I have to disagree with Barry Woodham (SA, January 19) when he states that the only people in prison are thieves and felons.

There is a third category, animal rights activists. They have not transgressed the laws of society but are banged up for their beliefs.

The organisers of the Save The Newchurch Guinea Pigs campaign are serving long sentences, as are a number of the Stop Huntingdon animal cruelty group.

On January 29 two of the main spokespeople for the SPEAK campaign - set up to prevent the building of yet another animal testing laboratory - will be at the High Court and may be imprisoned. Not for any crimes committed but for daring to challenge the flawed arguments for vivisection.

Oxford University has gone to great lengths and expense to stifle peaceful protest and the Home Office and police are doing their best to criminalise anyone who speaks out against animal abuse.

Anyone who dares to stand up for the animals - who cannot speak for themselves - can expect to get a knock on the door from PC Plod. Some democracy we live in.


Upper Stratton