Threat of more animal rights activist attacks

August 29, 1997

ANIMAL rights activists turned on the Government this week following attacks on five Oxford academics this month.

Animal Liberation Front protesters demonstrated at Labour party headquarters in London to draw attention to Barry Horne, a remand prisoner in Bristol Prison, who is on a second hunger strike.

Mr Horne, 45, who is charged with possessing explosive devices, claims the Government has reneged on pre-election promises to protect laboratory animals from experimentation.

Robin Webb, spokesman for the ALF, which last week claimed responsibility for the recent attacks on Oxford academics including Colin Blakemore, who later this month will succeed as president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, said Mr Horne had stopped his initial hunger strike after written promises from Labour that it would set up a Royal Commission on animal experimentation, but that this had now been dismissed.

Mr Webb said: "There will continue to be demonstrations and other action against other people who are involved in animal experimentation and testing. I can't predict what is going to happen. Certainly anyone who is involved in the use of animals in research and in other areas would be a legitimate target for demonstrations and other actions."

The British Association annual meeting, being held at Leeds University early next month, will include a debate between those at either extreme of the animal rights spectrum, including Professor Blakemore, who has been the focus of attacks for over a decade.

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