ALF Claims Reno Arson of Primate Importer

Animal rights activists say they set Reno fire

The Associated Press

RENO, Nev.
May 27, 2009

Animal rights activists have claimed responsibility for a fire that gutted the Reno business office of a company that ships monkeys from China for scientific research in the United States and elsewhere.

Reno police and fire officials began investigating the arson claim by the Animal Liberation Front after The Associated Press sought comment about an e-mail the group circulated to media outlets and posted on a Web site.

"At this point we are looking at it as a lead," Reno police spokesman Steve Frady said Wednesday. "There is evidence of arson. At this point there is no physical evidence to link this with the group claiming responsibility," he said.

No one was injured in the fire that broke out about 4 a.m. on May 18 and caused an estimated $300,000 damage to offices of Scientific Resources International Inc. just southwest of downtown Reno, Frady said.

The North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office, which posts messages from groups taking credit for animal rights violence, said on its Web site Tuesday that it received an "anonymous communique" last week indicating ALF was claiming responsibility for the fire.

"In the early morning hours of May 18th, four incendiary devices were planted at Scientific Resources International, a supplier of non-humyn (sic) primates for use in vivisection labs all over northern Nevada," the message read. "The concept of animals existing as `resources' is utterly despicable, and we vow to do all in our power to run businesses like these into the ground."

Vivisection labs are used by scientists who experiment with animals, such as for medical research.

Frady said the building is listed as a business office and didn't believe any animals had been housed there. A man who answered the telephone listing for the office said he was the manager but declined to give his name. He said the building had been destroyed and would be unable to conduct business until it was rebuilt.

The one-story home that housed the offices in a largely residential district still smelled of smoke Wednesday. A sign identified it only as "SRI Inc." The most badly charred parts of the building were by two front doors on a large covered porch and in the rear of the building. Several holes have been boarded up.

"We are hoping the public has information that will help us to thoroughly investigate this case and determine who was responsible for setting this fire," Frady said. He said 33 firefighters were called to battle the blaze.

Frady said he wasn't aware of any other acts of violence involving ALF in the Reno-Sparks area in recent years.


Anonymous said...

You know what? I'm a law-abiding person, by no means a radical in any sense of the word. But so long as no people or animals were hurt, I couldn't care less if some atrocious company's offices burn to the ground.

Yes, arson is a crime. But so is abusing animals. Getting rich abusing animals is an abomination. The fact that the police and the courts don't stop the mistreatment of animals for profit makes me care not one whit if these people lose their livelihoods. I wouldn't care if a slave trader went out of business either.

Anonymous said...

So committing some crimes are acceptable but not others?

Brad Jensen

Anonymous said...

Brad, I love you. But yes, crimes against property are much less important than crimes against living beings.

Our problem is that as a society most of the cruelty against living creatures isn't considered a crime at all.

Anonymous said...

So if one of the firefighters had died while fighting this blaze the crime of arson would have been more important?

Brad Jensen

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think that would have been murder, not just arson.

And yes, I care more about what does happen that what might have happened. I'm not a firefighting expert, but I think firefighters have been known to make the same assessment I did, which is to possibly take fewer risks when living beings are likely not involved.

And I'm guessing the people who set this fire tried other, peaceful means to end this company's cruelty and got nowhere. All I'm saying is that people who make their money hurting animals routinely do everything they can to shut down every means of peaceful, vocal opposition. Should people who feel being silent equals being complicit in the abuse and death of animals just acquiesce to the abusers and remain silent?

I don't think arson is a good solution. I would prefer freeing the animals, but I see a lot of logistical and safety issues inherent in freeing chimpanzees. But the people who abuse and kill animals for profit are inherently evil, and they use every means they can to silence opposition, and they are uniformly supported by our law enforcement that protects money over animals.

On some level, I have to respect the people who refused to remain silenced, who do what they can, without physically harming anybody, to shine a light on the abusers and try to stop them.

Yes, the moral question would be different if someone got hurt. But no one did.

Anonymous said...

I think the correct term would be casualty, not murder. The act of arson in this scenario would be intentional but the death of a firefighter working the blaze would not.

Heh! And if you care more about what actually happens than what might happen, you're probably not much of a chess player.

My personal belief is that arson and/or destruction of property is not the solution and does not serve the purpose.


Brad Jensen

Tom said...

There is no animal abuse problem that is severe enough to try to solve this way, and this kind of solution rightly provokes people to want to get rid of animal abuse laws. It's one thing to be good and noble and want to be kind to others. It is simply viciousness against humanity to set fires because one thinks that all medical testing is abusive.

Judging from the abusive way that they treat dog breeders, humane authorities already have far more power to cause damage than they know what to do with. If agriculture had not been exempted then we would not have agriculture now. Agriculture is a good thing for humans and animals and they want to destroy that, to create another dark age.

Arson is a much worse crime than abusing animals.