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Southern Animal Rights Coalition

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Title: Southern Animal Rights Coalition  
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Subject: Goldfinger (band), List of animal rights groups, Antimaniax, Keith Mann, Lobster Liberation Front, Bite Back, Animal Liberation Leagues, Timeline of Animal Liberation Front actions, 2005–present
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Southern Animal Rights Coalition

The Southern Animal Rights Coalition (SARC) is an umbrella organisation for groups campaigning against animal abuse in southern England.[2] SARC campaign on a variety of issues, one being focusing on pets. They also campaign against animal testing, furs, wild boar farms and more recently foie gras and greyhound racing. The group campaigns, investigates and exposes animal cruelty whilst promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle.

The coalition supports animal rights groups in the south of England, including those in the following counties; Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, West Sussex and Wiltshire [3] as well as working with other regional networks.[2]

Campaign history

Wickham Laboratories

Keith Mann and a trusted colleague, who to this day is still unknown,[4] in 2003 raided the research laboratory and removed 695 mice that were being used to test Dysport. He was then arrested by detectives at his home and the mice were returned to the laboratory.[5] He argued that the tests were illegal because the product was being tested for cosmetic purposes, Botox which is banned in Britain.[6] A court rejected his claims, and found that the tests were in compliance with UK regulations because Dysport is used for therapeutic purposes to prevent muscle spasms.[7] According to SARC, they received the paperwork which revealed that cosmetic Botox was still being tested on animals and began working for a total ban on cosmetic tests, and for all Botulinum toxin to be tested using non-animal alternatives. [6]

Stop Wickham Animal Testing (SWAT) was launched by campaigners and is supported by SARC and its members.[8][9]

Lobster Liberation Front

The website was sent messages in July 2004 by a group calling itself the Lobster Liberation Front (LLF) to claim responsibility for a campaign of vandalism aimed at a lobster fisherman in Dorset. The group later spread to Wales,[10] Scotland,[11] Italy, Spain, and Turkey.[12][13][14] The groups methods include liberating lobsters and sabotaging lobster pots or fishing boats.[15] The website was again used by the LLF in April 2005 to claim responsibility for further attacks on a fishermen's nets in Dorset.[16]


SARC also uncovered a European Union directive that said Wild Boar in the UK should be released back into the wild, while the British government was considering a cull.[17]

Pet shops

The groups interest in pets started with supporting the Animal Protection Agency’s campaign against pet fairs.[18] A campaign coordinated against Furry Friends pet shop followed, which called on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to prosecute the owner of the shop for animal cruelty.[19] The evidence was based on a raid by animal rights activists during which 300 birds, over 40 rabbits, around 50 rats, and an unknown number of guinea-pigs from a breeding centre that supplies the shop were removed. A spokesperson from the RSPCA said that the animals seemed in good shape, but some of the cages were too small. Philip Porter, who sold the animals, defended the conditions, showing concern for the baby rabbits left behind and the stress caused to his dog by the smashed window.[20] By December 2006, Furry Friends had announced that they would no longer sell animals.[21]

Save The Goats

In October 2007, SARC said that they had forced the Ministry of Defence to consider stopping the diving research on live goats by the defence research organisation QinetiQ at their Alverstoke Laboratory in Gosport. According to the group, the animals were tested in hyperbaric chambers, in order to simulate under water pressure, to attempt to research the symptoms and possible cures of decompression sickness and to study deep-sea rescue.

The tests were suspended in March with a committee of experts looking into alternative research models, such as computer-modelling and safe human trials, in an attempt to simulate the effects of decompression sickness, or the bends, caused by ascending too quickly.[22]

It was then announced in February 2008 that the Ministry of Defence had scrapped the experiments with goats, claiming that they were essential although they had now collected all the information necessary.[23]

Foie Gras

In January 2007 the campaign "Delicacy of Despair" against foie gras was launched, targeting restaurants which serve duck liver that the group claim is enlarged as a result of force feeding.[24][25] Since the campaign began, there have been restaurants that have stopped selling the dish in Hampshire, Somerset and Sussex.[26] The first restaurant owner the activists targeted with protests, Bistro Montparnasse in Southsea, said that he felt victimised and singled out because other places at the time were selling the delicacy.[27]

Portsmouth Greyhound Track

The campaign to close the Portsmouth Greyhound Track began later in June 2007 after the track was initially painted in January with animal rights slogans, an action claimed by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).[28][29] Since, the track has seen regular demonstraitons, has been vandalized twice more and is apparently for sale after more damage was done to equipment at the track later on in the year.[30][31][32]


Activists have campaigned against fur retailers in the south for many years with some shops going fur-free in Portsmouth and Winchester in Hampshire and Christchurch in Dorset as a result.[33][34][35][36]


SARC chapters work directly with the coalition and their campaigns and/or have an alliance with the coalition. Since 2007, there have been chapters established which continue to campaign in; Brighton,[37] Guilford,[38] Portsmouth,[39] and Southampton.[38]

See also

Further reading

External links

  • Southern Animal Rights Coalition (SARC)


  • Stop The Botox Horror
  • Stop Wickham Animal Testing (SWAT)
  • Lobster Liberation
  • The Boar Wars
  • Fur Free South
  • Prosecute Porter Campaign ended December 2006
  • Save The Goats Campaign ended February 2008
  • Foie Gras - Delicacy of Despair
  • Close The Portsmouth Greyhound Track


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