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
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.