Three SHAC UK Animal Rights Extremists Jailed

Three UK animal rights extremists received jail sentences ranging from 15 months to four years their part in an illegal campaign against companies that had business relationships with Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Mark Taylor, 39; wife Suzanne, 35; and Teresa Portwine, 48, were the first to be charged under new UK laws designed to make it easier to crack down on animal rights extremists who skirted the law in their efforts to harass and intimidate animal research firms and nonprofits.

All three plead guilty to conspiracy to interfere with a contractual relationship. Portwine was sentenced to just 15 months, Suzanne Taylor received 2 1/2 years, and Mark Taylor was sentenced to four years in jail.

The judge in the case apparently took into account testimony from witnesses that Taylor had been a ring leader of the group’s activities in handing out the sentence. Taylor participated in numerous protests and drove others to said protests where groups of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty activists wearing masks would storm into the offices of the targeted companies.


3 animal rights extremists
. D’arcy Doran, Associated Press, March 6, 2007.

Animal rights activists are jailed for ‘intimidation’. New Scotsman, March 6, 2007.

Animal rights activist jailed. Press Association, March 6, 2007.

Feds Hold Hearing on Makah Whale Hunt in Seattle

On October 11, the National Marine Fisheries Service held its third public comment session in Seattle, Washington, to hear opinions about the request by the Makah tribe to once again begin harvesting small numbers of whales.

The Makah killed their first whale in 70 years in 1999, but subsequently the Ninth Circuit Court ruled it needed a formal exemption from the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Makah have filed for such an exemption, and the NMFS has held public comment sessions as part of that process.

More than 100 people showed up for the session, most of the opposed to resumption of even small scale whaling. Animal rights activist Carol Janes, for example, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,

I travel a lot for my work, and it means something when I say I’m from Seattle. [People] know about Mount St. Helens and the Mariners. I don’t want that meaning to change to: ‘That’s the place where they kill whales.’

The Humane Society of the United States’ Kitty Block told the Seattle Times,

We are worried about the precedent this would set. This law has saved millions and millions of animal lives.

We don’t want to come across as anti-tribal. And I am not denying their treaty right. But what does this do to our marine-mammal protection? And it is not just conservation; it is a humane issue. There is no humane way to kill a whale.

. . .

We have developed relationships with these animals [through whale watching tours]. It’s like a bait-and-switch: We go out there to see them — I’ve seen footage where people are leaning over and touching them — and now they are leaning over with a harpoon. It breaks a trust relationship.

Makah and Native American activists appealed to their long history of hunting whales, and the treaty they signed with the U.S. government guaranteeing the tribe the right to hunt whales (the tribe voluntarily refrained from hunting whales for decades after commercial whale hunting caused a drastic decline in the number of whales).

David Sones, vice chairman of the Makah Tribal Council, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,

The animal rights groups would rather just see our culture disappear and that’s their right. But we really believe that we will get this waiver.

Bob Anderson, director of the Center for Native American Law at the University of Washington, noted that the current Makah predicament is a largely result of the tribe electing to work with federal officials in the mid-1990s instead of going its own way. Anderson told the Seattle Times

If they had gone out and just gone whaling, that would be allowed. By doing something they didn’t have to do, they triggered this federal action, and that resulted in the 9th Circuit ruling. Now the Makah are bound.

A final decision on the resumption of whaling by the Makah is likely years away, as once the National Marine Fisheries Service makes its decision on whether or not to grant a waiver that decision will be litigated for years regardless of which side the Fisheries Service comes down on.


Hearing shows Makahs, public divided over whaling rights. Claudia Rowe, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 12, 2005.

Makah Tribe seeks federal waiver to let it once again hunt for whale. Lynda Mapes, Seattle Times, October 11, 2005.

Third Makah whaling hearing draws 120 in Seattle. Jim Casey, Peninsula Daily News, October 12, 2005.

Man Becomes First In UK Charged Under Laws Targeting Animal Rights Extremists

In October, Mark Taylor, 38, became the first person charged in the United Kingdom under new laws there designed to crack down on animal rights extremism.

Taylor was charged under a provision of the Serious and Organized Crime and Police Act of 2005 that targets those who interfere with contractual relationships so as to harm an animal research organization — i.e. harassing employees and companies who do business with animal research firms.

Taylor was charged with three such counts of interference with contractual relationships so as to harm an animal research organization, two counts of aggravated trespass, and one count of assault.

He was arrested back on July 16, 2005 after a protest at a company that is a supplier to Huntingdon Life Sciences.


Charge under animal research law. The BBC, October 5, 2005.

Idiot Activists Vandalize Wrong House

As has been mentioned a few times on this site, animal rights activist Janice Angelillo and Nicholas Cooney were arrested in July after being caught prowling around outside a Hoffman-LaRoche facility at 4 a.m. They both had white paint on their clothes and hands — the same color paint used earlier in the morning to vandalize another site with anti-Hoffman-LaRoche slogans.

The two were also charged with spray painting the home and car of a New Jersey man with “scum,” “puppy killers” and “blood money.” Apparently Angelillo and Cooney believed that the man who owns the car and home was an executive at Huntingdon Life Sciences.

It turns out, however, that the man is simply a real estate agent who has a name very similar to an executive who works at HLS.

This is why activists regularly brag about their high levels of compassion rather than high levels of intelligence.


Police: Animal Activists Target Wrong Man.

Huntingdon Wins Limited Discovery Access to SHAC Financial Records, Supporters List

In April, a British court rejected Huntingdon Life Sciences’ request for access to Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty’s address list of 10,000 supporters, but was granted HLS access to SHAC’s financial records and a list and addresses of all supporters who are activists with criminal records.

The ruling comes as part of the discovery process in HLS’s lawsuit against SHAC which looks to be on track to start sometime later this year.

HLS lawyers argued they needed access to the list to prove that SHAC includes among its supporters animal rights activists with criminal records, but a judge denied that request. Of course its a bit odd, but typically hypocritical, for a group like SHAC that regularly publishes the addresses of people only tangentially related to HLS to clam up over its own members.

According to the Telegraph, at one point SHAC’s lawyers actually tried to maintain that SHAC is not actually a group at all and thus not subject to discovery, but in the end conceded that it was an unincorporated association.

According to SHAC’s lawyer, Tim Lawson-Cruttenden, the organization receives about 150,000 pounds a year in donations.


Huntingdon refused access to information on activists. Rosie Murray-West, Telegraph (UK), April 21, 2005.

How Close Is HLS To Closing? Its Actually Expanding Its Facilities

I know, I know . . . the animal rights activists say they have Huntingdon Life Sciences on the run and they’re bound to drive the company out of business any day now. Apparently this is a message that HLS executives aren’t hearing, because the company announced plans in April to build a new research facility in East Millstone, New Jersey.

According to HLS, the facility will double the company’s testing capacity and will focus on testing of inhaled pharmaceutical. HLS believes there is currently a severe shortage in testing facilities for inhaled pharmaceuticals.

Mike Caulfield, the general manager of HLS’ Princeton Research Center, said,

Since we completed construction of the first phase of our inhalation facility expansion last year, we have filled this capacity and are booking studies into time slots much further into the future than any of our other product lines.

I guess someone forget to tell Caulfield that the activists have his company on the verge of failure.


Huntingdon expands US facility. LabTechnologist.Com, April 6, 2005.