In March 2002 a SHAC activist climbed over the razor wire of HLS' begale supplier in Cambridgeshire. He spent nearly two hours with the dogs, and what follows is his account of what he witnessed:
"On the 3rd of March I was part of a mobile demonstration against companies and individuals involved in the sick hell-hole known as HLS.
Myself and a few other protestors arrived at Harlan Interfauna (one of HLS’s beagle suppliers) ahead of the main demonstration. Going across the fields to the back of the building so as to avoid unwanted police attention we arrived at the perimeter fence.
Across the field some bastard with a gun was murdering wildlife, and the sound was obviously terrifying the animals inside the compound. They cries of the beagles was so powerful and distressing I immediately began to look for a way over the razor wire. Unfortunately at this point several police arrived and began to follow us around. I was able to wonder away from the main body of people and was only followed by one copper, who, by some divine intervention received a call on his radio and ran off around the corner.
By this point I had had plenty of time to suss out a way over the fence and I didn’t waste a second. I climbed up over the razor wire and I was in the compound.
My first instinct was to get on the nearest roof, this done, however, I realised that the police/security were so slow and useless that I was the only person inside the compound-I had free reign to do as I wished.
I jumped off of the roof I was on and ran to where I could hear the beagles crying out. I clambered onto the beagle building, and looking down into a narrow passageway I could see the terrified animals jumping around with fright. As the full force of what I was seeing hit me, tears came to my eyes, and I was forced to sit for a moment, contemplating the excrement lining the concrete floors, with urine running out from under the bars of the cages. They dogs had a shovel of sawdust scraped over the bottom of the cages-not even enough to soak up the urine that these poor animals were forced to live in. The smell was over powering.
I turned around and was pleased to see that the main body of demonstrators had arrived, and it was a real inspiration to see so many people defending themselves against the violent cops, and trying to get into the compound with me. The atmosphere was electric, thanks to everyone for their positive support.
I jumped down into the passageway where the beagles were kept in cages, at the front only protected from the elements by metal bars. It was clear to see how these animals were treated by their reaction to me. Most of the normally docile beagles ran to the back of their cages and hid, whining and sometimes shaking at the back of their cages, underneath small wooden benches. A few ran up, but when I put my arm through the bars to reach them ran back petrified. The plight of these animals was so terrible that I had to repeatedly get back on to the roof to collect myself. I was horrified when I saw that one of the beagles had bloody stumps in its gums where its teeth should have been. It was trying to bark at me, but this was obviously causing it a lot of pain. I moved on to try and ease its suffering.
There was one dog in particular who ran up to me and sniffed my hand through the bars. It seemed to sense it was safe and began to wag its tail. I reached through to pet her and make a fuss of her, and it was clear by her excitement that this was the only affection that she had ever been shown. The thought that the animal that I had been playing with, who kissed me and who was so glad to be loved, will within months, weeks, be cut open on a sick scientists table after many horrific experiments is something, like so much else I saw that day, that will stay with me for ever. That is my reason for doing everything in my power to smash HLS once and for all.
After about an hour of being in this hell hole the police arrived and asked me to get down. Conceding that there was nothing else I could do for these miserable dogs, and that the demo had moved on, I went up to every single cage, with tears poring from my eyes and apologised to every single dog for not bringing them the liberation that they so desperately need and deserve.
Just as I was leaving I heard a bark behind me and, looking through a vent on the building that I had been sat on I saw hundreds of beagles, running around in the dark. Beagles that had I seen them earlier I may have been able to do something for.
I made sure that the police had to see the animals when they escorted me from the premises, but they showed just what mindless bastards they are. They arrested me, despite clearly seeing everything that I had just seen. What had driven me to tears was unimportant to them. I was charged with aggravated trespass, but after what I had seen, four hours in the cells and a probable few hundred pound fine was like staying in a ten star hotel.
I have seen what is happening first hand. I now have so many fresh reasons to play my part in battering HLS into the ground, and that is exactly what I intend to do."