Readers of AC will know the campaign of intimidation, vandalism and cruelty the Hall family, and the community they live in, have been subjected to over the past several years by AR people who wish to force them to abandon raising guinea pigs for research. Sadly but not unexpectedly, the Halls are doing just that:
Targeted guinea pig farm closes
A farm is to stop breeding guinea pigs for medical research after years of intimidation by animal rights activists.
The family-run Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, has been at the centre of a campaign of abuse.
Owners and staff have received death threats during the six-year onslaught.
The family said they hoped the decision would prompt the return of the body of their relative Gladys Hammond, whose remains were stolen from a churchyard.
The remains were taken from her grave in nearby Yoxall in October.
Mrs Hammond, who was buried in St Peter's churchyard seven years ago, was the mother-in-law of Christopher Hall, part-owner of the farm.
In a statement a close relative of Gladys Hammond, who declined to be named, said there was now no reason why her body could not be returned.
"Gladys was a relative of the Halls by marriage only and had no involvement in guinea pig breeding.
"She was a kind, gentle country lady who loved animals. She was also friendly, generous and loving and always put her family first."
I doubt Mrs. Hammond's remains will be returned. It'd be too much trouble, and it would be risky to do so.
Plus, in the perverted thinking of the extremists, the Halls had it coming, and not returning the remains will serve as an object lesson to others the extremists wish to intimidate into compliance . . .
And her remains are just another dead thing . . .
The Hall family have been subjected to hate mail, malicious phone calls, hoax bombs and arson attacks.
A spokeswoman for the business, David Hall and Partners, confirmed the site was to stop breeding the animals.
In a statement, the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI ) expressed its best wishes to the Hall family and said their decision was "regrettable but understandable".
Director of the ABPI Philip Wright said guinea pigs had been essential in research into respiratory disease resulting in breakthroughs in the development of new medicines.
"The activities of a few animal rights extremists have placed impossible pressure on those going about their legitimate business," he said.
"While animal rights extremists are likely to be only one factor in the final decision, it does underline the need for greater protection of those individuals and companies targeted." [You can read the entire statement here . . . ed.]
David Bird, from Staffordshire Police, told BBC Radio 4 it had been impossible to give complete protection because the campaign had been so widespread.
" We have had some success in dealing with those responsible. What I would say is that this closure is not a victory for anybody," he said.
"This campaign has done absolutely nothing to further the cause of animal rights."
Of course it has! Let's be honest! It's shown that intimidation, vandalism and thuggery can prevail, even against the best efforts of the government and the courage of a brave family and community. It demonstrates that a diffusely organized attack, conducted over several years by fanatics, can succeed when focussed on a small target.
The government did give it their best effort, right?
Rod Harvey supplied fuel to the farm and endured four years of abuse from activists before he was forced to cease trading with the farm.
The 63-year-old businessman said he received threatening letters, including one accusing him of being a paedophile which was then sent to a number of people he knew.
"In December 2003 a brick came through the window of my front door, hitting my foot and cutting my hand," he said.
"In view of what they (the Hall family) and their staff have had to put up with I'm not surprised that they have stopped breeding guinea pigs.
"I just feel so angry that these animal rights activists have won."
It remains to be seen what happens now, but if I were the SHAC/Speak crew, or any other radical group, AR or other, I'd be pretty happy with myself and already back at the drawing board, planning direct actions in the name of my cause.
Thanks to David S and others for the heads up.