Animal Rights Extremism in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Sunday Star Times recently reported on the extent of acts of extremism committed by animal rights activists in that country against scientists and farmers.

It’s a bit difficult to tell how pervasive acts of animal rights terrorism are in New Zealand as opposed to say Great Britain or the United States, but certainly New Zealand extremists seem to be keeping up with their peers in other parts of the world according to the Star Times,

Bomb threats have also been made by the groups, as has the delivery of a razor blade doused in “HIV” blood to a scientist.

The tactics have led to the hiring of security specialists and even bodyguards by universities that use animals for research, research institutes, and poultry and egg producers Tegel and Inghams.

The Star Times quotes an unnamed activist who the newspaper claims is involved with a group that illegally raided a poultry farm. The activist tells the paper that such acts are justified to end animal agriculture,

What they [farmers] are going through is nothing in comparison to what hundreds of thousands of chickens on their farm go through every year.

People who profit from farm animals don’t have any right to live their life in comfort.

As in other parts of the world, animal rights groups that don’t openly participate in such illegal acts nonetheless express sympathy and/or condone such acts anyway. Phil Clayton of the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society told the paper that although his group doesn’t participate in or encourage bombings or threats against researchers,

If they are done to a deserving target, and are an effective way of making a point, I can understand the motives behind the way they are done.

According to the Star Times, “He [Clayton] said his organization would use the result of illegal actions to its advantage . . .”

Finally, Bruce Scott of poultry firm Tegel provided an excellent answer to the Star Times’ question about whether or not his firm and others should engage in public dialogues with animal rights groups. His response,

You’re dealing with an amorphous group of people who have no aim in life other than to attack anybody profiting from animals. Their cause is — don’t eat meat, don’t eat cheese, don’t eat fish. It’s a totally pointless discussion.


Animal rights activists step up terror campaign. Sunday Star Times (New Zealand), May 2, 2004.

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