[Radio Netherlands]

A stone through a windscreen, a car splattered with paint, the wall of a building covered in slogans, animal rights activists seem more and more frequently to be using a tough, intimidating way of highlighting their demands, and this has thrown the spotlight on them, particularly so as far as the Dutch parliament and police and judicial authorities are concerned. The current minister of justice would even like to see legislative changes made so that hardline animal rights campaigning can be dealt with more effectively.

At the end of June this year, a new report on animal rights campaigning in the Netherlands was published. In the report, the Dutch AIVD intelligence and security service endeavours to provide an overview of the Dutch activists who are campaigning against industrial farming of animals, the fur trade and testing on animals.

The service notes in the report that there has been a rise in the number of incidents involving animal rights activists, and the number of what are known as 'home visits' are causing the organisation particular concern. These visits involve activists visiting the home of their intended victim, often in disguise, in order to make threats against the person or persons in question or to cause actual damage to their property.

The intelligence and security service steers clear of describing the actions of these activists as terrorism, but it's reported that they are close to qualifying for just such a label.

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