Animal Protection > Activist Index
Laboratory Animal Liberation Campaign

Laboratory Liberations -- Q and A
chicken spill --
Liberate Battery Hens --
hen film --
U of Iowa --     U of Iowa damages --
Iowa Ground 0 --
June 9, 2005. Ground zero of labs vs. animal-rights activists. By Kirsten Scharnberg and Tim Jones
Hegins, an afterword --
Huntingdon Firebombing --

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 performed.

This evidence recorded by vivisectors themselves, helped to stop funding for the experiments.

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.

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