Rescue centre raid 'heavy handed'

Via the Beeb:

Rescue centre raid ‘heavy handed’

The manager of a Merseyside animal welfare centre raided by police looking for animal rights activists has condemned the action as “heavy handed”.

Dave Calendar, of Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre in Ince Blundell, Merseyside, said some of his staff were injured by police during the raid.

But the force insists that its officers were “professional and courteous”.

… Mr Calendar said the police arrived at about 0600 BST and were “extremely heavy-handed in their approach”.

He claimed his farm manager was jumped on by police and that officers were “very rough” with a veterinary student.

We’re not being allowed anywhere near the place to care for the animals. It is a real cock-up on the police’s part.”

The centre, which is close to Formby, houses about 70 dogs, 100 cats, a large number of rabbits and a few farm animals, including pigs, hens and geese.

In 1994 Mr Calendar was jailed for eight years for conspiracy to commit arson on animal rights “targets”. He served four years.

He said: “I am not proud of my past but all that was a long time ago and we have absolutely nothing to hide.

“Yes, there are a few old hippies here who were part of the hunt saboteur scene or involved in stopping badger baiting, but the work we do now is totally legitimate.

“This centre is purely about animal welfare and is nothing to do with animal rights groups.

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» More coverage via IcWales:

….Dave Calendar, who runs the Freshfields animal welfare centre in Ince Blundell, Merseyside, claimed some of his staff were injured by police as they tried to protect the animals.

He said: “The police arrived at about 6am and they refused all our offers of co-operation.

“They have been extremely heavy-handed in their approach, and the welfare of the animals does not seem to bother them.

They say the RSPCA are with them, but we have already seen dogs getting out on to the road and animals which should be kept separate being allowed to mix.

“Our farm manager could see that two of his male pigs were about to be let out together, which would have led to a ferocious fight, so he climbed a fence to try to prevent it.

“The police jumped on him and he may have suffered a broken collar bone.

“A girl who is a veterinary student tried to stop them getting into her caravan because the gates were open and she was worried that her dogs would run out on to the road, and the police were very rough with her.

“We’re not being allowed anywhere near the place to care for the animals. “

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» Freshfields Animal Rescue

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