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Animal rights movement gains momentum in Estonia

The animal rights movement in Estonia is gaining momentum as more frequent actions, including never before seen direct actions, are being reported. According to sources, the fur industry seems to be the main target.

According to reports, the month of March began with the liberation of five rabbits from a fur farm in western Estonia. Activists broke cages and moved the rabbits to an undisclosed location. A fur designer's studio was also targeted by ALF activists. The studio's lock was glued and the words "ALF" and "Fur is Dead" were spray painted on walls.

A fur shop belonging to Finnish fur designer Tarja Niskanen was targeted in February. Niskanen reportedly lives in Estonia part time because she feels insecure in her native Finland due to the level of anti-fur activism there.

In January of this year, a fur shop in Tallinn, the capitol of Estonia, was targeted by ALF activists, though the only reported damage was a glued lock. However, the shop is now shut. No reason has been given for its closing.

The Estonian animal rights movement first made its presence known in August 2006. The main animal rights organisation is called 'Loomade Nimel' which means 'In the name of Animals'. In November, 2006, 100 activists from Estonia and Finland took part in a very dramatic anti-fur demonstration in Tallinn. The march and demo included a caged activist wearing a fox suit and a skit in which an activist first had her 'fur' ripped from her body, then was thrown out as a bloodied de-furred body in a plastic bag.

Activists reported that approximately 500 leaflets were distributed to the public. The only trouble to occur is reported to have come from Tarja Niskanen, who became so irate at protestors demonstrating outside her shop that she threw a plastic bag filled with water over some of the demonstrators. However, the demonstrators refused to be provoked and carried on with the demonstration.

Since its inception, Loomade Nimel has made contacts in Austria and Finland and are hoping to become a registered national group. The group plans to expand its membership in the months ahead and hold many more demonstrations in 2007. Their website is under construction but can be found at .

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