Washington Lab Raids
from No Compromise Issue 15
 

SEATTLE, WA - Washington State is the site of a flurry of lab raids and liberation in the past several months. The A.L.F. is claiming responsibility for raiding the psychology labs at Western Washington University (see NC #14, p.1), a break in and trashing of a Washington State University Poultry research facility, and a live liberation from a laboratory animal breeder. In total, 51 animals have been rescued from medical research in these recent raids and damage is in the tens of thousands. With these latest actions, the A.L.F. has shown the lab raid is back.

The A.L.F. followed up its October 24 break-in and liberation at WWU with a second lab raid in one month, raiding the Washington State University Poultry Research labs in Puyallup, WA and doing extensive damage. According to the WSU communiqué, the raiders smashed out a window to gain access to the labs and, finding the animal rooms empty, proceeded to destroy every computer and piece of lab equipment in the facility.

The labs were closed for several days, saving untold chickens. According to media reports, the damaged and destroyed research equipment was not insured ( all costs would come straight from the pockets of animal researchers.

The A.L.F. released a video document of the raid to the media several days later. The video shows masked raiders encountering freezers containing several mutilated birds - victims of the lab. Then activists are seen entering through a smashed out window, smashing equipment and leaving their calling card on a wall "A.L.F."

The raid had an enormously successful ripple effect through the extensive media coverage in Seattle, spreading the animal liberation message to millions around the state. The WSU action succeeded in bringing the animal research debate to the forefront through invaluable television and talk radio coverage. Following the raid, one Seattle activist was given three hours on a local talk radio program to discuss animal rights issues.

On January 5th the A.L.F. followed the WSU raid with its third action in Washington State in just over three months, raiding R&R Research and Rabbitry in Stanwood and rescuing 23 rabbits. According to the communiqué, activists emptied a shed containing the entire next day's shipment of rabbits. "These beautiful creatures were slated for delivery to pharmaceutical R&D labs and gory trauma research at Seattle area hospitals."

R&R housed 2000 rabbits at its most recent inspection, reported experimenting on 1228 rabbits and 19 guinea pigs in 1998, and is the Northwest's largest supplier of rabbits for vivisection.

The communiqué stated "the animals were placed in loving homes to live out their lives free from torture at the hands of sadistic biomedical researchers."

The level of activity in the Northwest has placed all local research facilities on alert fearing an A.L.F. break-in. A recently completed primate toxicology lab north of Seattle reported investing half a million dollars in security and hiring 24-hour guards to protect against A.L.F. intrusion, proving the effectiveness of A.L.F. actions in raising the cost of vivisection. Western Washington University is remodeling its psychology labs, increasing security and limiting student access to prevent another break-in. And the region's largest animal research facility, the University of Washington, fears it might be next. Melvin Dennis, chancellor of the Department of Comparative Medicine at UW stated regarding the recent A.L.F. actions, "It has us very worried."

These recent actions mark a surge in A.L.F. strikes against vivisection not seen since the 1980s. More daring raids are promised. As the R&R communiqué stated, "we're breaking down doors to get them out and this is only the beginning..."