Scott DeMuth, animal rights activist, sentenced to prison

Categories: Animals

Scott DeMuth.jpg
Scott DeMuth is going to prison.
Scott DeMuth set the ferrets free. Now he's going to prison.

An Iowa judge has sentenced the 23-year-old University of Minnesota graduate student to six months behind bars for busting into a Howard Lake ferret breeding business in 2006 and setting 200 of the critters free.

Eugene Latzig lost his livelihood because of the attack, which the Animal Liberation Front said targeted his operation in the mistaken belief that he was raising minks.

A letter ALF about the Howard Lake attack was found on DeMuth's computer after it was seized when he was arrested in 2008 during a pre-RNC sweep of anarchists and protesters in Minneapolis.

The FBI considers the ALF to be a domestic terrorist organization.

Along with the time in prison, DeMuth will serve a year of supervised release. And although his supporters are outraged, he ended up with a pretty good deal. By pleading guilty in September to misdemeanor charges, he avoided felony charges and the risk a longer sentence. [Downlaod the plea agreement here.]

"There is no compelling societal good that results from Scott being removed from his family, loved ones and community," said supporter Lisa Williams in a statement. "There is only the government wielding its power over Scott because of his perceived politics in order to discourage him and others from expressing dissent."

But in court, prosecutor Cliff Cronk saw things differently.

"It was an act of cowardice under the cover of darkness," Cronk said. The vandals were there for "some cause they thought was greater than the livelihood of this old man."

DeMuth is still suspected in a 2004 raid on a University of Iowa animal lab that resulted in $500,000 worth of damage, but that case has never come to trial.

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Linda & Paul
Linda & Paul

The livelihoods of men, be they young or old, should certainly be stripped from them when they cause animal abuse. Eugene Latzig has lived off the blood money from the fur industry for years. He called his brutal business Latzig Mink Ranch.  It is hard to think of a profession that causes more suffering than the fur trade. What a relief Latzig won't be able to re-start that mass cruelty again. This young man's courageous actions are a result of a ridiculous "justice" system, where animals are seen as commodities and their abusers are seen as respectable businessmen. Until sensible laws are in place for animal protection, prosecutor Cliff Cronk should expect civil disobedience and outrage. It has always been the actions of a minority of agitators that has led to gradual majority concensus and finally social and legal change. Without social agitation and acts of civil disobedience/misdemeanors, women would still be burned at the stake as witches, black people would still be slaves, only men would have the right to vote, etc. Scott should not be jailed for an act of kindness. The old man should shamefully retire on the profit he made on the backs of mink and ferrets.   

Carol Crunkhorn
Carol Crunkhorn

"It was an act of cowardice under the cover of darkness," Cronk said. The vandals were there for "some cause they thought was greater than the livelihood of this old man." During World War II, many acted 'under the cover of darkness' and are remembered for their bravery and courage. In order to abolish slavery, many acted 'under the cover of darkness' and are remembered for their bravery and courage. There are many injustices in many countries that are not criminalised, but they are nevertheless still injustices and those who seek to abolish injustice and act "under the cover of darkness" are not cowards. A coward, Mr Cronk, is one who does nothing when confronted with the suffering of others. Fur farming is an atrocity as evil as any; because the victims are non-human does not make it any less an atrocity. The "old man" who lost his livelihood is no more to be pitied than those slave owners who eventually lost their livelihoods. 

Destroy the ALF
Destroy the ALF

No Carol, DeMuth, Feldman and their cowardly terroristic pals are as far from the brave commandos and resisters of WW II as it is possible to be.

The Resistance risked their lives to defend HUMAN BEINGS.

DeMuth, Feldman and the rest of the vile ALF/PETA criminals risked nothing more than a few months in an orange jumpsuit, in order to destroy innocent peoples' lives and ram their lunatic theories down out throats via arson, theft and bombs.


No, the true cowards are those who exploit and abuse other living beings that are weak and helpless, be it women, slaves or animals.To make such a great difference between humans and animals is absolutely obsolete, the scientific community no longer doubts that we humans are nothing more than just another animal species, and there is no more serious doubt that animals are able to feel terror and pain just as we do.If you don´t like to believe in science, try some ethics beyond making money.

James T. Key
James T. Key

From your pseudonym I take it you are opposed in principle to any action on behalf of animals.  Your 'lunatic' theory, I assume, is that only humans are worth saving.  Let me guess, you are a religious, white, over 50 male who thinks Rick Santorum should be the next president.  DeMuth, Feldman et al may be crazy but to paraphrase the words of a great song, "it just may be a lunatic we're looking for"!   Not your kind though, hopefully you're a dying breed!    

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