POLICE monitored animal activists over a 37-year period, it has emerged. They were targeted among other activist groups by undercover officers between 1970 and 2007 in the UK, such was the fear of the rise of animal rights activism.
Police deployed 24 undercover officers to infiltrate animal rights groups, the Socialist Workers Party, anti-Vietnam war groups and other antiestablishment organizations.
Twelve animal rights groups were probed in all as well as 22 left-wing groups, 10 environmental groups, nine anti-racist campaigns and nine anarchist groups. The undercover operations emerged after the Undercover Research Group probed police operations going back nearly 40 years.
Only three far-right groups were infiltrated—the British National party, Combat 18 and the United British Alliance.