Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Sunday, May 31, 1998 Published at 23:23 GMT 00:23 UK


Protesters held at cat farm demo

Protesters say the cats are bred for cruel experiments

More than 30 animal rights protesters were arrested at a demonstration calling for the closure of a farm used to breed cats for experiments.

The anti-vivisectionists were detained as hundreds of campaigners arrived for the protest at Hill Grove Farm, Witney, Oxfordshire.

BBC correspondent Simon Jenkins: clampdown is a sign of weariness with campaign (23")
The farm has been the focus of a series of demonstrations over the past year.

Police, who set up road blocks on routes leading to the farm, detained 33 demonstrators as they tried to reach their target. In a demonstration at the farm six weeks ago 24 people were arrested in connection with clashes between police and protesters.

Obstructing police

Among the remaining campaigners arrested, two were held on suspicion of being equipped to steal and three were detained for possession of cannabis.

In an otherwise peaceful protest, two demonstrators were arrested for public order offences and one man was detained for obstructing police. Another protester was arrested on suspicion of theft.

Police put the attendance at 375, while campaigners insisted a figure of 1,000 was more realistic.

Organiser Greg Jennings, of Save the Hill Grove Cats campaign, said: "Animals are being produced here for cruel and unnecessary experiments. We will be coming back until we have seen Hill Grove Farm closed."

Protesters 'behave like mob'

The farm was set up 30 years ago to breed cats for medical research. About 1,000 kittens and their mothers are kept in germ-free conditions before being sold to laboratories.

Owner Christopher Brown declared: "These people want to stop animal experiments yet they behave like a mob.

"They should make reasoned arguments rather than organise demonstrations at huge public cost. Our animals are kept in A1 condition - the protesters have no reason to be here."

A police cordon and reinforced fencing held back the demonstrators from the farmhouse where Mr Brown and his family were sheltering, while a police helicopter hovered overhead.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Internet Links

Fund For The Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments

RDS - Understanding Animal Research in Medicine

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online