Animal Rights Group Suspected in Disabling of Researcher’s Brakes

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.—An animal rights group is suspected of sabotaging the brakes on the car of a University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) marine biologist researcher.

The researcher’s wife discovered a pool of brake fluid underneath the vehicle just as she was about to drive it, reports ABC News. Upon further investigation, police found that the brake lines and the cable for the emergency brake had been disabled.

Because of other attacks on researchers on the campus, police believe an animal rights organization may have cut the researcher’s brakes due to his work in the biology field. However, police said that the researcher is known for his positive work in environmental conservation, not for harming animals in his studies.

When questioned, representatives for the North American Animal Liberation Front (ALF) said they weren’t sure if the group participated in the incident, although there is a likely chance that it did.

In 2009, four animal rights activists were charged with using force, violence or threats to interfere with the operation of the University of California in violation of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. They are the suspects in the February 2008 attack of a UCSC researcher and her husband. All four have pleaded not guilty; the trial is ongoing.

Additionally, other incidents in 2008 included the firebombing of the home of one UCSC researcher and the car of another. No arrests have been made in those incidents though police believe animal rights extremist groups were involved.

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