Oxford University Obtains Permanent Injunction Against Animal Rights Extremists

This month the UK’s High Court granted Oxford University a permanent injunction against a number of animal rights gruops and individuals that will limit how those gruops and individuals can protest against an Oxford animal laboratory.

The decision creates a 50-yard zone in which activists and groups named in the decision may not enter, except during once-a-week demonsrations. The injunction also forbids the activists and groups from protesting or loitering within 50 yards of the premises of contractors and within 100 yards of the homes of university faculty, staff, contractors, or the shareholders of the contracts or their families.

The injunction also prohibits those named in it from publishing the personal details of any of those protected individuals.

In issuing the injunction, Justice Grigson said that the injunction did not limit anyone’s ability to express his or her views, but

What it does restrict is to whom and where he expresses those views. A similar consideration applies in respect of his right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association. A right to freedom of peaceful assembly does not entitle a citizen, by means of a mass protest, to stop the lawful activities of others.

BioMed Central quoted Roger Morris of King’s College as commending the ruling saying,

For too long resaerch that will make a real impact upon our traetmetn of such diseases has been disrupted by a few urban terrorists. It is now clear that the govenrment and the courts are standing up for human rights as well as animal rights.

Cherwell Online reported on one activist’s take on the decision,

Robert Cogswell of SPEAK, which is also included in the injunction, said that the University was attempting to “restrict legal protest becuase they don’t want to have its lies highlighted by the SPEAK campaign” and trying to smear his gruop by associating it with extremists.

He also pointed out that those undertaking criminal action were unlikely to be deterred by the additional barrier of a legal injunction.

Groups covered by the injunction include Supporting and Promoting Ethics for the Animal Kingdom, the Animal Liberation Front, and Oxford Animal Rights Group.


Animal activists banned for good. Cherwell Online, November 12, 2004.

Animal rights injunction. BioMedCentral.Com, November 10, 2004.

Animal Rights Activist Ends Hunger Strike After Two Days

The UK’s Press Association reports that 85-year-old animal rights activist Joan Court ended a two-day hunger strike on July 16. Court slept and fasted outside the site of a planned new animal research facility at the University of Oxford.

According to the Press Association, this is Court’s third hunger strike. The Press Association quoted Court as saying,

I agreed to do only two days [of the hunger strike] because I thought it would be difficult but I could easily have done double.

Double? Come on folks, how are you ever going to live up to the example set by Barry Horne. After Horne’s antics, I’m just not going to be impressed by hunger strikes of less than a month (and is that really too long to go without food when it’s for the animals? I didn’t think so).

Of course this is not to say that Court and others should not seriously consider what an Oxford spokeswoman told the Press Association,

While the University of Oxford respects the right of individuals to express their views peacefully, we are concerned that any individuals to express their views peacefully, we are concerned that any individual might be putting their own health at risk in order to protest about the construction of a new building or lawful research which could help save lives in the future.

But, if other activists are tired of being bullied by Oxford’s rhetorical tricks it is still a free country — by all means keep on fasting.


Veteran animal rights campaigner ends hunger strike. John Bingham, Press Association News, July 16, 2004.