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After resisting the violence and intimidation of animal rights extremists for six years, a farm that raises guinea pigs for medical research has closed its doors.

The Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, England, owned by John and Chris Hall, endured firebomb attacks, hate mail, smear campaigns, vandalism and property destruction by animal extremists. The most shocking attack came in 2004 when the remains of Chris’s mother-in-law, Gladys Hammond, were stolen from their grave.

The family hopes that “as a result of this announcement, those responsible for removing Gladys’ body will return her so she can lie once again in her rightful resting place.”

Thanks to Indiana’s hunter harassment law, two anti-hunters could now do jail time for harassing and intimidating bowhunters.

On July 21, a jury found Frederick and Rosanne Shuger of Beverly Shores guilty of two counts of hunter harassment. Frederick was also convicted of intimidation. The couple claimed that Indiana’s hunter harassment law, which is based on a draft model written by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, violated their rights to free speech. The prosecutor successfully argued that the First Amendment does not give them the right to threaten sportsmen and disrupt legal hunting activities.

The Shugers were accused of harassing bowhunters by driving through the community honking their horn and allowing their dog to bark in an admitted effort to disturb the deer. Frederick was accused of further confronting and threatening hunters Jeff Valovich and Jim Meyers.

Valovich told the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance that Frederick had, on at least three earlier occasions, interfered with hunters without formal charges being brought.

The couple faces up to 60 days in jail for each misdemeanor harassment charge and Frederick could be behind bars for up to a year for the intimidation charge. Sentencing will be July 25.

Hunter harassment laws have been enacted in all 50 states and upheld in several court rulings. The jury’s verdict is in line with a 2002 decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court that ruled 5-0 that its hunter harassment law does not infringe upon the right to free speech and assembly.


According to the Munster Times, Frederick Shuger was sentenced by Porter Superior Judge Julia Jent to 15 days of community service, and one year and four months of unsupervised probation. Rosanne was sentenced to five days of community service and four months on probation.

Animal rights extremists claim to have the stolen remains of an 82-year-old woman whose relatives breed animals for research.

In England, a group calling itself the Animal Rights Militia sent chilling letters to media outlets telling that its supporters know where part of Gladys Hammond’s body is buried. Hammond’s body was stolen from its grave in Yoxall in October 2004. The theft is widely believed to have been the work of animal rights activists who oppose her family’s business.

Hammond’s son-in-law, Chris Hall, is part owner of Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch. The farm raises guinea pigs for medical research.

The letters also contain death threats against family members and friends.

According to the BBC, the letter states that a relative or friend of the Hall family will be killed if the farm continues breeding guinea pigs.

“The Halls have a choice. If they take steps now to close they may not have to see one of their family or a friend buried…by us.

“We have disposed of one body, no problem, the next one will be easier.”

Activists who advocate violence and destruction in the name of animal rights directed workshops and information sessions during the Animal Rights 2005 conference on July 7-11 in Los Angeles.

A report from Americans for Medical Progress (AMP), which protects society’s investment in medical research, told how conference attendees heard speakers defend illegal and dangerous actions in the name of animal rights.

According to the report, Kevin Kjonaas, founder of the group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC)-USA claimed that the animal rights movement is “at a crossroads. Some people may die fighting, but it is worth fighting for.”

According to AMP Kjonaas is currently under indictment for several federal domestic terrorism counts. He faces up to 23 years in prison if convicted of every count against him. He told the audience that he was compelled to tone down his language since he is under indictment, saying that, if he is convicted, “it could send a precedent that outlaws animal rights; that animal liberation is illegal.”

Speaker Jerry Vlasak of the Animal Defense League (ADL) and also an Animal Liberation press officer said: “The laws we are accused of breaking…the new laws they (government) are dreaming up everyday, every minute, have always (been) meant to be broken.”

He added that “we cannot let them label us as terrorists, or violent, or (say) that activists are fanatics.” This is the same man who was quoted in a British newspaper last year as saying that assassinating scientists is a legitimate approach to advance animal liberation and the animal rights movement.

Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society also presented during the conference. He urged activists “to break the law before the law breaks you.” Watson is a vigilante accused of sinking ocean vessels to make a political statement on behalf of the animal rights movement.

Groups like the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Friends of Animals opted not to participate in the west coast conference, allegedly to distance themselves and their new-found “mainstream image” from more radical West Coast groups. Friends of Animals held a conference of its own that weekend in New York City. PETA and HSUS are sponsoring the “Taking Action for Animals” training session July 16-18 in Washington, D.C.


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