December 8, 2023

Animal rights extremists undermine democracy, says Oxford head

Chris Patten

The new chancellor of Oxford University in the UK has made a blistering attack on animal rights extremists. In his first speech as Chancellor, Mr Chris Patten said that their violent tactics were undermining fundamental principles of liberal democracy. Capitulating to them would encourage extremists of other stripes to harass universities to discourage them from studying particular branches of science or history, or from employing staff of particular ethnic or religious backgrounds. “These are all issues that are on the frontier between an Enlightenment world of liberty and reason, and darkness,” he said.

Last week Oxford was granted an injunction banning animal rights protesters from a 50-yard exclusion zone around a half-built primate research centre, and from 100 yards around the homes of all university staff, students and alumni, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and shareholders.