Clampdown on animal rights law breakers announced

Tough
new measures to help the police and the courts deal with animal rights
activists who break the law have been announced by trade and industry secretary
Patricia Hewitt and Home Office minister Caroline Flint.

The
proposals will make it easier and quicker to tackle the illegal activists who
harass, threaten or physically attack those involved in vital, life-saving
scientific research. The plans will significantly strengthen police powers to
tackle protests outside private homes and help stop the harassment of
companies.

The
proposals are set in out a joint Home Office/DTI paper published today, Animal
Welfare: Human Rights – Protecting people from animal rights extremists.

"Animal
rights extremists do not have the right to harass and physically attack those
involved in lawful business and research," said Hewitt. The Government is
committed to protecting those who work in the bioscience sector, whether
directly or in the supply chain."

The
changes will:


give the police powers to arrest individuals protesting outside someone’s home


give the police powers to ban protestors from the vicinity of a person’s home
for three months


strengthen the harassment laws to deal with campaigns of harassment aimed at a
groups of people working for the same company.

By Michael Millar

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