East Lothian crime: Animal rights protestor claims she was hit by car during silent protest
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An animal rights protestor claims she had to be taken to hospital after being struck by a car while demonstrating outside a medical research facility.
Rachel Campbell was part of a silent protest when she said she was hit by an employee’s vehicle outside the controversial Charles River Laboratories near Tranent, East Lothian. Rachel was taking part in the demo with the activist group East Lothian Uncaged who were protesting against the use of animals at the facility on Tuesday afternoon.
The group is speaking out against animal testing carried out at the medical research facility, a process Charles River previously said was “a vital component” of research studies.
Rachel, who works as a carer, said: “I was just standing there with my sign. I was just so shocked, I didn’t see it coming. He hit my legs and I felt myself forced back. It didn’t knock me over but I managed to get out of the way. I think if I hadn’t been able to move he’d have knocked me down.
“He just drove off and I was in pain. We called the police and I went to A&E when I got home.” And in a Facebook update she added: “Thank you so much to everyone for your kind words, sending lots of love, we will keep fighting even harder. I might not be tougher than a mad man's bumper, but one thing for sure is our spirit is not damaged.”
A spokesperson for East Lothian Uncaged posted: “Today we did a silent, peaceful protest outside Charles River Laboratories in Tranent in Scotland. At 5.05pm an employee driving a blue Vauxhall Mokka left the premises. He stopped his car a foot in front of one of our team, revved his engine loudly, then drove straight into her.
“Our team member has injuries to her legs and back and is on her way to A&E to be checked over. Thankfully her injuries are not so serious that she needed an ambulance. The incident has been reported to the police and our team member will press charges.
“Plenty of other cars drove out this afternoon without coming close to hitting any of our team, as we made sure we weren’t obstructing their exit. There is a Charles River security camera directly opposite which will have filmed the incident. Please share this everywhere so the world knows the kind of sick and twisted people Charles River employs.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 5.30pm on Tuesday, October 31, a report was made to police that a woman had been struck by a car in the area earlier in the day. Enquiries are at a very early stage.”
A Charles River Laboratories spokesperson said: "We are aware of an incident outside our facility on Tuesday, October 31. We recognise the right of individuals to freely, and safely, assemble and protest, and we have been in contact with local law enforcement and will cooperate with any requests they make.
“The work we do at our Edinburgh site is critically important to human health. Before the safety of a drug can be evaluated on humans, global regulatory agencies require animal research to ensure patient safety. Animal research is fundamental to understanding how to prevent and treat emerging infectious diseases, including the successful development of every COVID-19 vaccine, as well as treatments for cancer, diabetes, and a myriad of rare diseases. Charles River’s work is an essential component of the research that has led to these discoveries and has played a vital role in medical advances for humans as well as animals.
“Charles River is committed to animal welfare and exceeding international standards for care. We are also committed to replacing and reducing the number of animals used. We also partner with other companies to develop study designs that adopt this philosophy, known as the 3Rs,including the use of in vitro studies accepted by international authorities. As animal caregivers and scientific researchers, we are responsible to our clients and the public for the health and well-being of the animals in our care, and we strive to fulfill that responsibility while protecting patient safety on a daily basis."