In Pennsylvania: Apparent Eco-terror Strike at a Research Facility

Vandals' graffiti attributes attack to Animal Liberation Front


QUAKERTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Vandals who may be connected to a radical animal-rights groups caused thousands of dollars in damage at a nursery that is a proposed housing site for monkeys waiting to be shipped to medical research laboratories.

The intruders overturned and destroyed about 1,000 peonies, poured paint stripper on two vehicles and spray-painted graffiti on buildings and greenhouses at Peonyland in Richland Township. The threatening graffiti mentioned the primate plans and said "the ALF is watching," a reference to the Animal Liberation Front, an extremist animal-rights group.

"This is considered domestic terrorism," said David W. Zellis, Bucks County first assistant district attorney.

ALF, which operates anonymously, claims on its Web site that it "carries out direct action against animal abuse in the form of rescuing animals and causing financial loss to animal exploiters, usually through the damage and destruction of property."

Michael Hsu has faced community opposition to his plans to open a commercial kennel at the 47-acre business. The kennel would house up to 500 monkeys until they are shipped to laboratories, where they are used to test treatments and find cures for diseases such as AIDS and Alzheimer's.

"I can't say right now whether or not we'll continue," Hsu said. "If you are an extremist who does this and claims to be an animal lover, you're not a lover of humanity."

The monkeys would be shipped from a supply company in Beijing and would be tested for tuberculosis, according to the plans. Hsu said the monkeys are not mistreated.