Animal rights activists face jail

SIX animal rights activists face jail sentences of up to 14 years in the US for their part in a campaign against Woolley-based biomedical research company, Huntingdon Life Sciences. The court in New Jersey that convicted them of inciting terrorism also fo

SIX animal rights activists face jail sentences of up to 14 years in the US for their part in a campaign against Woolley-based biomedical research company, Huntingdon Life Sciences.

The court in New Jersey that convicted them of inciting terrorism also found the US arm of Shac (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) guilty of terrorist offences.

It heard that the six controlled the UK activities of the organisation, which has physically attacked the company's managing director, Brian Cass, and whose members have attracted several convictions for terrifying harassment and vandalism in the Huntingdon area.

They were found guilty under a US law similar to one of "economic terrorism" introduced in the UK last year after pressure from Huntingdon MP, Jonathan Djanogly, who has also been threatened and his home and family attacked.


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The American Federal Bureau of Investigation has said animal rights extremists posed the greatest domestic terrorism threat in the US.

The six, all Americans who will be sentenced in June, were accused of inciting others to commit harassment. They maintained unsuccessfully that their actions constituted free speech.

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One of Shac's founder members in the UK, Heather Avery (who also calls herself Nicholson, Barwick and James) was given a four-month prison sentence by Oxford Crown Court last week for breaching an Anti-Social Behaviour Order banning her from going near Oxford University, HLS and the pharmaceutical firm Phytopharm or contacting employees or their families. She admitted the offence.

* A spokesman for Bobby Roberts Circus, at Brampton Race Course from tomorrow (Thursday) to Sunday said the whole of Rushden High Street and some shops in Huntingdon had been targeted by animal rightists who said the circus had been cancelled and posters should be taken down.

However, the circus - which is going ahead - does not include wild animals. There are ponies and horses, the spokesman said, looked after by vets to the highest possible standards.

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