Top scientist living in fear of fanatics

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The Independent Online
A leading neuroscientist has been targeted by anti-vivisection campaigners who are planning a demonstration outside his house today.

The home of Professor Colin Blakemore, president-in-waiting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, is being used as a meeting point for animal rights protestors who will then go on an "Animal Freedom Tour".

Professor Blakemore, who is out of the country, is concerned for the safety of his wife and family. He said last night: "I'm afraid they'll burn my house down. I really live in fear of my home being destroyed." He said there has been a resurrgence of attacks on him, with the latest being focused on his home.

The group behind the protest, Animaliberation, have said in their flyers advertising the event that they are planning to visit several "animal abuse establishments in and around Oxford". A similar protest last Saturday in Herefordshire ended in clashes between protesters and police.

Professor Blakemore (pictured), of Oxford University, has been a frequent target for animal rights campaigners. Two years ago, at Christmas, his children handled a package, sent to his home by protesters, which later turned out to be a bomb.

He has been subjected to death threats, warned that his three children would be kidnapped, and had his car doused with paint strippers, causing several thousand pounds worth of damage.

Colin Blackstock