UK animal rights activists export harassment to Continent
Crackdown may be forcing them to seek a “soft touch”
Stem cell scientists are not the only ones to go overseas to seek more
permissive regulatory regimes. Animal-rights activists do, too. According to
Nature, extremists squeezed by police in the UK have gone to work on the
Continent. It cites a number of incidents. Threats forced a Dutch developer to
withdraw from a new €60 million biomedical research park in January. Arson at a
biomedical research park in Belgium caused €100,000 in damages in February. A
few days later, the Barcelona offices of Novartis were vandalised. The Novartis
security chief at its headquarters in Basel, Andrew Jackson, observed that there
was a big increase in protests and illegal acts last year. "There is a
perception that EU law enforcement has something of a soft touch," he told
Nature. And he has noticed a correlation between the availability of budget
flights to Basel and extremist activity: "It makes for a fun weekend." British
activists, on the other hand, attributes the rise in incidents in Europe to
homegrown, not imported, activists. ~ Nature, Feb 27
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One thought on “UK animal rights activists export harassment to Continent”
It was interesting to read on the “Nature” website comments posted in response to its report on this animal rights activism.
I posted one, heart in mouth, afraid of attack by other commentators. I was surprised and pleased that most of the comments posted over the next week or so were thoughtful and concerned for the welfare of animals. They too, expressed concern over the grindingly slow pace of meaningful change in animal protection legislation and expressed doubts about the validity of in-house ethics committees.
Andrew Jackson’s quote in your article highlights a disregard for animals as suffering beings. It is hard to have a meaningful dialogue with those (who are after all merely the mouthpieces for their employer companies) with such a mindset, and even harder when the huge amounts of money involved are a great disincentive for these corporations to change their practices.
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