The D.C.-based Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has sent a letter to Maryland State’s Attorney Michael O. Twigg urging a full investigation of PETA for felony wiretapping.
The request is based on a recent ruling in the federal lawsuit PETA v. Tri-State Zoological Park of W. Maryland. PETA operatives posed as volunteers at the park for the purpose of secretly recording staff members.
The presiding judge decided to exclude any evidence PETA obtained illegally, writing: “PETA appears to have unlawfully recorded audio without first obtaining consent of those who were recorded. Such recordings violate the [Maryland] Wiretap Act and will be excluded entirely from this case.”
In the letter to Mr. Twigg, Will Coggin, managing director of the CCF, suggested that, although the judge declared she would not allow the illegally obtained evidence to be submitted, PETA and its agents should also face criminal sanctions if they are found to have violated Maryland wiretapping laws. Coggin noted that PETA has a history of “putting criminals ahead of the law.”
Coggin outlines a lengthy history of PETA working in concert with domestic terrorist groups such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Earth Liberation Front (ELF). According to Coggin, PETA gave a $1,500 ‘grant’ to the ELF and also contributed $70,000 to the legal defense of ALF activist Rodney Coronado who burned down a lab at Michigan State University.
PETA founder and president Ingrid Newkirk is quoted as saying: “I will be the last person to condemn the ALF.”
More recently, PETA has joined forces with Direct Action Everywhere (DxE). Founded by Wayne Hsiung, DxE activists are encouraged to get arrested to make a point. Whole Foods recently obtained a restraining order against DxE after activists harassed shoppers in the store.
“PETA has a well-documented history of supporting law-breaking activists to further its radical agenda of a world without zoos, livestock farms, and pets. It’s high time PETA is held accountable,” said Coggin in a released statement.