HC Deb 17 October 1991 vol 196 cc179-80W
Mr. John D. Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the locations of attacks by the Animal Liberation Front in 1991 to date; what was the form of each attack; how many people have been charged for each incident; if he will consider making the Animal Liberation Front an unlawful organisation; and if he will make a statement.

Dr. Mawhinney

I have been informed by the RUC that the following significant incidents which may be attributable to animal rights extremists have been carried out in Northern Ireland this year:

Location and form of attack

Clandeboye Damage to 3 marquees and a number of fences on a point-to-point course.

Ballymena Attempted arson at poultry house and daubing of slogans.

Newtownards Fire damage to a butcher's shop.

Kircubbin Damage to poultry houses and daubing of slogans.

Belfast Fire bomb device dealt with by Army at Gun and Tackle shop.

Belfast Bomb hoax device received by newspaper reporter.

Portaferry Caravan destroyed by fire at fishing farm. Slogans daubed.

Eglish Caravan belonging to Hare coursing club destroyed by fire. Fire damaged parked vehicles. Slogans daubed, damage to coursing track.

Claudy Fire damage to farm property.

Craigantlet Petrol bomb device found under car.

In addition, there have been a number of other incidents resulting in damage to commercial premises, principally in the Belfast and Bangor area. The damage resulted in broken windows, slogans being daubed on walls, doors and windows and the glueing of locks.

To date no persons have been charged with any of these offences and it is therefore not possible to say definitely which of the incidents listed was the work of the Animal Liberation Front.

The only powers available to me to proscribe any organisation are those granted under the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1991. Their use would not be appropriate in this case. I am in any event satisfied that the ordinary criminal law is adequate to deal with the unlawful activities in which some members of the Animal Liberation Front are engaged and which I utterly condemn.