MISSISSAUGA - Peel Regional Police is investigating claims by a North American animal rights group that its members set fire to two trucks in west Mississauga over the weekend.
Police received multiple calls about a loud bang, flash of light and heavy smoke just after 3 a.m. Sunday.
Officers responded and located a transport truck fully engulfed and part of another in flames behind an industrial unit on 3600 Laird Rd., located near Ridgeway Drive and The Collegeway.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze before it could spread to the warehouse unit.
There were no injuries and no one was on scene when crews arrived, police report.
According to police, at this point, the cause of the blaze is deemed suspicious.
In an anonymous email to the North American Animal Liberation Press Office today, activists from the Animal Liberation Front claim they destroyed the two trucks, which are owned by Harlan Laboratories, according to Animal Liberation Front.
In the anonymous email, the organization says it planted incendiary devices under trucks belonging to Harlan Laboratories. Harlan is a company owned by Huntingdon Life Sciences. Animal Liberation Front claims the company is responsible for supplying research animals and animal feed to vivisectionists.
"This action was undertaken in order to eliminate this...company's means of transportation, to disrupt the systematic torture and murder of innocent animals, and to cause as much monetary damage as possible," the email states. "Fortunately, news reports have said that the devices ignited successfully, damaging one truck and completely destroying the other."
Harlan Laboratories has yet to reply to a request for comment.
Peel Const. Fiona Thivierge said police are investigating the email and said no arrests have yet to be made in the case.
The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) says it utilizes economic sabotage in addition to the direct liberation of animals from conditions of abuse and imprisonment to halt needless animal suffering.
North American Animal Liberation Press Office spokesperson Dr. Jerry Vlasak said there's no reason to doubt the authenticity of the email and that the office gets these types of anonymous emails routinely from animal rights groups.
"It's important to inform and educate the public of the torture these animals are faced with," Vlasak said in an interview from Los Angeles. "These are people with an ideology that is against animal cruelty and they are making a statement."
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