From the Associated Press

'Terrorists' steal 128 beagles

November 24, 2002

A GROUP of animal rights activists broke into a dog-breeding farm in northern Italy and made away with 128 beagles destined for scientific experiments, police said.

About 118 puppies and 10 adult dogs were stolen yesterday by a gang suspected of belonging to the radical Animal Liberation Front (ALF), police said.

A group of about 10 people spray-painted "Murderers" and "ALF will free all" on the walls of the farm, 80km west of Bologna, police said. The farm still has about 800 puppies left.

No arrests have been made.

The ALF and its sister organisation the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) are accused by the FBI of being eco-terrorist groups.

The groups have caused $US43 million ($76.55 million) in damage in more than 600 attacks in the United States since 1996, ranging from spray- painting buildings and breaking windows to firebombing fur farms, research centres and a ski resort, the FBI says.

The ALF and the ELF deny they are terrorist groups, saying their aim is to liberate animals or protect the environment, not to harm anyone.

The Associated Press
24 November 2002