Five suspects have been arrested by Jerusalem police for allegedly assaulting a veterinarian involved in breeding animals for scientific experiments.
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A gag order prevents publication of the names of the suspects, who police suspect assaulted the victim on account of his work.
The veterinarian responded to an emergency call to treat a dog in Beit Shemesh at about midnight on November 23. When he arrived at the location, close to a soccer field in the city, he was led to a secluded area where he was beaten with stones by masked men. He was subsequently hospitalized for a week with broken bones and serious bruises.
According to the victim, who works in a facility that breeds and supplies animals to a large academic institution for scientific experiments, his attackers called him a “monkey murderer” during the assault. Police, who believe the assault was ordered and paid for by someone who objects to the veterinarian’s work, were able to track down one suspect, who then led them to the rest.
If so, it would be the first time that the struggle against animal experimentation in Israel has escalated into physical violence.
In 2004, animal rights activists punctured the tires of a car belonging to brain researcher Prof. Moshe Abeles, who had been awarded the Emet Prize for his work. There have been no similar incidents since then.
“This is not our way,” said Anat Refua, director of the Behind Closed Doors organization, which campaigns against animal experimentation. “We do not harm any person or animal. We are against this and I of course categorically condemn any such action.”