Starting in the 1990s, UK animal rights activists gained strength by banding together and strategically targeting elements of the vivisection industrial complex , such as government licensed businesses that breed animals for testing facilities. Campaigners successfully closed Oxford University Park Farm, Regal Rabbits, Sky Commercial Rabbit Farm, Shamrock farm, Consort Beagles, Hylyne Rabbits and Hillgrove Cat Farm. Darley Oaks guinea pig farm was also closed in 2006.
On January 6, 2008 the ALF raided Highgate Rabbit Farm as part of a similar campaign to close the fascist facility down. The action resulted in £100,000 (≈ $123,000) of property damage, and – best of all – the removal of 129 rabbits destined “to be tortured to death in animal testing labs”.
Seven months later, in July 2008, 22-year-old Lewis Pogson was arrested. He was ultimately found guilty of taking part in the ALF action and was sentenced on January 18, 2010 to three year’s imprisonment. Meanwhile, Highgate owner Geoff Douglas lives freely under the delusion that peddling rabbits and ferrets is “saving tens of thousands of [human] lives.”
The communiqué for the January 6, 2008 action read:
“06.01.2008, Highgate Rabbit Farm, Highgate, Normanby-by-Spital, Lincolnshire,UK.
A ventilation fan was forcibly removed to evade the alarm systems on the doors. Inside rabbits were lined in barren cages breathing in the stench of shit and urea, waiting to be tortured to death in animal testing labs. But tonight, the activists had a more compassionate fate for them. A total of 129 rabbits were loaded in friendship groups into bags and taken immediately to safety. Never will they have to know or experience an experimental facility or university lab. Some of the rabbits were visibly excited when they reached their new lives, playing in the straw and eating carrots happily. We couldn’t leave without saying a proper good bye! On site we found a quad bike with trailer plus a lawnmower. All tyres were popped, locks glued, expanding foam in the exhaust, and were paintstripped. Next, we found a large white van obviously used as part of the sickening business. We redecorated it with nice new paint work, paintstripper, glued locks, popped tyres, and expanding foam up the exhaust. We also found a rather posh sports car parked outside the house which also had a little makeover just like the van.
2008 – TIME TO SMASH VIVISECTION INTO OBLIVION”
See a one-minute video of the action here:
Read Lewis Pogson’s account of his experience with the UK prison system here: