AN ANIMAL rights protester tried unsuccessfully to breach NEC security and stage a protest on live TV just after the judging of Best in Show in the main ring.
Joanne Sim from Edinburgh, a member of the animal rights pressure group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made her protest as part of PETA’s ongoing campaign against the pet food manufacturer Iams. Sim unfurled a banner reading ‘Iams: Puppy Killers’, and scaled a wall and jumped into the ring.
The protester was grabbed and then bundled out of the ring in a matter of seconds by the additional guards that were on duty during the live TV performance. Apart form some of the audience in the vicinity, nobody was aware of Sim’s protest and it was not picked up by the TV cameras. It is understood that Sim did not act alone, but was supported by another protester was also apprehended and evicted from the premises.
A spokesman for the Kennel Club paid tribute to the NEC’s security, commenting: "Security was stepped up around the Main Ring this year, after PETA tried to unsuccessfully appear on the live TV broadcast last year. They tried the same stunt this year, and a couple of their representatives were apprehended by security personnel outside the Ring.
"Unfortunately, one of them made it into the Main Ring, but was quickly and competently evicted and they did not appear on the TV.
"It is unfortunate that PETA behave in this manner, whereas Uncaged Campaigns, a peaceful protest group, are allowed to demonstrate directly outside the NEC Main Entrance by the Kennel Club and our relationship with them is fine."
Security staff also successfully prevented two representatives from the men’s magazine ’Loaded’ from breaching the Main Ring with a 'bikini clad' model and a man in a dog suit, looking for a front cover shot.
THE KENNEL CLUB AND THE IAMS COMPANY
In March 2003, animal extremists launched a sensationalised campaign against the Iams Company. After a review of the facts, the Kennel Club is satisfied that this campaign does not accurately reflect the nature of the programmes and practices now carried out by Iams. We consider that Iams now has a leading-edge policy for animal studies and welfare. For this reason, we will continue to work with the Iams Company.
After thorough discussion with representatives of the Company, the Kennel Club believes that it understands Iams’ policies, practices and procedures and it particularly welcomes the activities of the Company’s International Animal Care Advisory Board. This board includes three representatives from the UK animal welfare community.
It also conducts unannounced visits at internal and external facilities. In addition, we understand that it evaluates critically the Iams Animal Studies Policy, as well as the Iams animal care and welfare programmes, in order to ensure the health and well-being of the dogs and cats with which the Company works.
The Kennel Club notes that Iams makes its policies, programmes, and a video of its Pet Health and Nutrition Centre publicly available at www.Iamstruth.com. We encourage enquirers who have any questions regarding Iams to call the Iams Care Line, telephone 0808 1007010, e-mail Iamscarelineuk@iams.com