Sweden at the end of last year, inspired by grassroots campaigns in England that
have successfully closed down two laboratory animal breeders, a new campaign against
breeders was launched. There are two breeders of dogs for animal experimentation
in the country, since all animals used in experiments have to be purpose-bred.
Astra Zenenca, an enormous multinational pharmaceutical company, owns one of the
breeders, located in the south of Sweden. The other, Wema, is located in the middle
of Sweden, north of Uppsala.
In April 1999 the Swedish ALF raided Wema and
rescued 4 beagles. In a communiqué released afterwards to media and animal
rights groups, they stated "It's about time someone starts a campaign against
that place and closes it down...only the grassroots can do that." Some people
took those words seriously and started the campaign, Radda Wema-Hundarna (Save
the Wema-Dogs). Wema is owned by a married couple, Weiler and Marianne Sandberg,
and they have a permit to breed 300 dogs for the vivisection industry each year.
According to reports from veterinarians who have inspected Wema, the place is
filthy and many of the dogs have suffered from disease during the last two years.
campaign held its first demo at Wema on January 2nd to show the Sandbergs what
their future would look like if they don't get out of this business. As a small
group of protesters stood on the road outside the farm with banners, Marianne
Sandberg came out and released 5 guard dogs. Soon afterwards Weiler Sandberg ran
out with a shotgun in his hand and threatened the activists. The activists left.
The police arrived and took the activists to the station where they were questioned.
All activists have filed complaints against Weiler Sandberg, which could cost
him his weapon license. The first national demonstration outside Wema is planned
for April 23rd.
Meanwhile, on the West Coast two fur farms have been raided.
One has announced it is closing down as a result of the attack. Also, in Gothenburg,
where several fur shops have been the targets of legal campaigns such as pickets
and blockades, as well as direct action like windows being smashed and locks glued,
one fur shop announced it is closing down because of the actions.
also cut up a hunting enclosure in Orebro and released 50 deer that would otherwise
be murdered by hunters. During the autumn and winter, a few groups of hunt saboteurs
have been out rescuing elks. The king of Sweden had his hunt sabbed which gave
the movement national publicity.
A few days before Christmas, the Swedish
ALF decided they wanted to give some hens an early Christmas gift and raided a
battery farm in Varberg. According to a communiqué from the raiders they
planned to liberate 30 hens, but were surprised by the farmer when they were inside
the farm. He came inside the shed, running and yelling. The liberators had to
escape and could only take the three hens they had already packed.
environmental activist Linus Brohult, was sentenced to one year of imprisonment
after the court ruled him guilty of incitement after he described how to destroy
road machines in a magazine from SocialEkologiskAction (SEA). In his sentence
the judge seemed to be sentencing all non-parliamentary groups, saying that animal
rights activists believe they save minks when they are doing the opposite. Linus
Brohult is appealing the sentence, which he believes is political.
animal liberation activists will go to trial this year. The first one is in February,
when four people will face charges of damaging a building at SMI vivisection lab.
have been two animal rights gatherings in Gothenburg and Linkoping in January,
which have attracted many people and also brought many new activists into the
Hopefully with new people, new campaigns, and new ideas coming
together with the continuing and increased direct actions against animal abusers,
this year will be a good one for the animals.