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Two California ARAs arrested after vandalism spree

July 24, 2015
Two California animal rights activists arrested after vandalism spree
By Marty Graham

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Two California animal rights activists were arrested on Friday over accusations that since 2013 they had wandered the country vandalizing stores and homes and releasing minks and other animals as part of an anti-fur campaign.

Joseph Buddenberg, 31, and Nicole Kissane, 28, are charged in a six-page indictment with conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Anti-Terrorism Act, in connection with a spree of vandalism of homes, vehicles, shops and farms tied to the meat and fur industries, federal authorities said.

According to the indictment, which was unsealed in federal court in San Diego on Friday, they did more than $100,000 worth of damage while they traveled 40,000 miles (64,000 km) across to Pennsylvania, Oregon, and a half dozen other states in their Honda Fit.

The pair allegedly posted manifestos about their exploits on animal rights websites while they were traveling, the indictment alleges.

Buddenberg and Kissane are accused of vandalizing a San Diego furrier and the homes and property of people connected to the store, releasing a bobcat in Montana, and slashing tires and gluing locks that belonged to fur and meat businesses in San Francisco, according to the indictment.

They are also accused of releasing nearly 6,000 mink from fur ranches in Idaho, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura Duffy said: "Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, there are legal ways to make your opinions known," Duffy said.

"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," she said
Buddenberg and Kissane were arrested in Oakland on Friday and federal prosecutors say they will send the pair to San Diego for trial.

If convicted, they face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.

[Press Office Note: Imprisoned in cages for life, or mercilessly trapped with painful leghold traps in the wild,  fur-bearing animals killed to make unnecessary fashion statements are forced to endure intensive confinement, compared to the miles of territory these still-wild animals would enjoy in their natural state. The natural instincts of these captive animals are completely frustrated; self-mutilation, sickness, infection, poor sanitation and the sheer stress of confinement lead animals in captivity to premature death. When they do survive, animals of sufficient size are killed by anal electrocution or gassing, then skinned. In addition to liberating the wild animals destined for a certain, painful and agonizing death, another goal of liberationists is to cause economic damage to fur retailers and farms; dozens of stores and fur farming operations have seen economic ruin since "Operation Bite Back" began by the Animal Liberation Front in the 1990s.

The Animal Liberation Front and other anonymous activists utilize economic sabotage in addition to the direct liberation of animals from conditions of abuse and imprisonment to halt needless animal suffering. By making it more expensive to trade in the lives of innocent, sentient beings, they maintain the atrocities against our brothers and sisters are likely to occur in smaller numbers; their goal is to abolish the exploitation, imprisonment, torture and killing of innocent, non-human animals. A copy of the Final Nail, a listing of known fur farms in North America, is available from the Press Office website at]

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