 150
woodchucks were set free. The A.L.F. took and destroyed the data cards
on these cages, logbooks and other information were also confiscated
and disposed of, and vials of infectious serum were removed from a
refrigerator to spoil.
Despite obstacles such as increased security, and finding enough homes, the Animal Liberation Front will continue to directly stop suffering, by placing their own lives on the front lines for animal liberation.