A Chronology of Laboratory Liberations

This chronology attempts to list every liberation of a laboratory animal in the UK since the founding of the Animal Liberation Front in 1976. It includes liberations from laboratories as well as holding units and breeding farms that specialised in the supply of animals to the vivisection industry.

Because of the clandestine nature of such actions, coupled with their anonymous reporting, it should be assumed that all information including dates, locations and number of animal may not be entirely accurate. It should also be considered that this chronology is not totally comprehensive and that other liberations, not detailed, may have occurred. In particular, details of raids prior to late 1982 are especially vague and scarce. One reason for this is that they pre-dated the formation of the ALF Supporters Group, which started to record and publish details of direct action in its Diary of Actions.1

At times it has it has been hard to determine whether animals were liberated from vivisection or from another equally repulsive and exploitative fate; Rabbits for example are and were farmed not only for vivisection but for their fur and meat. All efforts have been made to include their liberation from experimentation whilst excluding acts of liberation from the meat and fur industries. Liberations of animals from dissection, which happened on repeated occasions in the mid 1980s, are also not included in the chronology. Likewise instances in which liberationists have raided laboratories and seized intelligence and evidence and or carried out economic sabotage but did liberate animals are also not included.

All raids should be considered as carried out by the Animal Liberation Front, unless otherwise stated.
Central Animal Liberation League (CALL)
South East Animal Liberation League (SEALL)
Northern Animal Liberation League (NALL)
1976
July – Sandwich, Kent. 3 dogs liberated from Pfizers Ltd. They had 11 puppies.
November – Solihull, Warwickshire. 14 dogs liberated from Earlsbrook Stud laboratory breeders.
1977
Date Unknown, possible duplication with March 1977 action – Malvern, Worcestershire. 26 dogs and 19 cats liberated from Edward Cowley.
4th February – Solihull, Warwickshire. 15 dogs liberated from L. Foster vivisection breeders.
17th February – Carshalton, Surrey. 125 mice liberated from Evans vivisection breeders at Woodmansterne Lane. The mice are recovered by the police.
March – Malvern, Worcestershire. 25 dogs and 40 cats liberated from Malvern Research Station.
June – Colvell, Worcestershire. 8 cats liberated from laboratory breeder.
August – Petersfield, Hampshire. 550 animals liberated from Froxfield Rabbit farm.
1979
18th March – Ross-On-Wye, Herefordshire. 11 dogs liberated from Grange Farm in Harewood End.
1980
July – Battlesbridge, Essex. 500 mice liberated from F.W. Tuck.
12th October – Sheffield, Yorkshire. 4 dogs liberated from Sheffield University. NALL.
1981
28th February – Wickham, Hampshire. 11 dogs liberated from Wickham Laboratories.
15th March – Swinderby, Lincolnshire. Dogs liberated from Eagle Kennels. The raid is carried out by NALL.
12th April – Ross-On-Wye, Hertforshire. 11 dogs liberated from Harewood Park laboratory breeders.
1982
7th February – Shardlow, Derbyshire. 12 rabbits liberated from Safepharm Laboratories.

14th February – Stock, Essex. 9 Beagles and over 500 rats and mice liberated from Life Science Research Centre. The raid occurred during daytime and was known as ‘Operation Valentine.

22nd March – Frant, Sussex. Unknown ammount of guinea pigs liberated from Redfern Animal Breeders in Ely Grange.
9th April – Leeds, Yorkshire. 7 dogs and a cat liberated from Leeds University Farm.

15th June – Bournmouth to London Train. 8 guinea pigs liberated during transit from MR Grayston breeder of Ringwood, Hampshire. Their destination was University College, London.

19th June – Thurgaton, Nottingham. 12 dogs liberated from Boots Laboratory.

22nd July – St. Albans, Hertfordshire. 6 cats liberated from Winches Farm Field Station in Hatfield Road.

31st July – Leicester, Leicestershire. 12 rats liberated from Leicester University Psychology Department. Later that day 70 activists stormed the department and liberated a further 2 mice.

23rd August – Bristol. 10 guinea pigs liberated from Public Health Laboratory Service in Myrtle Road.
12th September – Sheffield, Yorkshire. 30 animals including rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and rats liberated from annexe of Sheffield Hospital.
28th October – Ashley Heath, Hampshire. 125 guinea pigs liberated from Little Lions Farm, a laboratory breeding farm.
28th November – Norwich, Norfolk. 4 dogs liberated from Ingham Hall.
21st December – Wimborne, Dorset. 21 rabbits liberated from Gravel Hill Nurseries.
1983
4th January – Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. 6 dogs liberated from Laundry Farm in Barton Road.
16th January – Guildford, Surrey. 2 foxes liberated from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Infestation Control Laboratory at Tangley Place, Worplesdon Road.
2nd February – Marston, Cheshire. 30 rabbits liberated from Hyline Rabbit breeders.
27th February – Bristol. 120 animals including hamsters, mice, gerbils and rats liberated from Filton Technical College.
4th March – Derbyshire. 2 dogs liberated from ‘the premises of a man who was going to send them to a vivisection lab.’
5th March – Southampton, Hampshire. 3 rabbits liberated from Hill College.
17th March – Portsmouth, Hampshire. 60 mice liberated from Portsmouth Polytechnic.
14th April – Oldham, Lancashire. 18 rabbits liberated from HG Rabbitry.
14th April – Kilcardy, Fife. 10 dogs liberated from Balbeggie Kennels.
21st April – Brighton, Sussex. 2 rabbits liberated from the University of Sussex’s Agricultural Research Centre.
27th April – Sussex. ‘Guinea pigs rescued from Sussex Vivisection breeder.’
1st May – Heathfield, Sussex. ‘A number’ of guinea pigs liberated from Porcellus.
7th May – New Forest, Hampshire. 70 mice liberated from Brockenhurst College.
18th May – Portsmouth, Hampshire. 80 mice liberated from Portsmouth Polytechnic.
3rd June – Winchester, Hampshire. 40 rats and mice and 5 toads liberated from Winchester College.
5th July – New Forest, Hampshire. 50 mice liberated from Brockenhurst College.
10th July – Oxford, Oxfordshire. 20 gerbils liberated from Intersimian Limited.
25th July – Sheffield, Yorkshire. 2 dogs liberated from a breeder ‘suspected of being laboratory dealer.’
12th August – Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. 17 dogs liberated from Cambridge University’s Laundry Farm.
14th August – Swansea. 200 mice and 50 guinea pigs liberated from Public Health laboratory. The raid is carried out by Anarchist Vegetarian Activists.
16th August – Braintree, Essex. Around 200 assorted guinea pigs, hamsters, mice and rats were liberated from Brocades Laboratories.
1st October – Downe, Kent. 6 dogs liberated from the Royal College of Surgeons.
17th October – Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. 200 mice liberated from Dunn Nutritional Laboratories.
4th December – Motherwell, Lanarkshire. 8 guinea pigs, 3 dogs, 2 rats and a rabbit liberated from Organon Laboratories in Chapelhall. The raid is carried out by Scottish Action Group for Animals.
29th December – Colwall, Worcestershire. 20 cats liberated from Perrycroft Lodge.
1984
2nd January – Lyme, Chesire. 3 rabbits liberated from Hyline Rabbit breeders.
7th February – Bromley, Kent. 52 rats liberated from Bromley College of Technology.
12th March – Battlesbridge, Essex. Over 100 guinea pigs, many whom were pregnant, liberated from A. Tuck and Sons.

15th March – Guildford, Surrey. 1 dog liberated from Surrey University’s Animal Unit at Manor Farm. The raid is carried out by SEALL.


20th March – Camberwell, London. 40 rats liberated from the Institute of Psychiatry.

28th April – Malvern, Worcestershire. 8 dogs liberated from Colwall kennels at Perrycroft Lodge.

23rd May – Salisbury, Wiltshire. 12 chickens liberated from Salisbury Laboratories.

2nd June – Stanmore, Middlesex. 12 goats liberated from Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

June – Unknown location, East Midlands. 7 rats ‘due to be killed following cruel experiments rescued from hospital.’

6th July – Treuddyn, Flintshire. 2 dogs liberated from vivisection supplier.

3rd September – King’s Cross, London. 8 rabbits liberated from vivisection supplier.

9th September – Fulham, London. Rat and mouse liberated from Neurology Department of Charing Cross Hospital.

20th September – Coventry, Warwickshire. 23 rabbits and 10 rats liberated from Lanchester Polytechnic.

29th September – Bagshot, Surrey. 14 dogs liberated from Bios laboratories. The raid is carried out by SEALL.
20th October – Alborough, Yorkshire. Pregnant dog rescued from Bantin & Kingman. She later gave birth to nine healthy puppies.
17th November – Bromley, Kent. 29 rats and 5 frogs liberated from Bromley College of Technology.
December – Morecambe, Lancashire. 10 rats liberated from Lancaster and Morecombe College.
6th December – Birmingham, Warwickshire. 2 guinea pigs and a monkey liberated from Birmingham Hospital.
17th December – Keighley, West Yorkshire. 70 rabbits liberated from laboratory breeder.
28th December – Portsmouth, Hampshire. 100 mice liberated from vivisection laboratory.
29th December – Malvern, Worcestshire. 20 cats liberated from Perrycroft Lodge.
1985
15th April – Neston, Cheshire. 2 lambs rescued from J. Bibby’s.
23rd April – Tooting, London. 200 mice liberated from St. George’s Hospital.
6th May – Liverpool, Lancashire. 2 dogs liberated from Liverpool University breeding unit.
31st May – Leeds, Yorkshire. 35 guinea pigs, 15 mice (some pregnant), 4 chickens and 3 rabbits liberated from Ministry of Agriculture research laboratory in Weetwood Lane.
5th July – Morecambe, Lancashire. 40 assorted rats and mice liberated from Lancaster & Morecambe College.
7th July – Northmoor, Oxfordshire. 32 dogs liberated from Oxford University’s Park Farm. The raid is carried out by CALL. 7 of the dogs are recaptured by the police.
8th July – Oxford, Oxfordshire. 20 rats, 15 guinea-pigs and 11 rabbits liberated from the John Radcliffe Hospital. The raid is carried out by CALL.
10th July – Penrith, Cumbria. 3 hens and 42 mice liberated from Ministry of Agriculture laboratory.
19th July – Northmoor, Oxfordshire. 4 dogs re-liberated from Oxford University’s Park Farm after being returned by police. The raid is carried out by SEALL.
16th September – Nunehan Courtenay, Oxfordshire. 13 cats liberated from Oxford University’s cat breeding colony. The raid is carried out by CALL.
23rd September – Cross-In-Hand, East Sussex. “Several” guinea-pigs liberated from Porcellus Animal Breeders. The raid is carried out by SEALL.
23rd September – Salisbury, Wiltshire. 9 rabbits liberated from Chalk Pit Farm in Whiteparish.. The raid is carried out by SEALL.
6th November – Braintree, Essex. 25 mice, 43 guinea pigs, 8 rabbits and 24 chickens liberated from Brocades laboratory at Cut Hedge Farm, London Road.
15th December – Liverpool, Lancashire. 58 rabbits liberated from breeder that supplied to laboratories.
1986
Unknown Date – Ewel, Surrey. 40 gerbils, 70 rats, 11 hamsters and 200 mice liberated from the North East Surrey College of Technology.
13th April – London. ‘Several’ ferrets liberated from University College.
19th April – Ewel, Surrey. 300 mice, rats, gerbils and hamsters liberated from the North East Surrey College of Technology..
18th May – Ambleside, Cumbria. Nearly 2000 trout, salmon and char liberated from Freshwater Biological Association.
22nd May – Riseholme, Lincolnshire. Goat liberated from College of Agriculture.
8th July – Oxford, Oxfordshire. 20 rats, 15 guinea pigs and 11 rabbits liberated from the John Radcliffe Hospital. The raid is carried out by CALL.
19th September – Lyme, Cheshire. 102 rabbits liberated from Hyline Rabbit breeders.
18th October – Frant, Sussex. 3 pigs liberated from Wellcome Laboratories’ Grange Farm.
27th November – Battlesbridge, Essex. 110 guinea pigs liberated from breeder A. Tuck and Sons.
15th December – Liverpool? 58 rabbits liberated from Glaxo Laboratories.
1987
Early March – Frant, Sussex. A horse and donkey liberated from Grange Farm, owned by Wellcome Laboratories.
1st March – Weston Super Mare, Somerset. 15 cats liberated from Bristol University site at Langford. The raid is carried out by CALL.
6th February – Neston, Cheshire. 4 piglets and 52 hens liberated from J. Bibby’s Research Station.
5th April – Stock, Essex. 10 dogs liberated from Beechams Laboratories.
23rd June – Tonbridge, Kent. 9 dogs liberated from Hadlow College of Agriculture.
24th July – Brighton, Sussex. Over 300 rats liberated from Sussex University’s Laboratory of Experimental Psychology.
1988
19th February – Beckenham, London. 100 rats liberated from the London University’s Bethlem Royal Psychiatric Hospital.
1990
1st January – Witney, Oxfordshire. 36 dogs liberated from Oxford University’s Park Farm in Northmoor.
17th March – Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. 82 dogs and 26 rabbits liberated from interfauna.

3rd November – Southwell, Nottinghamshire. 8 dogs liberated from The Priory in Thurgaton.


29th November – Weston Super Mare, Somerset. 10 dogs liberated from Bristol University site at Langford.

24th December – Nunehan Courtenay, Oxfordshire. 64 cats liberated from Oxford University’s cat breeding colony.

1991

Unknown Date – Cross-In-Hand, East Sussex. 100 guinea pigs liberated from Porcellus animal breeders.

10th January – Preston, Lancashire. 106 mice, 43 doves, 11 rats, 2 rabbits and a guinea pig liberated from Lancashire Polytechnic.

Mid-January – Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. 80 rabbits liberated from Sky Commerical Rabbit farm.

1st February – Witney, Oxfordshire. 214 guinea pigs, 15 rabbits and 5 cats liberated from Oxford University’s Park Farm in Northmoor.
15th June – Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. 3 ponies liberated from Cambridge University’s Laundry Farm.


12th July – Guildford, Surrey. Over 80 guinea pigs, 16 rabbits and 2 polecats liberated from Surrey University’s animal breeding centre at Manor Farm.

14th July – Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. 8 dogs liberated from Cambridge University’s Laundry Farm. 7 of the dogs were recovered by the police. This raid was carried out by the ALIU.

30th July – Whitechapel, London. 1,070 mice and 4 dogs liberated from the Royal London Hospital’s Immunology Department. This marks the largest laboratory raid ever in the UK.

1992
22nd November – East Grinsted, Surrey. 40 mice liberated from Rentokil in Felcourt.
25th December – Colchester, Essex. 300 mice liberated from the University of Essex.
1993
4th May – Lyme, Cheshire. 80 rabbits liberated from Hylyne Rabbit breeders. (7th raid on place)
8th August – Ashford, Kent. 2 piglets rescued from London University’s Wye College pig research unit.
5th October – Worplesdon, Surrey. Over 100 assorted birds and 2 foxes liberated from Ministry of Agriculture, Farms and Fisheries’ Tangley Place research centre.
1994
3rd March – Southampton, Hampshire. 2 rats liberated from Southampton Medical School during demonstration called by Students Campaign for Animal Rights.
8th March – Bramham, Yorkshire. 3 sheep liberated from Leeds University Farm.
12th March – Mislingford, Hampshire. 10 dogs liberated from Garetmar Kennels.
9th April – Battlesbridge, Essex. 100 guinea pigs liberated from breeder A. Tuck and Sons.
24th April – Ewel, Surrey. 15 rabbits, 98 rats, 54 hamsters and 52 guinea pigs liberated from the North East Surrey College of Technology.
1st May – Lyme, Cheshire. 30 rabbits liberated from Hyline rabbit breeders.
11th September – Battlesbridge, Essex. 470 guinea pigs liberated from breeder A. Tuck and Sons.
1997
18th January – Witney, Oxfordshire. 15 cats liberated from Hillgrove Farm by activists attending national demonstration. 10 of the cats are recovered by police.
25th January – Ross-On-Wye, Hertfordshire. 10 dogs liberated from Consort Farm by activists attending national demonstration.


1st February – Wingham, Kent. 10 rabbits liberated from Homestead Farm during impromptu demonstration. 1 rabbits recovered by police.

February – Preston, Lancashire. 200 earths worms liberated from the University of Lancashire.

19th April – 1 dog liberated from Consort Farm by activists attending national demonstration, but returned to farm by police.

19th April – Witney, Oxfordshire. 20 cats liberated from Hillgrove Farm.

24th April – Northmoor, Oxfordshire. 4 dogs liberated from Oxford University’s Park Farm.
24th April – Coventry, Warwickshire. 2 pregnant guinea pigs liberated from Coventry University.
12th May – Ross-On-Wye, Herfordshire. 15 beagles liberated from Consort Breeders in Harewood End.
29th May – Huntingdon, Cambridge. 8 pregnant guinea pigs liberated from Interfauna’s Stukely Meadow’s site.
14th October – Northmoor, Oxfordshire. 2 dogs liberated from Oxford University’s Park Farm. 18 dogs were originally liberated, 16 returned
1998
30th April – Ewel, Surrey. 80 assorted animals (mice, rats, chinchillas, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs and birds) liberated from the Animal Science Unit of North East Surrey College of Technology.
28th May – Witney, Oxfordshire. 4 cats liberated from Hillgrove Farm.
9th June – Northmoor, Oxfordshire. 12 mink liberated from Oxford University’s Park Farm.
9th November – Guildford, Surrey. 4 goats liberated from Surrey University.
1999
25th March – Leatherhead, Surrey. 60 rabbits liberated from Regal Rabbits in Great Bookham.
10th May – Bradford, Yorkshire. 20 rabbits liberated from Leslie Moore Limited at Stockhouse Farm, Cragg Lane, Thornton.
2th September – Burton, Staffordshire. 600 guinea pigs liberated from Newchurch breeders at Darley Oaks Farm.
5th November – Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. 71 beagles liberated from Harlan Interfauna.
13th November – Carshalton, Surrey. 140 chicks liberated from BIBRA laboratories.
2000
7th January – Battlesbridge, Essex. Around 400 rodents liberated from breeder A. Tuck and Sons.
26th March – Heathfield, Sussex. 64 guinea pigs liberated from Harlan’s Firgrove Garm.
20th May – Leatherhead, Surrey. 10 rabbits liberated from Regal Rabbits in Great Bookham.
16th October – Sussex. 79 rabbits liberated from breeder.
2001
8th June – Guildford, Surrey. Six turkeys and six hens liberated from the University of Surrey’s Experimental Biology Unit at Manor Farm.
2002
27th April – Lacthingdon, Essex. 50 hamsters liberated from Wrights Breeding Centre in Rectory Lane.
2003
16th March – Bridgewater, Somerset. 43 goats liberated from Water Farm Goat Centre in Stogursey.
10th December – Blandford Forum, Dorset. 250 rabbits and 10 guinea-pigs liberated from a vivisection supplier.
13th December – Fareham, Hampshire. 695 mice liberated from Wickham laboratories in Winchester Road. All but 37 later returned to the establishment by the police.
14th December – Bridgewater, Somerset. 21 goats liberated from Water Farm Goat Centre in Stogursey.
2005
11th April – Unkown location. 2 rabbits liberated from ‘experimental farm.’
2008
6th January – Market Rasen, Lincolnshire. 129 rabbits liberated from Highgate Farm in Normanby-By-Spital.
1For more information see, ’35 Years of the ALF Supporters Group and Animal Rights Prisoner Support.’ (Northampton: ALF Supporters Group, 2017)
Sources:
ALF Action Reports
ALF SG Newsletter
Animaliberation
Arkangel
The Beast
Direct Action Animal Bulletin
Flesh and Blood
Liberator (BUAV)
Liberator (South East)
London Animal Rights News
No Compromise
SG Diary of Actions
Target
Turning Point (Black Beast)
Ultramilitance
Underground (Canada)
Mauren Duffy – Men & Beasts
Keith Mann – From Dusk ‘Til Dawn
Boots – The High Street Vivisectors
Snarl!
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One Response to A Chronology of Laboratory Liberations

  1. I’d be interested in knowing what you do with 695 liberated mice, 29 goats, 71 beagles, 3 ponies, etc? The practicalities, logistics, and strategies for ensuring their continued freedom and ideally well being too. It’d be great to have some insights into this at eg the AR steam at EF next august (https://www.facebook.com/nationalargathering/) or perhaps Earth First’s winter moot in Feb (https://www.facebook.com/earthfirstuk/posts/884691231688521). It’d be great actually to get some discussions on ‘how to’ before all this experience and knowledge is lost.

    And I’d be curious to see any debates on the ethics of duty to care towards rescued animals versus duty to rescue under any circumstance. I used to think there was a responsibility to provide a certain quality of sanctuary post rescue, and was sceptical of eg microsanctuaries where rescued animals lived in “unnatural” conditions. But now i think this is speciesist of me and any rescue is better than captivity?

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