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ALF renews threats against University lab

first_imgBy Jack FarchyAnimal rights activists have renewed their threats against Oxford and its new laboratory, promising to make the new laboratory “the new Huntingdon Life Sciences.” The threats were made by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a extremist organisation which has been implicated in previous attacks on the University and its staff. They were posted on the website ‘Bite Back’, which publicises the actions of ALF, and also claimed responsibility for two attacks on Oxfordshire companies alleged to be suppliers to the University. It read, “We will stop businesses dealing with the Uni, the only question is how much money they decide to lose themselves first!” “Oxford Uni – you can’t possibly win this. You may have nearly finished building work but how long do you think you can afford to keep the lab open? We will never stop so get used to being the new HLS [Huntingdon Life Sciences, the Cambridge project that was abandoned as a result of protests]. Let it begin.” The companies targeted have denied any links to the University. Thames Valley Police are currently investigating the incidents of vandalism. Robin Webb, a spokesperson for animal rights activists from the Animal Liberation Press Office, said, “Any group or organisation associated with the University is a legitimate target. It is up to these people to withdraw their support.” He praised the website for publishing the comments. He said, “Bite Back is an American website: in America, they genuinely have freedom of speech.” A spokesperson for Oxford University said that the University remains firmly committed to the completion of the animal research laboratory. “It has long been clear that certain individuals opposed to potentially life-saving research using animals are willing to use illegal intimidation, harassment and threats as part of their campaign. It is totally unacceptable that companies and individuals engaged in entirely lawful activities are being threatened in this way,” she said. Last month Mel Broughton, one of the co-founders of Speak, was charged with conspiracy to blackmail, possessing an explosive substance and having an article with intent to damage. He appeared before Oxford Crown Court on December 21 for a preliminary hearing, and is currently in custody awaiting his trial on March 7.last_img read more

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