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Vodafone vs. ALF
Vodafone has been caught up in protests against the university's
construction of a new 20million pounds animal research laboratory after it
emerged that the firm had given money to the university. The mobile
phone firm has accused animal rights extremists of putting the lives
of its customers in danger with a campaign to sabotage its phone masts. In a letter to Vodafone, the ALF warned that there would be
repercussions if the company did not stop funding university research.
However, the company refused to such an undertaking. The police have
launched an investigation into seven attacks, one of which was claimed
by the Animal Liberation Front. Activists have boasted that they have
cut wiring, snapped ventilation blades and scrawled messages on the
masts. One message left read "No Oxford Animal Lab - ALF".
The donations, totaling just under given by The Vodafone Group
Foundation and Vodafone UK Foundation, were made to the university's
engineering science department. The funded project investigated the
use of mobile technology to enable remote monitoring of patients'
illness, and thus improve patients' quality of life.
The telemedicine projects, supported by a donation from the Vodafone
Group Foundation, included a trial for remotely monitoring the blood
sugar level of Diabetes sufferers to have their blood sugar levels and
using mobile technology to monitor the side effects of chemotherapy.
The animal rights group Pigeon Control Advisory Service UK (PiCAS UK),
issued a press release in December 2005 claiming that, according to
Oxford University records, the Vodafone Group Foundation, funded by
global Vodafone outlets including Vodafone UK, donated 184,494.14 pounds to
Oxford University in 2003. PiCAS UK called this an "absolute
disgrace", claiming the money could be used to fund the building of