THE NEDERLANDS GOVERNMENT IS AGAINST ANIMAL DEFENDERS.

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THE NEDERLANDS GOVERNMENT IS AGAINST ANIMAL DEFENDERS.

Sebastian Gottlieb

12/22/2008

Members of the animal defender organizations must be confronted with more sever methods. This is what Guusje ter Horst, Minister of Home Affairs says and she proposes the creation of a special team that will investigate pro-animal activists.

 

One of the cars which were set on fire in Wassenaar is under investigation. Photo: ANP


These measures were implemented due to an attack in Wassenaar (a residential neighborhood in La Haya) last week where two cars were set on fire. The owner of the cars is the manager of Euronext , Amsterdam Stock Market,  where many animal testing firms trade securities.

 Unacceptable intimidation

 Minister Ter Horst considers that animal rights defender activists have gone far beyond the limits. She says that to set cars on fire does not have any relationship with what they defend. Ter Horst proposes a similar method to the one implemented in the United Kingdom where animal defender activists are considered terrorists and treated as such.

 “What is happening is very dangerous”, Ter Horst says. “It’s an unacceptable way of intimidating people that simply do their job. It’s necessary to confront it strongly and we’ll do it that way”.

 Government attitude

 As a matter of fact, the coordinated system of acting against animal protector activists in the United Kingdom has produced good results lately. Consequently, this country currently possesses the strictest legislation in such matter in the world. However, the special way the British government treaties this situation is what makes it effective, says correspondent Lia Van Bekhoven.

 The journalist explains that it is true that there are new laws but, in her opinion, it is not only to introduce new legislation or regulations, it is also the government’s attitude that has always made clear that it firmly supports laboratories that experiment with animals. Bekhoven says the government itself covers these centers’ security costs, for example, and what made things change was to face the problem.

 The legislation of the United Kingdom strictly prohibits the animal defender activists to manifest near the centers or the laboratories that experiment with animals; this is an example of how strict their legislation has turned.  According to the correspondent, intimidations to employees working in these centers have also diminished.

This problem was getting so bad that even taxi drivers that drove employees to the laboratories were also threatened.

 SHAC

In Holland, the police and the Dutch Intelligence Service, AIVD work cooperatively and effectively. The special team will focus on the Dutch branch of the activist group SHAC. This organization, named Respect to Animals in The Nederlands, split in two groups last year. One of them, the Coalition against Animal Testing, is devoted to act against animal testing laboratories. The other takes actions against fur trade.

 Animal defender organizations activists in the Netherlands strongly object to Minister Ter Horst plans. SHAC activist Mark Becker’s opinion is that the new measures will make impossible to manifest openly and fears that the new legislation will oblige activists to act secretly.

“In England, for example, to distribute brochures or to hold banners near a company is enough to be arrested”, Becker says. “What happens then, is that they search other forms of acting where the opportunities of being arrested are less”.

 Controversial laboratory reopens

 Anyway, the new legislation passed in Britain has obtained results: recently, a controversial laboratory of Oxford University has reopened after being threatened and intimidated for a long time by animal defender activists. Soon, many animals will be taken to this investigation centre to be used in every type of medicine testing.

Copyright Nederland Radio Wereldomroep

 

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