Activists vandalize Avian Health Laboratory

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The Washington State University Avian Laboratory in Puyallup was the scene of a break-in and vandalism Nov 20.

A press release issued Nov 21 by the Animal Liberation Front claimed credit for the crimes, which resulted in more than $100,000 in damage to the state-owned facility and equipment.

Damages included smashed windows, incubators, computers, printers, fax machines, telephones, and microscopes and other scientific equipment. Muriatic acid and bleach were splashed about the facility, and the contents of dry chemical fire extinguishers were sprayed throughout. The letters "ALF" were spray-painted on one wall.

No chickens were stolen, although about a half dozen eggs were removed from the animals' enclosure.

The laboratory is a part of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory based in WSU's College of Veterinary Medicine. The laboratory's services include bird health surveillance, bird disease diagnosis, cause-of-death determinations, and public health and food safety quality control testing of eggs, egg products, and poultry. Other sectors served by the laboratory are owners of pet birds and small farm flocks of poultry, pigeons, and game birds.