Tue, Jul 27, 2004 - Page 6 News List

Row erupts over activist's `kill scientists' quote

OFFICIAL OUTRAGE The UK's home secretary said he wants an inquiry into comments made by a US doctor in an interview

THE GUARDIAN , LONDON

An American animal rights activist could be banned from Britain for reportedly advocating the killing of scientists involved in animal research, Home Secretary David Blunkett said on Sunday.

Jerry Vlasak, a paid scientific adviser to the group spearheading the campaign to stop the construction of a new research laboratory at Oxford University, allegedly said that assassinating vivisectionists could save the lives of millions of animals.

Blunkett warned that Vlasak could be treated in the same way as someone advocating the murder of people because of their color or religion.

"I am asking that we examine the authenticity of the claims in those quotes, the attitude of this individual and whether his presence would be non-conducive to the public good," Blunkett told BBC television.

Vlasak allegedly told the Observer newspaper "I think violence is part of the struggle against oppression. If something bad happens to these people [animal researchers], it will discourage others. It is inevitable that violence will be used in the struggle and that it will be effective."

However, Vlasak, who is a heart surgeon in Los Angeles, said yesterday that he had been quoted out of context and was planning to consult a lawyer.

Describing the story as "total rubbish," he said: "I am not suggesting anybody kill any other human being, but I am saying that historically violence has been used on both sides in struggles like these ... I am not advocating the killing of anybody -- any human or non-human."

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