Animal-rights activist gets 2 years in prison
By Nate Carlisle
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 02/04/2010 07:45:06 PM MST
Depending on who you believe, William James Viehl is either Harriet Beecher Stowe or a terrorist.
U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson voted for the latter and on Thursday sentenced Viehl to two years in prison for releasing hundreds of minks from a South Jordan farm.
"I don't know any better word for it than 'terror,'" Benson said during a long explanation of his decision. "It's a form of terrorism."
Viehl last year pleaded guilty to one count of damaging and interfering with animal enterprises. On Aug. 19, 2008, Viehl helped release about 425 female and 225 male minks from the farm.
Vehicles hit and killed seven, seven died of stress and 20 were never recovered, said the farm's owner, Lindsey McMullin. Viehl and his co-defendant also are accused of removing pedigree tags, forcing the McMullins to sell the females for their pelts rather than breeding them.
The bandits also spray painted "ALF," for Animal Liberation Front, on a barn and the words, "We are watching." Read More
The judge in this case made it very clear that this type of behavior is pure and simple terrorism. He also made it clear that his goal is to make sure the punishment is painful enough to discourage this type of terrorism from happening in the future. Unfortunately, there will probably be more of these terrorist acts in the future waged against family farmers and ranchers. Groups like the Animal Liberation Front actively recruit young people and brainwash them into thinking that it’s alright to kill people if you have to do it in order to save an animal. It’s the standard practice of terrorist groups around the world. The only thing that changes is who or what they are trying to “save”. If you have to wear a ski mask to carry out the activities of your group, then you are probably a terrorist. And so are those that support these organizations.