Animal Rights wronged imc uk features | 17.12.2006 17:27 | Animal Liberation

The animal rights movement has been extensively vilified in press, radio, TV and even by Prime Minister Tony Blair. The general claim is made that animal rights demonstrators use methods which are too extreme. Demonstrators might argue though that recent legislation which seeks to criminalise common law behaviour leaves them no other option. Also, state sanctioned animal cruelty and its means of protection are even more extreme.

On December 19th Robert Cogswell and Mel Broughton are facing possible imprisonment, 'not for what they have done but for what they have said'.

In recent years the animal rights movement has had a number of successes in its attempts to minimise animal suffering in the UK, but this has provoked Goliath responses from government, corporations, police and the mainstream media. One of these successes was a ban on fur farming in 2003. Then there was the capitulation of Cambridge University in 2004 and its plans for a primate lab, despite strong backing for the lab from leading members of the government. The ban on fox hunting and the closure of the Newchurch Guinea Pig farm in 2005 followed hundreds of demos. Finally, animal testing on cosmetics is slowly being brought to a close. This still leaves other animal labs and their suppliers, food retailers and factory farming to mention a few examples of abuse. UK stores are allowed to sell fur from countries which skin animals alive, and there are videos to show it. Despite the government ban on hunting, it still goes on while police continue to turn a blind eye to the hunters but not to the hunt sabs.

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The struggle against animal torture and slavery will not cease, despite repressive new legislation and the deliberate misuse of the law by authorities and commerce. A law which prohibits the stalking of women is being applied to animal rights activists, as are anti-terrorism laws and the law of trespass. Companies are allowed to apply injunctions which effectively prohibit freedom of expression and speech. The breaking of any of these laws can lead to several years of imprisonment. Yet another measure is the freezing of a bank account, which caused the closure of London Animal Action.

Some other links: Animal Rights Cambridge | Arkangel Online News | Animal Aid | BAVA | X-CAPE | Pisces | CAFT | Gateway to Hell | Hunt Saboteurs Association | Killhunting UK | League Against Cruel Sports | NAVS | Badger Trust | NETCU Watch | Uncaged Campaigns

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