Animal Rights Extremists Arrested in the United Kingdom
May 2, 2007
As reported in the Western Mail, UK law enforcement authorities arrested 30 people after raids were conducted across Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands to apprehend members of an international criminal animal rights terrorist organization called Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC). As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senator James M. Inhofe held hearings on SHAC and their dangerous tactics in the United States and passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act in the 109th Congress. (For more, visit Senator Inhofe’s EPW Committee website page on Eco-Terrorism
FBI Counterterrorism Division Assistant Director Joseph Billy, Jr., released the following statement in regards to the arrests:
"Earlier today, law enforcement authorities in the
United Kingdom arrested 30 individuals associated with Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) and charged them with criminal offenses in furtherance of animal rights extremism.
With our law enforcement counterparts in the U.K., the FBI shares a mutual interest in stemming crimes affiliated with special interest extremism here in the
U.S. In attempts to evade law enforcement and newly enacted
U.S. legislation targeting their criminal ways, we have seen these individuals seek to act out beyond national boundaries. Additionally, they have sought to alter the means by which they carry out their acts, the persons they try to intimidate, and the areas in which they operate.
The distinctions between constitutionally protected advocacy and violent criminal activity are extremely important to recognize, and law enforcement officials are solely concerned with those individuals who pursue animal rights or environmental protection acts of terrorism through violence and criminal activity.
Today's arrests send a message that criminal activity is not protected on either side of the ocean. The FBI continues to address this kind of criminal activity as a high priority and has forged strong partnerships with our international law enforcement counterparts. When necessary, and to the full extent the law allows, we will share and exchange information with them to target these criminals."
The Western Mail
Police Hold Animal Rights Suspects After Raids
May 2 2007
Thirty-two people arrested in raids targeting animal rights extremists will face questioning from police today.
They are being held in police custody following the series of raids carried out yesterday across the UK and
It was the culmination of a two-year investigation into an alleged conspiracy of extremism targeting a variety of organisations and individuals, including Huntingdon Life Sciences in Cambridgeshire, police said.
The operation, described as the largest of its kind, involved more than 700 officers as warrants were executed in Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Glasgow, Greater London, Merseyside, Worcestershire, Lancashire, Northumbria, Yorkshire, south Wales, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Around £100,000 in cash, mobile telephones, computer equipment and documents were seized during the raids.
Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Leppard of Kent Police, said the operation was targeting both individual crimes and an alleged conspiracy to commit acts of extremism against animal research groups and individuals.
He said: “In recent years, animal rights extremists have conducted sustained campaigns of harassment and intimidation against the animal research industry, seeking to achieve their objectives by creating a climate of fear.
“Although the vast majority of animal rights protesters campaign lawfully, a small minority seeks to force change through criminal action.
“To some animal rights extremists, any organisations and individuals who have links to the animal research industry are justifiable targets, however tenuous those links might be.
“The victims of animal rights extremism are not only companies or universities. It is employees along with their families, their friends and neighbours who often are targeted in their own homes.”
Mr Leppard said the alleged offences included burglary and conspiracy to blackmail.
He said the operation was being led by the Kent, Hampshire, Sussex,
Surrey and Thames Valley Police forces because the majority of the suspected extremist activity was in the South East.
He said: “While animal rights extremism affects the whole of the
United Kingdom , there are a greater proportion of incidents in the South East.
“This led forces in the region to work together to investigate a range of criminal offences including burglary, conspiracy to blackmail and offences under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, targeting animal research organisations.”
The manager of one of the raided properties, Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre in Ince Blundell, Merseyside, claimed police used “heavy-handed” tactics in the raid this morning.
Dave Calendar said some of his staff were injured as they attempted to protect the animals and some animals had been released during the raid.
Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne said officers behaved “professionally and courteously” throughout the operation.
Huntingdon Life Sciences has long been a focus both of peaceful demonstrations and more extreme tactics.
A spokesman for Huntingdon Life Sciences said: “It is great to see the results of police investigations from over the past two years beginning to control the activities of animal rights extremists in the
Protesters have repeatedly broken into the controversial Cambridgeshire laboratory, which is
Europe ’s biggest commercial animal testing laboratory.
They have fire-bombed cars and subjected staff and shareholders to intimidation and threats.
Companies which trade with Huntingdon Life Sciences have also found themselves the target of extremism, with militants vandalising houses and cars.
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac) has been behind a long-standing crusade to close the animal research centre, which was founded in 1952 in the
UK and is now an international business with resources on three continents.
The firm, based in Huntingdon, originally concentrated upon nutrition, veterinary and biochemical research.
But an expansion of services in the late 1950s led to the assessment of pharmaceuticals, food additives and a variety of crop protection and consumer chemicals.
Fifteen men and 17 women aged between 19 and 68 were arrested in the 30 raids targeting animal rights extremists carried out across the UK, Belgium and the
In Hampshire, two men aged 23 and 39 and a 38-year-old woman were arrested in Lower Common, Eversley.
A man aged 20 and a 19-year-old woman were arrested in
Aldershot Road, Church Crookham; and in Coopers Lane,Bramley, a 52-year-old woman was arrested.
In Frogmore Lane, Waterlooville, a 43-year-old woman was arrested and a 52-year-old woman was arrested in Fairthorn Rise, Old Basing,
Basingstoke . A 25-year-old woman was arrested in
Sussex , a 43-year-old man and two women aged 39 and 50 were arrested.
In Surrey, a 34-year-old man was arrested in
Woking and in
Bishops Fox Way, West Moleseley, a 50-year-old woman was arrested.
Guildford , a 59-year-old woman was arrested while a 67-year-old man and a 68-year-old woman were arrested in Forest Road, East Horsley.
In Kent, a 21-year-old man was arrested in
Bush Road, East Peckham and in the
Valley police area, a 21-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were arrested in Tanhouse Lane, Wokingham.
Oxford , a 50-year-old man was arrested at a caravan park in Redbridge Hollow.
In the Metropolitan police area, a 52-year-old woman was arrested in
Gardens , Sunbury, Middlesex; a 44-year-old man in Selwood Road, Croydon and a 29-year-old man in
Park , Holloway.
In Lancashire, a 51-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman were arrested in
Lytham Road, Ashton-on-Ribble and in Merseyside, a woman was arrested at Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre, East Lane, Ince, Blundell,
In North Yorkshire, a 35-year-old woman was arrested in Upper Sackville Street, Skipton and a 33-year-old man was arrested in Smalewell Road, Pudsey, Leeds,
West Yorkshire .
In Brynmair, Aberdare, south
Wales , a 20-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were arrested; while a 35-year-old man was arrested in Raplock Avenue, Scotstoun, Glasgow, Strathclyde.
Further arrest warrants were carried out in Gilbourne Road, Plumstead; and Bedfont Road, Stanwell, Middlesex; Boat Lane, Evesham; and Hollystone Crescent, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumbria, but without arrests.
There were also no arrests made in the one raid in Belgium and the two raids in the