Tim Bonner writes about Caffe Nero and the badger cull: The Caffe Nero debacle could prove to be an important watershed in the public perception of the animal rights movement and its bullying tactics. After threats of a boycott by a small (and in some cases unpleasant…) cell of extremists, the coffee chain announced it would no longer serve milk from farms within the badger cull trial areas of Gloucestershire and Somerset.
This might have seemed a victory for the group – Stop the Cull – with Caffe Nero’s suppliers forced to
punish already struggling dairy farmers, but has strangely blown up in the activists’ faces.
Direct action is not a new tactic of animal rights extremists. We campaigned last year after Marks & Spencer decided not to stock grouse, following claims from those opposed to shooting.
What is new is how the press is reporting it. Columns lambasting Caffe Nero for their cowardice and “Stop the Cull” for their tactics have appeared across the political spectrum of the media, from the Independent and Guardian, to the Daily Mail.
The past of one of the founders of Stop the Cull, Jay Tiernan, has also been brought into the open, showing that under his birth name, Gamal Eboe, Mr Tiernan was convicted of fraud and linked to the animal rights terror group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. His boast of having been brought up in the countryside also seems questionable as he appears to have grown up in Hammersmith.
This could be a turning point. Perhaps the press and public are waking up to the truth, that these people are bullies and are not worth listening to. They are small in number and unrepresentative of mainstream views – it’s time that was recognised.