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29 Apr 2005

Animal Rights Activist to Be Sentenced for Lab Raid
By Ben Mitchell, PA

An animal rights activist will today be sentenced for organising a raid on a laboratory where he believed illegal tests were being carried out.

Keith Mann was found guilty by a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court of conspiracy to burgle Wickham Laboratories in Wickham, Hants, which led to 695 mice, along with documentation, being stolen on the night of December 13, 2003.

A second man, Melvyn Glintenkamp, 42, of North Drive, New Milton, Hants, was also found guilty of conspiracy to burgle.

Mann, who was jailed in 1994 for 14 years, later reduced on appeal to 11 years, for carrying out a terrorist-style sabotage campaign against the meat industry, was warned he faced a jail sentence by trial judge Richard Price.

The trial heard that Mann, 38, of Buckland Road, Poole, Dorset, admitted being part of the conspiracy but denied dishonesty because he claimed he was acting to prevent an unlawful act taking place.

A total of 671 mice, along with their cages, were discovered a few weeks after the burglary in a caravan at Glintenkamp's home.

The trial was told that the mice taken during the burglary were being used as part of tests using botulinum toxin (used in Botox) for a product called Dysport on behalf of pharmaceutical manufacturer Ipsen Biopharm.

Mann, who was the instigator of the raid, believed these tests were illegal because the end product was used for cosmetic purposes abroad.

Animal testing is legal in the UK for medicinal purposes but not for cosmetic products.

The trial heard that Wickham Laboratories has a government licence to carry out the tests for Dysport which is used in the UK to prevent muscle spasms.

Wickham Laboratories Limited was established in 1962 and provides contract analytical services for the pharmaceutical and healthcare products industry.

He added that work carried out at the labs was in compliance with UK and US government regulations and methods of best practice.

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