Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > France

Greystoke operation on April 1, 1985

Operation Greystoke revisited

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At the begining of April 1985, a group calling themselves 'Operation Greystoke' rescued 17 baboons from a laboratory run by the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) at Gif-sur-Yvette in France. The activists involved were not arrested at the time for fear of retaliation by the ALF, and the 15 surviving baboons were sent to a sanctuary.

One year later, 7 of the activists involved in the raid were arrested and fined a combined total of 55.000, which they agreed to pay only upon guarantee that the sum would be used to fund alternative research methods. Their proposal was rejected at the time and the fine remained unpaid. Activists were harrassed by the government and CNRS.

Now, 20 years after the historical raid on the French lab, the remaining baboons rescued in the raid still live in peace on the sanctuary (baboons have a lifespan of about 35 years). However, the 7 convicted activists are still enduring heavy-handed pressure by CNRS and its allies. An online petition calling for amnesty for the activists and the withdrawl of the fine has been set up and has thus far collected over 1000 international signatures.

To download the petition, visit

To view photos of the raid, go to

17 baboons papio-papio used for experiments on the photosensitive epilepsy in a laboratory of CNRS in Gif-sur-Yvette, France were released by a group of militants baptized Greystoke. One year later, the members of this group were stopped and 7 of them, inter alia, were condemned to pay in a way interdependent a fine of approximately 55 000 euros (360 000 FF). The 7 fellow accused in particular then proposed to pay this amount with the profit of the substitutive methods of research to the animal. This proposal was disallowed and the fines remain overall unpaid to date. If two monkeys died quickly, the others rescued animals live peacefully since on an island in a refuge. Their life expectancy is 35 years.

Today, that is to say 20 years after the facts, CNRS and its ushers continue to badger the militants implied in this action.