With news that the Government is now treating animal rights activists as
being a serious problem, Michael Fabricant has given a cautious welcome to
changes in the law being proposed by the Government and which will protect
workers at Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch in Staffordshire.
The farm breeds guinea pigs for medical research and the owners, workers,
relatives and friends have been subject to attacks and harassment by ‘animal
rights terrorists’ for a number of years. "The irony is that the farm is
visited regularly by Home Office inspectors to ensure that the animals are
bred and raised in a humane way. If Darley Oaks closed, laboratories would
simply import animals from continental Europe where there are no inspections
and the animals are bred in cruelty" says Michael Fabricant.
"Nobody supports animal testing for cosmetics and other similar reasons nor
do I support animal testing for medical research if computer simulation
techniques would do the job instead. But sometimes animals do need to be
tested upon. I would have more respect for animal rights terrorists if they
and their children and friends were not inoculated against polio, mumps,
rubella and other common diseases. All these vaccines were developed using
"My heart goes out to the Hall family and their relatives whose lives have
been made a misery by these unthinking fanatics. The extension of police
powers to arrest, banning of intimidating protests outside people’s homes,
and the widening of laws relating to harassment should make a difference.
Attacks have been on the increase nationally against individuals going about
their daily work of helping to find medicines to benefit everyone. I shall
be expecting the Staffordshire police force to implement these powers of
arrest and I hope that they will increase their coordination with other
police forces. I am pleased that the Government has finally recognised
that it must treat animal terrorism on an equal priority with that of other
terrorist threats, and I expect the courts to punish accordingly. If these
changes do not work, a single piece of legislation targeted at these
extremists will have to be enacted and I think the Government recognises
this. These changes to police powers of arrest are long overdue, but they
are very welcome" adds Michael.