Advertisement

Animal Rights, Human Rights

March 18, 1985

Los Angeles County animal-control officers impound about 100,000 stray animals every year. Of those, about 1,500 dogs--none that show any indication of having been pets--are sold for research.

Using animals for research offends many people. They have a right to that opinion, but they do not have a right to express it by spraying red paint on the home of the county's animal-control director and on his wife's car. That is simple and cowardly vandalism, unlike two other recent protest actions.

Someone fired a bullet into the Downey office of Brian Berger, who is the director of the county Animal Control and Care Department. Someone also fired a shotgun blast at the Carson office. Berger fears, and rightly so, that someone could get hurt. He also feels that he is an inappropriate target. He is correct on that also. Police have made no arrests, but the $1,000 reward for information, offered by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, should help.

The vandalism and shootings have outraged many, including other anti-research activists who use legitimate channels to push their messages. They believe that the violence will hurt their cause.

True lovers of animals work to avoid strays. Toward that end, 18,000 pets are spayed or neutered at county shelters. The animal control department, with the help of volunteers, also holds 400 classes a year, hoping that the next generation will use better sense in caring for pets.

Berger's home has been cleaned up. His wife's car can be. But is that the end of it? Will more bullets be fired as a message of protest? The animal-rights protesters are entitled to express their opinion, but not to do violence to human rights in the process.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|