Press Release: Lawsuit Against Animal Liberation
June 02, 2003 Germany
Translated by Achim Stößer

Animal rights initiative, Maqi - for Animal Rights, against Speciesism announced today that there will be a lawsuit against Iris Berger and Achim Stößer on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2003 in the district court of Sinsheim (Germany) for the open rescue of hens. They are being prosecuted for "larceny"

The manager of a fattening plant in which turkeys, geese and ducks are imprisoned, reported to the police in November last year that he recognized his plant in photos on the Maqi website that document Maqi open rescues. Subsequently larceny charges were pressed.

According to the German Criminal Code, someone who is responsible for larceny is one "who takes away someone else's property with the intention to illegally give this thing to himself or a third party [...]" (StGB, §. 242, pt. 1). However, Achim Stößer of Maqi says 'it is obvious that open rescues are not performed to 'give' the animals to oneself, but to withdraw them from the access of those who hold them prisoner and intend to kill them. The prosecuting attorney's office deliberately ignored this fact. We have to see whether the judge will follow the public prosecutor's speciesistic way of thinking."

"Slave liberation was seen as larceny in slave-owning societies as well," Stößer goes on. "A law that prohibits animal liberations would be as ethically unacceptable as one against slave liberation. Laws like the 'Law for Protection of German Blood and Honor,' in short 'Rassenschandegesetz" (race defilement law), of 1935 or the law against 'Republikflucht' (absconding from the German Federal Republic) in the FRG made criminals of those who enact them, not those who violate them. Those who object that these have not been constitutional states should take a look at German Federal laws: was the discrimination against wives, homosexuals and raped men legitimate? Or wasn't it rather legitimate or even ethically necessary not to obey them or take action against them, respectively?"

Only in 1953 was the Civil Code changed to the effect that wives were no longer subjected to the determination of their husbands. §175 of the Criminal Code in the sharpened version of 1935 made any homosexual act (between men) liable to a penalty until it was reformed in 1969. It was "liberalized" in 1973 and abolished in 1994, and only after a change of sexual criminal law in May 1998(!), did "sexual harassement" become a gender-independent element of a criminal offense. Before only women had been defined as victims, while according to the law, rape of men did not exist. "Just as that, a speciesistic legislation has to be valued in a society that views non-human animals as property."

Berger and Stößer both had received an order of summary punishment of 30 daily rates each for "larceny" in 10 cases and filed an objection. From 12 o'clock there will be a demonstration for animal rights and animal liberation in front of the court building. The trial will take place in the district court of Sinsheim, Werder Street, No 12, room 102, beginning 14:30.

Maqi - for Animal Rights, against Speciesism, stands up for a realization of animal rights (for example the right of physical an psychical intactness), abolishment of discrimination based on membership to a species (analogous to anti-racism and anti-sexism) and the establishemnt of a vegan society. Further informations and pictorial material from Maqi - für Tierrechte, gegen Speziesismus, c/o Achim Stößer, Brauhausgasse 2, D-63628 Bad Soden-Salmünster, Germany, phone +49 6056/9177888,

To receive future rescue notifications enter your e-mail address below.