A Sheffield angling shop which has served its community for more than 50 years has been vandalised by animal rights activists who claim fishing is cruel.
On Wednesday, August 15, both front windows of Woodseats Angling on Chesterfield Road were smashed by two masked youths who ran off when disturbed by residents.
The perpetrators - who have since boasted of their ‘hit’ on the Unoffensive Animal Facebook group - said any business profiting from the ‘speciesist system’ was a legitimate target and threatened to carry on the attacks until the shop shuts down.
Jay Tiernan, a press officer with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), said the people who carry out such actions do so to protest about animal cruelty.
He said: “Fish are sentient creatures and they do feel pain but we push a hook through their mouths and they are taken out of the water and suffocated.
“We don’t allow that to happen to any other animal but because they are fish it is deemed to be okay.”
He added the ALF saw ‘economic sabotage’ of this kind as a legitimate tactic in the struggle for greater animal rights.
When The Star contacted the shop’s owner, he said he did not want to go on the record about the attack or be photographed, for fear of further reprisals.
Bob Roberts from Barnburgh, who has been The Star’s angling correspondent for the last 20 years, said he thought the people who carried out the attack must be ‘idiots’.
He said: “Anglers are the protectors of fish and the waterways. The idea that if they go away nature would survive is rubbish.
“Anglers are naturalists. It is absolutely in our interests to make the environment as good for the fish as possible. They have got it totally back to front.
“And as for trying to drive people out of business - what kind of world are we living in? Angling generates £600m for the economy and employs thousands of people.”
Police confirmed that the windows of the shop were smashed and fishing equipment taken during the attack which happened at around 12.20am on Wednesday, August 15.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 14 of 15 August 2018.