Government gets tough on 'animal extremists' reign of terror'

The police are to be given new powers to "put a stop to the animal extremists' reign of terror", according to Home Office Minister Caroline Flint.

The tougher stance is designed to deal with animal rights activists who "protest outside people's homes and harass companies", the government announced today.

Detailed proposals have been published today in a joint paper from the Home Office and Department of Trade and Industry - 'Animal Welfare: Human Rights - Protecting people from animal rights extremists'.

The changes will give the police powers to arrest individuals protesting outside someone's home and ban protestors from the vicinity of a person's home for three months. It will also strengthen the harassment laws to deal with campaigns of harassment aimed at employees.

The new proposals are designed to protect the scientific community, the government said.

Animal rights extremists do not have the right to harass and physically attack those involved in lawful business and research, Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt said.

"I am proud of the advances in medical research that have been brought about by the work of UK scientists and businesses who make a huge contribution to our economy and prosperity," she said.

"Our lifespan would be shorter, our health worse and our environment and country poorer without these people who carry it out."


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