arson attack led to 'agonising' death for rabbits in van
rabbits burned to death during an arson attack on a Lincolnshire farm for
which animal rights activists claimed responsibility, it has been revealed.
As reported in the Echo, Highgate Farm in Normanby-by-Spital, near Market
Rasen, was targeted by arsonists at about 2.20am on Monday, July 19. A
white Mercedes Sprinter van was destroyed.
now emerged in the back of the van were eight rabbits waiting for collection.
They all died.
rights group Militant Forces Against Huntingdon Life Sciences has claimed
responsibility for the arson.
men – one from London and one from Driffield – were yesterday
arrested on suspicion of arson and blackmail. At the time of going to press,
no charges had been brought.
owner Geoff Douglas said whoever set the van on fire neglected to first
check inside. "No thought was given to what might have been in the
van – it could even have been a driver having a sleep before going
on his journey," said Mr Douglas, 64.
the police took the vehicle for examination, I was asked to remove the dead
rabbits and it was one of the most upsetting things I have ever had to do.
poor rabbits, eight of them, while subjected to heat and toxic fumes, would
have had hot, melting plastic dropping on their backs, leading to an agonising
and terrifying death.
animal should ever have to suffer like this.
say if these activists can prove to me any of my rabbits in this day and
age go through any suffering while developing medicines and vaccines for
people, I will stop supplying that customer."
is a legal requirement all medicines and vaccines are tested on animals
before being tested on humans.
then can they be used by the NHS."
in the Echo, Bite Back magazine, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA,
which publishes news of animal rights direct action, received an anonymous
claim of responsibility for the incident, apparently from the group. Highgate
Farm is licensed by the Home Office to breed rabbits, which are sent to
labs for use in the development of veterinary drugs and human flu vaccines.
also carry out spot checks to make sure the rabbits are healthy and happy.