British Animal Liberation Front activist Keith Mann has been refused permission to travel to NZ. He was barred from boarding a plane at Heathrow Airport by NZ officials concerned over his criminal record.
According to today’s Sunday Star Times, Mann was to have come to NZ for a speaking tour and to join protests against the meat industry.
Convicted vandal, Mark Eden, of the Wellington Animal Rights Network said that “It seems the government is going out of its way to stop him getting in, or at least delay him until after the meat conference”
Who is this Mann?
Keith Mann is a British animal-rights campaigner, believed to be a senior Animal Liberation Front activist. He was first jailed in 1992 in connection with an attack on the home of a fox hunter. In 1994, he was sentenced to 14 years in jail for possession of explosive substances, incitement, criminal damage, and escape from custody. This was reduced to 11 years on appeal. The Guardian has described his activities as a “terrorist-style sabotage campaign against the meat industry.”
Mann, who lives in Poole, Dorset, was released on parole, but was jailed again in April 2005 after raiding a research laboratory and removing 695 caged mice, who were being used to test botulinum toxin, which is used in Botox.
In recent years the British ALF has been resorting to arson attacks against people supplying or tenuously linked to target organisations.
Animal rights activists have unleashed a new arson campaign in the run-up to the introduction of a law next month which could see them jailed for five years for economic sabotage.
Extremists are returning to the tactics of several years ago, using firebombs to attack anyone they perceive as having links to Huntingdon Life Sciences, the Cambridgeshire-based research laboratory.
A senior figure within the Animal Liberation Front told the Guardian that activists would not rest until they had shut down HLS. Speaking from prison, Keith Mann, who promotes arson as the best form of attack, said the government’s clampdown on protesters meant “all that is left to them is extremism“.
In a telephone call from Winchester prison, where he is serving six months for contempt of court, Mann said the campaign against HLS was number one for activists.
“We believe when Huntingdon goes the industry will start to crumble.”
But an increasingly indiscriminate campaign has recently hit those who have no links to HLS or animal testing. An incendiary device was placed under a car belonging to a truck driver and his wife in Leicestershire last week. The firebomb, which did not go off, was intended to target a solicitor who worked for the pharmaceutical giant Fisons. The lawyer had moved from the property 18 months earlier.
In another case, the finance director of a small brokers firm, Canaccord Capital, was in hiding yesterday after being firebombed by the ALF at his home in Bracknell, Berkshire.
Michael Kendall, his wife and two young daughters were asleep when the incendiary device exploded under his car, which was in the garage.
The attack on May 26 was claimed by the ALF two days ago on a website posting which read: “A new era has dawned for those who fund the abusers and raise funds for them to murder animals with. You too are on the hit list: you have been warned. If you support or raise funds for any company connected with Huntingdon Life Sciences we will track you down, come for you and destroy your property with fire.”