Threats for animals

first_imgAnimal rights activists have intensified their campaign against University plans to build a new research centre in South Parks Road. OUSU is, meanwhile, debating whether it should offer support to University members or staff who are intimidated or threatened by campaigners. The new centre will offer “a higher quality of accommodation for animals” says the University. Animal rights group SPEAK is angry about the plans, but spokesman Mel Broughton told Cherwell that the group is organising “legal, lawful campaigning” against Oxford’s intentions. The aggressive tone of SPEAK’s website and the group’s reputation, however, is causing concern among University staff who fear the campaigning will escalate into more threatening forms. One ‘Action Report’ on their website comments on a recent demonstration, “Receiving a visit was ******* a head of department at Oxford Uni, again no reply but there was a very noisy calling card left. Rest assured all those living around ******* Road, Oxford now know exactly who you are and the fact they have collaborators in animal torture in their midst.” These threats have forced OUSU to discuss the issue in its Council meeting. A motion, seconded by President Helena Puig Larrauri and due to be debated today noted, “Council believes that whatever members of OUSU believe about the necessity, acceptability and desirability of experimentation on animals, in a democratic state it is wholly unacceptable and morally abhorrent to use terror, violence and intimidation of innocent people as a means of effecting political change.” Association of Medical Research’s Dr Simon Festing said SPEAK’s “claims that they’re legitimate are ridiculous, there is always an escalation to threatening letters and threatening phone calls.” The University reasserted that while “we respect people’s rights to protests lawfully, we will not accept unlawful harassment. The building will go ahead.”ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img

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