May 4, 2001

Ducklings Stolen From Cornell Lab

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The North American Animal Liberation Front (ALF), an animal rights group, claimed responsibility for last weekend’s theft of approximately 250 ducklings from a Cornell laboratory on Long Island.

The Cornell Duck Research Laboratory develops vaccines to fight diseases in ducks. Its mission statement is to develop and produce “veterinary biologicals for ducks that are not generally available to duck growers from commercial laboratories.”

“The action served to both liberate these beautiful creatures from exploitation, abuse, and terror and to provide a damaging blow to factory duck-farming industries,” said the ALF in a statement.

The director of the laboratory, Dr. Tirath Sandhu, told the Associated Press that he was concerned that the ducks would not be able to survive in the wild, as they were on a special diet at the facility and couldn’t fly.

But Lauren Sullivan, US campaigns director for Viva!, an animal rights group, felt the ducklings would thrive just fine on their own. “The ducks will see other ducks eat and they will copy them.”

Timothy Slate ’01, president of the Cornell Coalition for Animal Defense (CCAD), said the ALF set the ducks free in an unnamed sanctuary, where they should be able to roam free.

“Cornell is expressing concern about the welfare of the ducks, which is ridiculous,” Sullivan commented. “These ducks were going to be killed after the experiments, and they were being experimented on to kill more ducks in factory farms.”

The ALF aims to save as many animals as possible and cause economic damage to “animal exploiters”. They acknowledged that their actions, though non-violent, are illegal.

“I support non-violent liberation of animals where the animal’s safety is foremost,” said Slate. In the past, CCAD staged numerous protests against animal experiments on the Cornell campus.

The laboratory experiments “promote an industry which is trying to push these animals to get them to have more meat on them and to produce more eggs,” said Sullivan. She dubbed the ALF action a “liberation, they were not stolen: they were liberated from a life of exploitation and eventual death.”

Archived article by Inna Bruter