Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs
Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs is a campaign to close a farm in Newchurch, near Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, that breeds guinea pigs for animal experiments.
Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs (SNGP) was created in 1999 after an illegal raid on David Hall’s "Darley Oaks" farm, during which several hundred animals were stolen. Video footage of the factory farm showed dirty, barren, crowded conditions inside the huge breeding sheds, with many unhealthy animals and dying guinea pigs being eaten alive by others. Records showing that the sheds were cleaned out once a week, that the dead and dying were removed everyday and that the animals were culled by having their necks broken by workers were also exposed. The guinea pigs are sold to laboratories for animal testing. Animal rights activists set up SNGP with the intention of halting the guinea pig breeding at Darley Oaks.
Regular demonstrations take place on the roadside near the farm. The campaign also publishes the contact details of any one connected to the farm, from the owners and their family to the business that deal with them and even the local pubs where the Halls drink. Campaigners are urged to contact those associated with the farm and politely ask them to halt their association. This tactic has led to those named receiving thousands of phone-calls and letters, as well as junk-mail, threats and hoax bombs. Fireworks have on numerous occasions been let off by the house in the middle of the night, and graffiti has been sprayed on their property and around the village.
In 2004 the skeleton of David Hall’s mother-in-law, Gladys Hammond, was taken from its grave and animal rights activists were blamed by the family. Three activists (including a 62 year old woman suffering from cancer) had their homes raided and were arrested but have not been charged. They deny that any animal rights activists were involved in the grave-robbing and say that they believe a smear campaign is at work, and that police are on a “fishing expedition”  .
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