Animal Rights Activists In Jail as of January 2005

The Earth Liberation Prisoner Support Group published a helpful list of animal rights activists currently being held in jail in the United States, Great Britain, Italy and Sweden.

They are,

Great Britain

David Blenkinsop — Blenkinsop is serving a 5-and-a-half year sentence for his role in an animal rights bombing campaign; a four year sentence for his role in the 2001 assault on Huntingdon Life Sciences managing director Brian Cass; and 18 months for stealing 600 guinea pigs from a supplier.

Paul Leboutillier — currently serving 2-and-a-half years for making threatening phone calls to medical researchers, farmers and others.

Barry Dickinson — currently serving a 5 month sentence for using vehicle licensing computers to provide animal rights extremists with home addresses and other details of medical researchers.

Sarah Gisborne — currently being held while awaiting charges of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.


Sergio Maria Stefani – currently being held while awaiting trial on charges of causing criminal damage to stores in Italy and planting an incendiary device outside a butcher’s shop.


Daniel Hedqvist — currently serving a 10 month prison term for damaging the incubator at a chicken hatchery, ending the development of an estimated 55,000 eggs.

United States

Peter Schnell – currently jailed for violating terms of his probation. Schnell was sentenced in 2002 to two years in jail after pleading guilty to possession of explosive devices.

The ELP list does not included convicted animal rights terrorists who have cooperated with the government or testified against other animal rights extremists.


Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network. January 2005.

Animal Rights Activists Attacked By Construction Worker at Cambridge

In September, Pauline Broughton, 70, and another unidentified animal rights activists were injured at a protest against Oxford University after a construction worker allegedly threw a white, burning substance on them.

Broughton and the other activist were taken to a nearby hospital where they were treated and released. The construction worker was arrested and released after posting bail.

Before I go any further — and there is much more to this story — let me re-emphasize my position. Violence is wrong whether committed by animal rights activists or their opponents. Those who advocate, excuse, justify or commit such acts of violence have no place in a responsible movement. As for the construction worker, if this event happened as reported, he should have the book thrown at him.

It’s too bad the Broughton and her son, Mel Broughton, do not share this view that violence is wrong. Mel Broughton is a spokesman for SPEAK and was at the protest where his mother was injured. Broughton told This Is Oxfordshire,

This is not the first time stuff has been thrown at us but it was worrying this time because the white liquid caused a burning sensation and we don’t know what it was. My mother suffered soreness around her eyes and some of this liquid went in her mouth. She is still sore but I think she is going to be okay. This will not put us off and my mum will be back next week to demonstrate. Speak is a peaceful campaign and will continue to be so — we will not retaliate in a violent way.

In fact, Mel Broughton was convicted in 1998 of conspiracy to cause arson. Broughton was arrested along with Anthony Humphries after police discovered incendiary devices in their car. The duo planned to use the devices to bomb a Huntingdon Life Sciences facility. As recently as August, Broughton told The London Telegraph that he did not regret his arrest.

Pauline Broughton is active with the UK’s Vegan Prisoners Support Group which, according to its web site is involved in “supporting vegan animal rights prisoners of conscience.” You know, prisoners of conscience like David Blenkinsop who is serving a five year sentence for an animal rights bombing campaign in Great Britain. Pauline has among other things worked diligently to ensure that Blenkinsop is able to obtain vegan food in prison. Only the best for those who commit acts of violence as long as they agree with the Broughtons.


Protesters suffer burns. This Is Oxfordshire, September 11, 2004.

Vegan Prisoners Support Group Newsletter. September 2003.

Two men remanded on conspiracy charge. Press Association, January 19, 1998.

Animal rights activists plan training camp for militants. Catriona Davis, July 29, 2004.

Save the Guinea Pigs — Assault the Humans

A British group called Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs sent out a release in August announcing plans for a September 6 demonstration to commemorate the 1999 theft from a research facility of 600 guinea pigs by the Animal Liberation Front.

According to the press release (emphasis added),

On September the 6th we will be gathering to remember the 600 guinea pigs rescued by the ALF from those gruesome sheds; we will be remembering the 2,500 guinea pigs that Chris Hall killed with his bare hands after that victorious raid; we will be remembering Dave Blenkinsop and all those in prison for making a difference to the lives of subjugated animals and we will be remembering all the human and non human victims of the accursed vivisection industry.

Blenkinsop, of course, is the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty extremist currently serving more than 10 years in jail for, among other things, assaulting Huntingdon Life Science’s managing director Brian Cass with a pickaxe handle.

According to the Birmingham Post, more than 150 people showed up for this protest. Despite openly celebrating Blenkinsop, a Save the Newchurch Guinea Pig representative who would only give his first name, John, whined that animal rights activists were unfairly portrayed as terrorists,

The word terrorist is bandied around too often. Demonstration and peaceful protest is part of everyday life and we are stigmatized for it. We are being branded for being compassionate. We give our lives to this campaign and some people will go to prison.

In “John’s” world, three people assaulting a man with pickaxe handles is a compassionate act for which activists are unfairly stigmatized.

It’s fitting then, that the other speaker of the event was ALF spokesman Robin Webb. Webb said,

At the very outset of this campaign we liberated 600 guinea pigs, some would say burgled, and placed them in permanent homes.

The ALF activities have also pursued acts of economic sabotage, damaged vehicles associated with the breeding of guinea pigs for vivisection.

I can’t predict what ALF activists will do, I have no prior knowledge of unlawful activities but their actions will continue so long as Darley Oaks Farm continues to breed guinea pigs for vivisection.

Of course, Webb too thinks assaulting people with wooden weapons is also perfectly appropriate. After the attack on Cass, Webb said,

This serves Brian Cass right and is totally justifiable. In fact he has got off lightly. I have no sympathy for him. I do not condemn this act. I condemn what Brian Cass does to animals. In fact, I would say I condone this. What surprises me is that this doesn’t happen more often.

Gee, it’s hard to imagine where the press gets the idea that animal rights activists are terrorists who condone violence.


Perspective: Sinister Face Of Guinea Pig Farm Protest Movement. Sarah Probert, Birmingham Post, September 8, 2003.

The SNGP National: Lichfield 200. Press Release, August 1, 2003.

SNGP NATIONAL MARCH AND DEMO. Press Release, Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs, September 6, 2003.

David Blenkinsop Receives Prison for Animal Rights Bombing Campaign

British animal rights activist David Blenkinsop, 36, was sentenced this week to five-and-a-half years for his role in an animal rights bombing campaign. Blenkinsop is already serving a four-and-a-half year sentence for other a break-in at a guinea pig farm and his role in the assault on Huntingdon Life Sciences managing director Brian Cass.

Blenkinsop admitted that in August 2000 he made incendiary devices and helping Animal Liberation Front activists place the devices under trucks owned by a meat processing plant and cars owned by employees of Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Blenkinsop tried the “change of heart” routine in which his lawyer said he was a fundamentally “decent man” and read a letter from Blenkinsop in which the activist said he had turned his back on animal rights violence (only after being punished with prison for such activities, of course).


Animal rights man jailed for car bombs. Cambridge News, December 13, 2002.

Animal activist bomber jailed. Ananova, December 12, 2002.

Kevin Kjonaas on SHAC-Related Violence

In July the Philadelphia Inquirer ran an extensive story on the harassment that workers at Huntingdon Life Sciences have faced from Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and its supporters. The article included quotes from SHAC’s Kevin Kjonaas highlighting his view of SHAC-inspired violence and revealing an interesting (if typical) hypocrisy.

On the issue of violence, not surprisingly Kjonaas has no problem with it. Kjonaas told the Inquirer,

If a car being blown up in a driveway or animals being liberated from a lab scares them, then I would say that fear pales by comparison to the fear that the animals have every day. The kind of true violence that these animals endure at the hands of people at Huntingdon leaves me with little sympathy.

The Inquirer even reports that Kjonaas “speaks favorably” of British animal rights activist David Blenkinsop. Blenkinsop was one of three activists imprisoned for beating HLS director Brian Cass. Blenkinsop was also charged with a series of arson attacks on cars. The Inquirer quotes Kjonaas as saying,

David is a very passionate person, and what he did was with the best intentions. I don’t feel any sympathy for people in England or America who have had their cars tipped or torched, because those cars were paid for out of blood money.

But perhaps the most revealing part of the story was Kjonaas’ explanation of why he has sometimes uses the name “Kevin Jonas.” According to the Inquirer,

He [Kjonaas] says he uses the alias to spare family members outside Minneapolis from harassing phone calls from people who oppose the tactics and aims of his group.

So the man behind a group that specializes in harassing family members of people even tangentially linked to HLS is a hypocrite who himself tries to shield his family from the ire of his opponents. Of course, you will note that there are no anti-animal rights sites that lists the phone numbers and addresses of Kjonaas or any of his family members next to slogans like “go smash them.” Apparently Kjonaas’ violent ways have also bred a bit of paranoia.


A harsh animal-rights campaign targets N.J. firm, workers. Chris Mondics, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 14, 2002.

SHAC's Favorite Activist Sentenced to Three Years in Jail for Assault

In February of this year, Huntingdon Life Sciences executive Brian Cass was attacked outside his home by three men wielding pickaxe handles. This month one of the attackers involved, animal rights activist David Blenkinsop, plead guilty to the assault and was sentenced to three years in jail for what the judge in the case called a “wicked act.”

Police tracked down Blenkinsop from DNA samples they found on the pickaxe handles. In Great Britain, most people convicted of crimes have DNA samples permanently stored in a nation-wide database. Blenkinsop has a long history of convictions for animal rights-related violence. When police ran the DNA samples through their database, Blenkinsop was flagged as a suspect.

Prior to his sentencing, Blenkinsop’s lawyer, Ian MacDonald, claimed that his client no longer believes violence is acceptable. “He was, and remains, appalled at the suffering of animals at HLS. He deeply regrets his part in this attack and now realizes that peaceful protest is the only way forward.”

It is amazing how so many animal rights terrorists have sudden changes of hearts when trying to angle for lenient sentences from judges.

And lets not leave this story without noting that a little more than a month ago, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty’s Kevin Jonas issued a press release endorsing Blenkinsop as “a brilliant and accomplished animal rights activist.” In a SHAC press release, Jonas said,

The police and animal abuse industries in the UK have wanted to stitch him up for years but have never been able too. While in custody Dave was also charged with the liberation of 600 Guinea Pigs from Newchurch Farm (a major breeder in England) in September of 2000. (Why he is being charged with this now is a mystery to everyone and indicates the police just want to make sure he remains in jail during the wait for his trial.)

Dave did not attack Brian Cass and this will be proven during his trial, in the meantime though the police think they have taken one of the best activists out of commission. We must prove them wrong and show that we only get strong as they attempt to stifle the only voice those animals inside of HLS have. Please send kind letters of support to Dave. Be advised that all of his letters are read by police and prison officials. Also, the police will use anything they can to try to tie Dave to direct action so please send him only updates about and news about legal campaigns.

Hmmm, “Dave did not attack Brian Cass and this will be proven during his trial.” As a psychic and a judge of character, Jonas is almost as pathetic as he is in his attempts to explain away the need for the animal research that HLS conducts.

At least now we have a good benchmark for what qualifies as a “brilliant and accomplished animal rights activist.”


Jail for lab boss attacker. The BBC, August 16, 2001.

Animal activist jailed for attack. Claire Hu, The Times (London), August 17, 2001.

Protest attacker jailed. The Scotsman, August 17, 2001.

Animal rights activist jailed. Harvey Morris, The Financial Times, August 17, 2001.

Activist jailed for attack with pickaxe handle. Chris Gray, The Independent (London), August 17, 2001.

Animal Lib Prisoner. Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, Press Release, June 28, 2001.