Save the Hill Grove Cats

Save Hillgrove Cats was a British animal legal campaign was launched in 1997 in order to close Hillgrove Farm near Witney in Oxfordshire. The farm, owned by Christopher Brown, was the last commercial breeder of cats for laboratories in the UK. Eight hundred cats were taken away by the RSPCA August 10, 1999, when Brown announced his decision to resign after a controversial two-year campaign. [1] [2]


Hillgrove was one of the 3,326 designated premises for breeding and animal testing in the UK; 1,124 cats were used in the experiments in the United Kingdom in 1998. [1]

At least 350 people were arrested and 21 detained for public order offenses during the course of the campaign. Police costs rose to £ 2.8 and a five-mil zone imposed around the farm. [1] [3]

The closure of the farm was considered of great importance in the UK, as an example of what turned out – both by animal rights activists and the British Government – as the growing influence and determine the movement of animals aside. [ Citation needed ] The same group of activists chose as its next target Huntingdon Life Sciences, a contract animal testing company in Cambridge, England and New Jersey in the United States, forming the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, a campaign that has since become international.


The campaign was controversial, and included acts and threats of violence against Christopher Brown. In 1993, he suffered burns to the face and stomach when a letter bomb exploded. In 1998 he was sent a fake bomb with “provisional ALF,” along with a warning that a real man would follow. The threats were condemned by Save Hillgrove Cats campaign. A spokesperson, Heather James, told reporters: “We can not tolerate this, we are against violence against animals and people ..” [4]

In December 1998, Mr Brown added to a list of people involved in animal testing was murdered by the Animal Rights Militia of Barry Horne, an animal rights activist on hunger strike, would die. [1]

There were also allegations of violence against activists. Protesters alleged that farm workers had poisoned them with an organophosphate pesticide spray. Environment Doctors confirmed that they found “significant amounts” of dimethoate, described by the Independent as a potentially deadly pesticide, on a roadside path where protesters often stood. Sixteen activists complained of nausea, sore throat, headaches and breathing difficulties. Mr Brown said he had sprayed the border and that his farm does not use dimethoate. [5]

See also

  • Consort beagles
  • Stoppa Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC)
  • Save Newchurch guinea pig
  • Shamrock Farm
  • leaderless resistance


  1. ^ Jump up to: abcd Pallister, David. Embattled breeding farm closes, The Guardian, August 14, 1999.
  2. Jump up ^ Mann, Keith. From Dusk ’til Dawn: An insider’s view of the growth of the animal liberation movement . Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 536th
  3. Jump up ^ “14 held after protest ban”. BBC News. July 11, 1998. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  4. Jump up ^ “Animal lib ‘terrorists’ goals cat breeders”, the Oxford Times , March 3, 1998.
  5. Jump up ^ Kalman, Matthew. “Animal Activists ill for farm protest” on 21 September 1997.