Southern Animal Rights Coalition

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Protest at Wickham Laboratories, September 2007[1]

The Southern Animal Rights Coalition (SARC) is an umbrella organisation for groups campaigning against animal abuse in southern England.[2] SARC campaign on a variety of issues, one being focusing on pets. They also campaign against animal testing, furs, wild boar farms and more recently foie gras and greyhound racing. The group campaigns, investigates and exposes animal cruelty whilst promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle.

The coalition supports animal rights groups in the south of England, including those in the following counties; Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, West Sussex and Wiltshire [3] as well as working with other regional networks.[2]

Campaign history[edit]

Wickham Laboratories[edit]

Keith Mann and another unknown trusted colleague, as a cell of the Animal Liberation Front, raided Wickham Laboratories in Fareham, Hampshire, and removed 695 mice on December 13, 2003.[4]

Keith Mann and a trusted colleague, who to this day is still unknown,[4] in 2003 raided the research laboratory and removed 695 mice that were being used to test Dysport. He was then arrested by detectives at his home and the mice were returned to the laboratory.[5] He argued that the tests were illegal because the product was being tested for cosmetic purposes, Botox which is banned in Britain.[6] A court rejected his claims, and found that the tests were in compliance with UK regulations because Dysport is used for therapeutic purposes to prevent muscle spasms.[7] According to SARC, they received the paperwork which revealed that cosmetic Botox was still being tested on animals and began working for a total ban on cosmetic tests, and for all Botulinum toxin to be tested using non-animal alternatives. [6]

Stop Wickham Animal Testing (SWAT) was launched by campaigners and is supported by SARC and its members.[8][9]

Lobster Liberation Front[edit]

The website was sent messages in July 2004 by a group calling itself the Lobster Liberation Front (LLF) to claim responsibility for a campaign of vandalism aimed at a lobster fisherman in Dorset. The group later spread to Wales,[10] Scotland,[11] Italy, Spain, and Turkey.[12][13][14] The groups methods include liberating lobsters and sabotaging lobster pots or fishing boats.[15] The website was again used by the LLF in April 2005 to claim responsibility for further attacks on a fishermen's nets in Dorset.[16]

Boar[edit]

SARC also uncovered a European Union directive that said Wild Boar in the UK should be released back into the wild, while the British government was considering a cull.[17]

Pet shops[edit]

The groups interest in pets started with supporting the Animal Protection Agency’s campaign against pet fairs.[18] A campaign coordinated against Furry Friends pet shop followed, which called on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to prosecute the owner of the shop for animal cruelty.[19] The evidence was based on a raid by animal rights activists during which 300 birds, over 40 rabbits, around 50 rats, and an unknown number of guinea-pigs from a breeding centre that supplies the shop were removed. A spokesperson from the RSPCA said that the animals seemed in good shape, but some of the cages were too small. Philip Porter, who sold the animals, defended the conditions, showing concern for the baby rabbits left behind and the stress caused to his dog by the smashed window.[20] By December 2006, Furry Friends had announced that they would no longer sell animals.[21][citation needed]

Save The Goats[edit]

The ALF removed nine goats from QinetiQ's Alverstoke laboratory, an ex-MOD base, in July 2006.[1]

In October 2007, SARC said that they had forced the Ministry of Defence to consider stopping the diving research on live goats by the defence research organisation QinetiQ at their Alverstoke Laboratory in Gosport. According to the group, the animals were tested in hyperbaric chambers, in order to simulate under water pressure, to attempt to research the symptoms and possible cures of decompression sickness and to study deep-sea rescue.

The tests were suspended in March with a committee of experts looking into alternative research models, such as computer-modelling and safe human trials, in an attempt to simulate the effects of decompression sickness, or the bends, caused by ascending too quickly.[22]

It was then announced in February 2008 that the Ministry of Defence had scrapped the experiments with goats, claiming that they were essential although they had now collected all the information necessary.[23]

Foie Gras[edit]

In January 2007 the campaign "Delicacy of Despair" against foie gras was launched, targeting restaurants which serve duck liver that the group claim is enlarged as a result of force feeding.[24][25] Since the campaign began, there have been restaurants that have stopped selling the dish in Hampshire, Somerset and Sussex.[26] The first restaurant owner the activists targeted with protests, Bistro Montparnasse in Southsea, said that he felt victimised and singled out because other places at the time were selling the delicacy.[27]

Portsmouth Greyhound Track[edit]

The campaign to close the Portsmouth Greyhound Track began later in June 2007 after the track was initially painted in January with animal rights slogans, an action claimed by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).[28][29] Since, the track has seen regular demonstrations, has been vandalized twice more and is apparently for sale after more damage was done to equipment at the track later on in the year.[30][31][32][citation needed]

Other[edit]

Activists have campaigned against fur retailers in the south for many years with some shops going fur-free in Portsmouth and Winchester in Hampshire and Christchurch in Dorset as a result.[33][34][35][36][citation needed]

Chapters[edit]

SARC chapters work directly with the coalition and their campaigns and/or have an alliance with the coalition. Since 2007, there have been chapters established which continue to campaign in; Brighton,[37] Guilford[disambiguation needed],[38] Portsmouth,[39] and Southampton.[38]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Campaigns[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wickham National Demo 2007, published by Stop Wickham Animal Testing.
  2. ^ a b "About SARC". Southern Animal Rights Coalition. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  3. ^ Local Groups, Southern Animal Rights Coalition.
  4. ^ a b Mann, Keith. From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement. Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 625.
  5. ^ Mann, Keith. From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement. Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 630.
  6. ^ a b Botox Horror, Southern Animal Rights Coalition.
  7. ^ Animal protester jailed after court threat, Portsmouth Today, 30 April 2005.
  8. ^ SWAT :: Stop Wickham Animal Testing
  9. ^ About Us, Stop Wickham Animal Testing.
  10. ^ Lobster pot sabotage inquiry, BBC News, 24 June 2004.
  11. ^ Lobster liberation claims probed, BBC News, 30 March 2006.
  12. ^ BITE BACK Magazine
  13. ^ Lobster liberated in Italy, Bite Back, 1 September 2005.
  14. ^ Lobster Liberation, Southern Animal Rights Coalition.
  15. ^ "Activists' 'war' to save lobsters". BBC News. 2004-07-30. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  16. ^ "Lobster 'front' targets fisherman". BBC News. 2005-04-19. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  17. ^ "Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora". eurlex. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  18. ^ Newman, Chris. "Animal Rights & the Future of the Pet Industry". Reptile & Exotic Pet Trade association. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  19. ^ Prosecute Porter: Take Action, Southern Animal Rights Coalition.
  20. ^ Animal extremists raided pet shop to free birds and rats, The Times, 14 July 2006.
  21. ^ Prosecute Porter: Victory, Southern Animal Rights Coalition, 5 January 2007.
  22. ^ Military goat tests to be stopped, Portsmouth News, 15 October 2007.
  23. ^ Goat experiments scrapped, Southern Daily Echo, 7 February 2008.
  24. ^ Portsmouth Foie Gras Protest, Southern Animal Rights Coalition, 10 January 2007.
  25. ^ Foie Gras - Delicacy of Despair, Southern Animal Rights Coalition.
  26. ^ Sarc :: Foie Gras
  27. ^ Foie gras demo held outside restaurant, Portsmouth News, 12 January 2007.
  28. ^ Portsmouth Greyhound Track Campaign Launched, Southern Animal Rights Coalition, 5 June 2007.
  29. ^ Greyhound Track Daubed in Paint, Bite Back, 3 January 2007.
  30. ^ ALF Makeover for Greyhound Track, Bite Back, 3 March 2007.
  31. ^ Portsmouth Greyhound Track Visited for Third Time, Indymedia UK, 20 November 2007.
  32. ^ Close Portsmouth Greyhound Track, Southern Animal Rights Coalition.
  33. ^ High Street Heroes: Portsmouth, Fur Free South.
  34. ^ High Street Heroes: Winchester, Fur Free South.
  35. ^ Fur Free South, Southern Animal Rights Coalition.
  36. ^ High Street Heroes: Christchurch, Fur Free South.
  37. ^ Local Groups: West Sussex, Southern Animal Rights Coalition.
  38. ^ a b Issue 9, Pg16, SARCnews, 2007.
  39. ^ Local Groups: Hampshire, Southern Animal Rights Coalition.