Greg Avery is a British animal rights activist. He is chiefly known as a founding member of several influential animal rights campaigns – focusing on opposition to the animal testing industry. His latest involvement is with Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), an international campaign to force the closure of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), an animal-testing company based in the UK and US.
Avery and Heather Nicholson started SHAC in November 1999 after video footage shot covertly inside HLS by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was aired on British television. Footage shot in the UK showed HLS staff shouting at, shaking, punching, and laughing at the animals. Footage shot later in the US appears to show a live monkey being dissected.
Until their 2008 arrests, the "senior members" of SHAC Nicholson and the Averys published reports on the SHAC website and by mail, and provided press information and interviews. The website and mailing list serve as a platform for supporters. The senior members would meet every three months to discuss their campaign, compile reports and receive updates from colleagues in the United States and Europe.
The Guardian writes that the group "targeted thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies in attacks designed to shut down HLS"
Arrests and convictions
In 2002, Avery, Heather Nicholson, and Natasha Dellemagne were jailed for 12 months, six suspended, for conspiracy to incite a public nuisance.
On 1 May 2007, after a series of raids involving 700 police officers in England, Amsterdam, and Belgium, 32 people linked to SHAC were arrested, including Avery and Dellemagne, who were charged with conspiracy to blackmail in connection with the SHAC campaign.
On 21 January 2009 Justice Butterfield ordered Avery to serve nine years imprisonment. He was also served with an indefinite ASBO, restricting his future contact with companies targeted in the campaign.
- Boggan, Steve. Money talks The Guardian, 1 June 2006.
- Doward, Jamie and Townsend, Mark. "Beauty and The Beasts", The Observer, 1 August 2004.
- Inside HLS video Archived 3 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine
- Live monkey video Archived 31 October 2005 at the Wayback Machine
- "Police bugged animal rights group", BBC News, 7 October 2008
- Laville, Sandra. "Animal rights extremists still targeting lab", The Guardian, 24 December 2008
- "Animal rights extremism – police arrest 32 people" Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit press release, 1 May 2007.
- "Operation Achilles – twelfth person charged" Archived 24 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit.
- "Animal rights activists involved in bid to shut lab among 30 arrested in raids", 2 May 2007.
- Yeoman, Fran. Jail for animal rights extremists who waged six-year blackmail campaign, The Times, 21 January 2009.
- Bowcott, Owen. Court jails Huntingdon animal test lab blackmailers, The Guardian, 21 January 2009.