Anti Dierproeven Coalitie (Anti Animal Testing Coalition) animal justice activists Simon Luitse, Jack Maat, Robert Molenaar, Sandra Tetenburg, and Nadine Lucas were scheduled to appear before the magistrate in Den Bosch in relation to their April 2013 open action rescue of six beagles from the Jan Rutten dog breeding kennels in the Dutch village of Escharen.
Without intervention, the final destination of the six beagles rescued from the kennels would have been the laboratories of MSD Animal Health in Boxmeer, known in the United States as Merck Animal Health.
Anti Dierproeven Coalitie’s exemplary outreach, educating the public, protesting, and gathering petition signatures, coupled with widespread and advantageous media coverage, gained the support of the public in Holland which led the public prosecutor to postpone the hearing.
Instead of appearing in court on July 16, 2013, Anti Dierproeven Coalitie and supporters continued their protest in Escharen.
Dedicated and compassionate, Anti Dierproeven Coalitie (Netherlands) and Coalition Anti Vivisection (Belgium) embody and highly contribute to the positive changes towards animal justice in Europe.
In support of Anti Dierproeven Coalitie and Coalition Anti Vivisection, I am honored to share an exclusive statement from Anti Dierproeven Coalitie and Coalition Anti Vivisection Founder Robert Molenaar:
I have always admired English animal activists who got results and attracted many sympathizers.
The campaign to close Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) was international and persuaded me to become involved. I organized actions aimed at customers, suppliers, and service providers in order to break their ties with Huntingdon Life Sciences. Unfortunately, this campaign was conducted in England in a rather aggressive way, which resulted in less and less public support.
Within the Coalition Anti Vivisection, we enthusiastically adopted the good points of the Huntingdon Life Sciences campaign without compromising our professionalism. In the end, animals need an acceptable voice that will be heard.
In 2007, we began a campaign against the building of an animal testing center in Venray, Netherlands. We wanted to get as much public support for our actions as possible and we achieved this.
Ordinary citizens hung our posters in their windows of the streets of the responsible councillor. We organized protests aimed at potential users and at Harlan, the supplier of laboratory animals. The testing centre project received no support and the plug was pulled.
Since then, we have had many successes: a ban on the catching and exportation of wild monkeys from Nepal; shutting down the Philip Morris animal testing centre in Haasrode, Belgium and pressures on various locations to stop the use of monkeys in research. In all, eighty-five monkeys from different laboratories were re-housed and experiments on cats at the University of Groningen were abandoned.
For every animal lover, it is torture to think of all those helpless animals in breeding facilities, whether for meat, fur, or animal experiments. Rescuing individual animals helps a few animals to have a good life.
The problem lies with a lack of public awareness. Our goal is to appeal to people and achieve structural change in how people think.
Over the last ten years enlightened progress has been made in the Netherlands and Belgium. More and more people are giving up eating meat regularly. And how about the mink breeding and fur farm ban in the Netherlands that has been approved by Parliament? Wild animals in circuses will also be banned soon.
In Belgium, the Anti-Vivisection Coalition is busy promoting a ban on monkey experiments. Although the public is not completely consistent, they are largely behind the agenda of animal rights. It is essential to continue to get public opinion behind us.
Some people think of campaigning in terms of war. If we need to conduct a war, then it is foremost a propaganda war. Violent illegal actions have no place in civilizing projects and results in a lack of understanding among people.
We have the advantage of a very strong weapon: showing the brutal suffering of helpless animals, then emphasizing the alternatives to animal testing that are widely available.
Regarding the action in Escharen, it was impossible for me to leave the dogs where they were and just organize a protest in front of the kennel. We only had to climb over a fence to get into the kennel and we were determined to go over the fence to get the dogs out.
We didn’t wear masks, but were open-faced. I wanted to show society that dogs are still being bred for abuse in experiments. I wanted to be a mouthpiece for these dogs and that could only be done by openly declaring ourselves while rescuing them.
The problem was the loud barking of the dogs in the middle of the countryside, in the middle of the night. We had to ensure we did the job within ten to fifteen minutes. A television crew accompanied us to record and broadcast the rescue action.
We saved six dogs that now live with warm host families. A month later, we walked through the village with a hundred and fifty supporters with huge pictures of the liberators and the rescued dogs. Every day I think of the dogs that now have a happy life. We will continue campaigning until all dogs are free.
We must be courageous and never give up. We all do what we can. It’s not our fault that animals are exploited by our fellow man. Giving up means accepting animal suffering.
Campaigning can take different forms. It’s all about communication with our fellow man. Activism can be explaining to your friends and family why you are vegan.
Activism can also be commercially effective by opening a veggie restaurant or catering facility. It is just a matter of publicity and making sure that you appear in the media. There are thousands of ways to be a voice for animals. Choose the shape that suits you and be a mouthpiece for the animals.
Click here to view the Open Rescue of Beagles byAnti Dierproeven Coalitie; filmed and aired by Veronica TV (with English subtitles).
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