Animal rights activists Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane were arrested on Friday July 24, and charged with conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The government seeks their removal to face charges in federal court in San Diego.
According to information released by the United States Attorney’s office, the two went on cross-country trips and released thousands of mink from fur farms. They also destroyed breeding records.
According to court records, the pair used various chemicals to vandalize Furs by Graf, a San Diego retail furrier.
Graf’s Fur Service has been in business in San Diego for 85 years. They provide a full service furrier featuring a storage facility with temperature and humidity control, cleaning and glazing, repair, remodeling, appraisals and personal consultations. They provide service to customers no matter where they purchased their fur.
The activists also attacked personal property of that furriers’ homes.
They also slashed tires, smashed windows, and did damage to people in the fur business in several states. They boasted of their escapades on websites associated with animal rights extremists, according to the indictment.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Laura Duffy said: “Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, there are legal ways to make your opinions known”.
“The conduct alleged here, sneaking around at night, stealing property and vandalizing homes and businesses with acid, glue, and chemicals, is a form of domestic terrorism and can’t be permitted to continue,” she said
Buddenberg and Kissane were arrested in Oakland on Friday July 24 and federal prosecutors say they will send the pair to San Diego for trial.
If convicted, they face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.