Last week we talked about a vivisection guinea pig breeder that was successfully shut down in Newchurch, UK, and we said we would carry on our ALFRIDAYS looking at other campaigns that targeted vivisection breeders.
This time we don’t bring you a whole campaign history, but a single ALF action. We will talk about Highgate as a historical target in a different article.
In January 2008 ALF volunteers accessed Highgate Farm, a vivisection breeder selling rabbits to laboratories. They had to pull a section of the roof to avoid the alarm system, and at the end of the night, they had managed to liberate 129 rabbits. Once finished with the animals, they targeted a quad, a lawnmower, a van and a sports car and sabotaged them all, causing around £100,000 worth of damage.
The action effectively convinced Geoff Douglas, owner of Highgate, to stop trading. Sadly he was later convinced by the police to resume his business, and in April 2009 it was reported that a £60,000 security system had been installed on the farm to deter animal liberation activists.
To this day, Highgate Farm is still operating in the quiet village of Normanby By Spital, Lincolnshire, and it is claimed to be one of the only standalone, -not connected to a lab or university – vivisection breeders in the UK (although that remains to be proven).
A single activist was arrested, he refused to turn informant and was sent to prison accused of taking part in the raid. You can read his publication about it here:
Although this single action did not shut down that farm and although rabbits are still being bred to be tortured in Highgate, there is something to be said about the diversity of tactics during campaigning and how strong the concept of direct action has been to tackle vivisection.
Direct action against vivisection didn’t just achieve its primary focus of liberating and causing damage to an animal experimentation business but also aided to give a choice to animal abusing scum. Either talk to the above-ground campaigners and turn your business around or face the wrath of the underground movement.
Below is the report that was sent to BiteBack after the ALF action. The video attached to it is the footage obtained by activists inside the farm whilst liberating the rabbits.
“06.01.2008, Highgate Rabbit Farm, Highgate, Normanby-by-Spital, Lincolnshire, UK.
During the midnight hours of 6th January 2008, A.L.F volunteers gained entry to a rabbit breeder who provides animals to suffer and die in the miserable vivisection industry. Customers of this breeder include HLS and several UK Universities.
A ventilation fan was forcibly removed to evade the alarm systems on the doors. Inside rabbits were lined in barren cages breathing in the stench of shit and urea, waiting to be tortured to death in animal testing labs. But tonight, the activists had a more compassionate fate for them. A total of 129 rabbits were loaded in friendship groups into bags and taken immediately to safety. Never will they have to know or experience an experimental facility or university lab. Some of the rabbits were visibly excited when they reached their new lives, playing in the straw and eating carrots happily.
We couldn’t leave without saying a proper good bye! On site we found a quad bike with trailer plus a lawnmower. All tyres were popped, locks glued, expanding foam in the exhaust, and were paintstripped. Next, we found a large white van obviously used as part of the sickening business. We redecorated it with nice new paint work, paintstripper, glued locks, popped tyres, and expanding foam up the exhaust. We also found a rather posh sports car parked outside the house which also had a little makeover just like the van.
2008 – TIME TO SMASH VIVISECTION INTO OBLIVION”