Animal rights group claims responsibility for arson attack at Highgate Farm
A MILITANT animal rights group has claimed responsibility for an arson attack at a rabbit farm in Lincolnshire.
It is understood that police are looking closely at the chilling claim after a white Mercedes Sprinter van was set on fire at the premises in Normanby-by-Spital, near Market Rasen.
Firefighters attended the blaze in yard at Highgate Farm at about 2.20am on Monday.
The farm, which supplies rabbits to Huntingdon Life Sciences' Cambridgeshire lab, has been the targeted by animal rights extremists twice before.
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Now it appears a group called Militant Forces Against Huntingdon Life Sciences (MFAH) says the attack was its handiwork.
According to the website of the Austrian Times, the Austrian branch of MFAH last year admitted torching a Tyrolean hunting lodge, the owner of which has connections with Huntingdon Life Sciences.
Bite Back magazine, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA, which publishes news of animal rights direct action, say it has received an anonymous claim of responsibility for the incident at Highgate Farm, apparently from MFAH.
"In the early hours of Monday, July 19, Highgate Farm in Lincolnshire, UK, was visited and information was gathered to be used in the future against this lab animal breeder," the disturbing and offensive statement, which appears on the magazine's website, says.
"But before leaving we wanted to make sure that Geoffrey Douglas, the owner of the farm, was left under no illusion to what we think, and to remind him that we're not bothered by his noisy alarm system or his security lights – thanks, it helped us see where your delivery vans were.
"We lit up the night sky in our own way as flames engulfed the vehicles.
"You are quite isolated on Highgate Lane and we're sure to return and leave more messages until you do the right thing and pull out once and for all.
"This is just a little warning. If we have to come back again the next time we will not be so nice. You only have one choice, make it soon. For the animals we will fight. MFAH."
Mr Douglas stressed he ran a legitimate business, the activity of which is regulated by the Home Office.
"Most of our animals go for the development of vaccines for animals and people," he said.
"This includes the development of flu vaccines around the world. We consider we do a very important job for the NHS. As far as we are concerned, we are helping to save tens of thousands of lives."
Anyone with any information on the arson, should call police on 0300 111 0300.