Animal rights terrorists threaten our safety

Cam Edwards
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Posted: Nov 21, 2005 10:05 AM

Animal rights terrorists have won a battle in New York, and all it took was a few gallons of paint and a little trespassing. 

On the evening of November 15th, according to a press release from the Animal Liberation Front, these thugs went to the home of Lloyd Harbor mayor Leland Hairr.  They painted anti-hunting slogans across the home, gained access to the garage (the Animal Liberation Front says the garage door was open), and painted more anti-hunting slogans on both cars.  Then they put a statement on the internet containing the mayor’s address and home phone number, adding, “His dog is more of a sweetheart than a watch dog, you all should know.”

What did Leland Hairr do to deserve this?  He asked for, and received permission from the state of New York, to hold a deer cull in his village.  The small community is overrun with deer.  They’ve destroyed landscaping and vegetation throughout the town, while several have been hit by cars on Lloyd Harbor’s roads.  There are too many deer in Lloyd Harbor, and Mayor Hairr wanted to thin the population by about four dozen. 

Of course, what the Animal Liberation Front didn’t realize (or didn’t care about) was the fact that a Catholic seminary in Lloyd Harbor had already decided earlier in the week to stop the hunting on its property because of the protests by animal rights activists.  After the seminary made its decision, the State of New York backed down as well, opting not to hold a hunt at Caumsett State Park.  By the time the terrorists struck Leland Hairr’s house, the hunt had already effectively been cancelled. 

These animal rights extremists are now headed for New Jersey.  The group Win Animal Rights (or WAR), an organization that says its members are “unapologetic supporters of the freedom fighters that call themselves the Animal Liberation Front” is now looking for volunteers to “sabotage” the upcoming black bear hunt in New Jersey.  WAR’s connection to the Animal Liberation Front extends beyond mere vocal admiration.  WAR’s founder is Camille Hankins, who also serves as one of the national press officers for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, a group that denies official connection to, but acts as the press conduit for the Animal Liberation Front.  The national press officers of the NAALPO say, “Some laws need to be broken, and those that promulgate animal exploitation and suffering are no exception.”  At least one of these press officers believes murder is a law that should be broken in the drive for “animal equality”. 

Dr. Jerry Vlasak is a trauma surgeon in Los Angeles, California.  He also serves as one of the press officers for the NAALPO.  According to a recent story on “60 Minutes”, Vlasak has said, “I think for five lives, ten lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, two million, ten million nonhuman lives.”  He told CBS, “I think people who torture innocent beings should be stopped. And if they won't stop when you ask them nicely, they won't stop when you demonstrate to them what they're doing is wrong, then they should be stopped using whatever means necessary.”  There’s no evidence that Camille Hankins has ever disavowed or distanced herself from these statements from her colleague.  

So when hunters take to the fields in New Jersey on December 5th, what can they expect?  Will they see the usual picket signs and shouting?  Or will the “sabotage” take the form of hunter harassment?  Will hunters be followed after the hunt is over?  Will their homes and cars be vandalized?  Will some animal rights extremist take Dr. Vlasak to heart and try to kill one of those who’ve taken part in a legal and necessary hunt? 

Scott Bach, the president of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, told me, "These animal rights extremists are flirting with the line between activism and terrorism.  It's one thing to make your voice heard, but it's quite another to actively work to sabotage a government-sanctioned event.  This kind of activity is prohibited by law and may well carry criminal penalties."  We already know these criminals think it’s fine to break the law.  We may soon know if they’re willing to take the life of a human in order to save the life of a bear. 

Groups like WAR and ALF are allowed to operate without widespread condemnation.  At the time of this writing, I have been unable to find any statement from the New York Parks Department, the Diocese of Rockville Centre, or the town of Lloyd’s Harbor expressing any sort of outrage for the attack on the town’s mayor.  Perhaps these groups are afraid of retaliation.  Perhaps they don’t want to bring attention to these fear-mongers.  With all due respect, they’re wrong.  We must be willing to speak out against these acts of terror.  To date they’ve destroyed over 100 million dollars worth of property and their rhetoric and actions are becoming increasingly more violent.  The animal rights terrorists have already decided to declare WAR.  The question is; when will we start fighting back?