September 11, 1997
St. Paul, MN -- Fur Commission USA has blasted the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and another national animal rights group as "hypocritical and highly selective in their condemnation of cruelty to animals." The criticism is in response to HSUS demands that three 18-year-old boys in Fairfield, Iowa be sentenced to up to ten years in jail for killing stray cats.
"Animal cruelty is a serious matter wherever it occurs," said Commission President Skip Lea. "But the HSUS has been hypocritical and highly selective in its condemnations. More than 5,000 mink have been killed by animal rights criminals attacking fur farms in the U.S. We've heard no calls for jail time for the perpetrators of these crimes. Where is the HSUS outrage over these animal deaths?"
Lea said animal cruelty is unacceptable, regardless of the source. "When animal liberationists drive farm-raised mink to a bloody death on a busy highway or between the jaws of a predator in the wild, they are guilty of an unconscionable act of animal cruelty, and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," he declared.
As an example, Lea cited the death of 500 adult female mink and 2,000 newborn kits after an ALF raid on an Oregon farm in May. According to a June 2 Associated Press report, a sheriff's deputy at the scene said, "We're kind of upset just because of the destruction of the animals and the carnage. One officer couldn't handle it. He had to be excused."
Leading animal rights groups such as HSUS and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have failed to condemn such actions, Lea noted. PETA materials have described the ALF as an "army of the kind." In fact, PETA's 1994 tax returns show a $45,000 contribution to the Rodney Coronado Support Committee in Tucson, Arizona. Coronado is a convicted ALF arsonist now serving a five-year sentence in federal prison for animal rights crimes. "If that doesn't imply support for animal rights crimes, I don't know what would," Lea said.
Most states have laws that prohibit animal cruelty. Many have statutes to protect farms and research facilities from animal rights terrorism. Lea said both types of laws are being invoked to prosecute animal rights criminals who remove furbearing animals from farms.
"The bottom line is that animal rights terrorism is cruel to animals and humans alike," Lea said. "Animal rights criminals have proved that they don't really care about animals at all. Their goal is to inflict maximum economic damage, no matter the cost to animals or people. After seeing the horrific consequences of ALF raids in the U.S., no rational person could continue to believe this movement is about animal welfare.
"If PETA and HSUS are truly concerned about animal cruelty, they should strongly and publicly condemn any ALF actions that result in the death of animals," Lea concluded.
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