Statements on “dog poisoning” sought to smear fracking opponents – campaigners

180305 KM Steve Spy 4

Removal of the sound screen from Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton, March 2018. Photo: Steve Spy

Campaigners in North Yorkshire have accused Third Energy, its security company and local police of attempting to “smear” opponents of fracking in statements about the alleged poisoning of a guard dog.

The incident happened in January 2018 when a dog used by security staff at Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton fracking site reportedly collapsed after eating pellets thrown over the security fence.

Two people, who had been protesting about Third Energy’s fracking plans, were arrested, one on suspicion of administering poison to an animal and both on suspicion of causing criminal damage to an animal.

But a recent response to a Freedom of Information request has raised questions about what happened. The response includes a summary of a vet’s report about the examination of the guard dog:

“Found it bright and alert. Heart rate normal as was temperature. No swellings round neck, no dehydration. No concerns but kept in as a precaution. Given activated charcoal along with food.”

The response said a blood test was taken but

“Nothing showed regards poisoning”.

Kirby Misperton Protection Camp, which has now closed, said today statements made about the incident had inevitably prejudiced the public against innocent people.

“Malicious and dangerous act”

At the time of the incident, Third Energy’s chief operating officer, Alan Linn, linked it to anti-frackng protests. He told Minster FM:

“This malicious and dangerous act has resulted in a dog collapsing and being rushed to a vet to receive emergency treatment.”

Derek Laird, managing director of Next Level Security Services (NLSS), Third Energy’s security contractor, told local media he was “particularly disturbed by the incident”. He said:

“Narla [the guard dog] collapsed and her heart stopped temporarily, she was rushed to the vets were she underwent emergency surgery and is now heavily sedated.

“This dog could have died and it is only thanks to the skill of the veterinary staff that she is alive today.”

North Yorkshire Police said in a press release:

“Police were informed that a number of pellets had been thrown over the fence into the hydraulic fracturing site yesterday morning. A guard dog at the site had eaten some of the pellets, been sick and collapsed. The dog was taken to a vet for treatment.”

The two people arrested were ordered to stay away from the area around the site gates.

The incident was widely reported in the mainstream and social media. The local MP, Kevin Hollinrake, tweeted the BBC report:

180109 Kevin Hollinrake tweet

In March 2018, North Yorkshire Police updated its press release to say:

“Two men arrested following an incident in which a guard dog became ill at Kirby Misperton will face no further action.

“The dog made a full recovery.

“Due to insufficient evidence, no further police action will be taken in relation to the incident.”

“Public prejudiced against innocent people”

A spokesperson from the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp said today:

“The revelations of the Freedom of Information Response point to a deliberate attempt to smear the peaceful campaigners by the fracking company, their security contractors and North Yorkshire Police.

“Each repeatedly and emphatically suggested that individuals were guilty of a fabricated crime so heinous that the public was inevitably prejudiced against innocent people.

“Despite the fact that the police were in possession of a veterinary report stating that ‘nothing showed towards poisoning’, they waited 2 months before dropping the bogus charges.”

Third Energy told DrillOrDrop:

“Third Energy is relieved that a security dog, working at its site in Kirby Misperton, made a full recovery following emergency treatment in early January 2018. The dog had vomited and collapsed at the site after eating pellets thrown over the security fence. The North Yorkshire Police hold the relevant CCTV recordings from the day.”

North Yorkshire Police declined to comment.

Petition against protests

TDF 170428 Kirby Misperton Protection Camp Protect Ryedale2

Photo: Kirby Misperton Protection Camp

The Thirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake, whose constituency includes Kirby Misperton, has handed a petition with more than 650 signatures to the Policing Minister, Nick Hurd.

The petition, organised by Ryedale Against Anti-Social Protesters, raises concerns over what the signatories describe as “the recent disruptive behaviour of some of the anti-fracking protesters in the Kirby Misperton area”.

Mr Hollinrake said:

“The petitioners are concerned about the negative impact fracking protests have had in the area for which I do have some sympathy.

“It is absolutely proper that people should have the right to protest but residents should also be able to go about their daily business – go to work, take their children to school or attend doctor’s appointments without fear of intimidation.”

A statement from Frack Free Ryedale and Kirby Misperton Protection Camp said:

“It is interesting to see that our MP is so selective in listening to the voices of his constituents. He appears to be listening to 650 people, whilst ignoring the views of so many more – namely the 4,375 individuals, groups and organisations, as well as the town and village councils – who objected to the planning application to frack in Ryedale.

“As a result of being ignored local people took the only action left open to them; to protest publicly.

“The Government is making moves to allow the shale gas industry to drill, lay well pads and build associated infrastructure without any consultation with local communities or the planning process. This is an outrageous assault on democracy.”

29 replies »

  1. Thanks for the laugh.

    Apart from the humour, if this is what is now needed to keep the antis excited and energised, then I have a new quotation to replace the “infamy, infamy, they all have it in for me” mantra.

    “The end is nigh!”

  2. The industry and security company’s accounts cannot be correct. Not only are the accounts inconsistent but it is clear the dog was fit and well when it arrived at the vets. There was no evidence of poisoning whatsoever and it certainly did not undergo emergency surgery. At the very least wasting police time and possibly wrongful arrest surely? I do hope this is being investigated and formal complaints have been lodged.

    • Agreed Kat, nothing less than a public apology from Third Energy to the arrested protectors that is published on the media news will be acceptable.

      • I think I will refer to all anti anti attempts to fabricate accusations against protectors as:

        “poisoning the dog”!

        • Nice one. I call on Mr Kevin Holinrake himself to make the apology on the BBC and also stand up in ‘zoo’ parliament and tell the truth.

    • The security company at Kirby Misperton was in breach of the Guard Dogs Act 1975 too http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1975/50/contents as they were clearly NOT in control of their dog, the dog had not been trained, otherwise it would NOT eat or drink ANYTHING on the site controlled by his owners, (a site which is full of toxic materials) and I doubt that the required Guard Dog warning signs were in place on the day(s) in question. Perhaps North Yorkshire Police would like to investigate these breaches of the GDA1975?

      • Excellent report Wandering Dutchman, perhaps Derek Laird, managing director of Next Level Security Services (NLSS), Third Energy’s security contractor, can answer here why the statement he clearly stated was not even remotely true, and what the police have to say about it?

        “Derek Laird told local media he was “particularly disturbed by the incident”. He said:

        “Narla [the guard dog] collapsed and her heart stopped temporarily, she was rushed to the vets were she underwent emergency surgery and is now heavily sedated.

        “This dog could have died and it is only thanks to the skill of the veterinary staff that she is alive today.”

        Perhaps Derek Laird can state why he stated that “Narla [the guard dog] collapsed and her heart stopped temporarily, she was rushed to the vets were she underwent emergency surgery and is now heavily sedated.”? Which is clearly contrary to the facts?

        Please feel free Derek Laird, to reply on Wandering Dutchman’s post and the statement you made above, here on Drill Or Drop.

  3. Im sure you wouldn’t laugh Martin if you had been fitted up for something like this . There are millions of dog lovers in the UK , many were outraged by the accusation and rightly so except that the incident didn’t happen and the reports that the dog had surgery in order to survive are just an industry’s only way to try to stop the growing anti-fracking movement . One of the site workers had been reported and cautioned by police prior to this incident for common assault , spitting in the mans face on film , he was sacked from the job . If you ask me this alleged dog incident was a response from the security firm . It didn’t take long for investors to start spreading the lies on social media and there were many violent threats made online which have been saved . Yes Martin , laugh all you like , it shows the true kind of person you are .

  4. Well, I didn’t ask you Jono, because your answer was too predictable. Shows the true kind of person you are. Meanwhile, we have KatT stating what cannot be correct. This is the same KatT who tried to state it cannot be correct that new build domestic houses are sometimes piled, (corrected by Sherwulfe), only industrial buildings. One other poster has, I expect, similarly utilised his experience that this was false (I have given up reading)-producing the same sort of defense. The gentleman who tried to excite others that agricultural vehicles were routinely fuelled by vegetable oil, with “red” diesel being red to distinguish it from vegetable oil! I’m sure that produced a giggle around KM, many of whom will have been told the real reason before they were old enough to be allowed to drive and refuel farm machinery. (In my case it was 16 years old, others I expect, much younger.)

    Forgive me for finding the issue comical. I have worked with livestock all my life, and enjoyed, yes, loved, having dogs all my life. It is just the defense by individuals for this situation I find comical, when their defense of other situations has been, shall we say, somewhat fictional? Nice to see you are so willing to join the club, Jono. “Investors to start spreading the lies”-you mean those who invested in Barclays Bank hoping to make their fortune out of some huge impact that Third Energy would have upon the profitability of Barclays Bank? Somebody should warn Mr. Carney.
    You obviously thought benefit could accrue via the “investor” false tag. A n other decided Third Energy corporate governance was suspect as it was owned by Barclay Brothers.

    Laughter can get you through a lot.

    • Martin, I find it somewhat funny but equally sad that you have to try to diminish people’s comments by trying to discredit factual statements.
      ..oh by the way did you work for the 70s childrens television programme entitled “Jackanory” if you didn’t, you should have as you would have been one of the better storytellers.

  5. Interesting Martin, you claim to have worked with livestock all your life but on another post today you claim to have had some experience of PR, which is it? Were you a PR executive for Ed the talking horse or Babe the talking pig. You appear to have worked in so many industries I am surprised you can remember them all! Mind you is it a sign of your age that your memory fails, or do you just make it all up?

  6. Even if the anti frackers didn’t do this, we all realize that this is the type of stunt they would pull. We understand that their moral agenda is more important than anyone else’s so it is natural that they should trample on the rights of others to achieve their ends. Sure, a dog may die, sure people are threatened by them regularly, sure people can’t do their work and get paid because of them, but it’s all good because they are protecting all of us.

  7. No cigar Ronin.

    You think that agriculture is all about buxom dairy maids? (A bit of reality there, together with a lot of fantasy.) It is also about sophisticated advertising, PR, market research etc. etc. Yes, I remember the buxom dairy maids fondly, but I also remember the ‘photo shoots with the models to produce the advertising impact, some years through my career, and then checking that impact via Market Research. My memory recalls both.

    Marketing within agriculture is as sophisticated as any other industry and Universities have recognised this for decades, with degrees in both, and combined. Giggle it if, and when, you are looking for a career opportunity. Harper Adams University in Shropshire is one source of info., but there are plenty more, and the USA is particularly well advanced in this field if you want to incorporate more Agribusiness into your studies.

    I find it interesting that many antis seem to have a disconnect with the reality of what happens on a day to day basis within the UK, and seem to want to expose this. Several alternative reasons why that may be so, but, it is what it is, and others who view DOD occasionally note the same. May be a contribution to the two thirds?

  8. Isn’t it rather hypocritical of the people who are supporting PL on here in utter outrage, claiming he and the anti fracking movement have been unfairly ‘smeared’ by dog gate when PL and several others have delivered a long campaign of smear tactics against anyone who has the opposite opinion to theirs? If PL is so distraught at what he feels is dishonest why does he use a fake profile as PMH? Why did he once use a picture of myself as his profile picture? Why does he and his cronies continue to abuse myself and Kevin Hollinrake on line jointly? If they cannot be trusted to even act with basic honesty there is absolutely no wonder people believe dog gate.

  9. A hint as to the title of the FOI request would be good.
    While we are quoted the vet report, it seems that there is other information in the request.
    Was anything thrown over the fence? ( yes or no )
    If so what did they consist of ( maybe dried dog food!)
    Did a dog eat it
    Was a dog sick
    Was a dog taken to the vet ( yes .. it seems so )
    Did the dog have surgery (no)
    Why were 2 people arrested ( ie why those two specifically )
    What does the cctv handed over to the police show?

    The slur balances on the mis reporting of the dogs condition and presumably that the rest of it did not happen either, or just that the dog was in fair health when examined by the vet, and the security company were not telling the truth re treatment at the vets?

    • This is an interesting debate hewes, but will the actual truth ever materialise? The point of this article is to show that incorrect facts were blown up in the media for a negative response to be encouraged from the general populous – much like the unnecessary closing of roads by the police to piss of the commuters. This included the BBC and the MP Kevin Hollinrake, both of whom should make a statement and ensure that all ‘reports’ in future are thoroughly investigated.

      • Its the old media maxim Sher, mud sticks, the fraud clearly fulfilled that purpose and victimised and damned the protectors and targetted individuals and was spread with glee all over the press and news and on the anti anti sites..

        it is standard practice in the news media to rush to publish bad news.

        Because bad news sells, scandal sells more, and lies sell outrageously.

        This can be seen all the time, in news that fulfils a particular agenda, presumably from editors or from orders to do so by funders or politicians.

        it works in censorship too, with items being deliberately withheld because it doesn’t suit the agenda of those who control such news to publish them.

        Then only when it all is shown to be false and entirely fictitious, is a the apology buried deep in some back page or incidental news item out of the way.

        Hey presto! Job done, purpose achieved, mud sticks, the victims may complain, but they will get no recognition beyond a brief mention, admission of error or wrong doing is not wanted and does not fulfil the agenda, so it is quietly squashed.

        People tend to think that all is fair honest and legal, but that has not been the truth, ever, as far as i can see?

        We see the screams of rage on these pages of Drill Or Drop if a subject that dares to contradict the fracking propaganda, that suddenly Drill Or Drop are somehow complicit and biased? Screams of being activists, anti fracking and deliberately supporting protest?

        And yet, when an item appears that supports fracking, suddenly its all smiles and well done Drill Or Drop?

        It is interesting to note that we never see any such mud slinging or claims of complicit bias from the protector side? No matter what is said?

        What does that tell us?

        That perhaps the much maligned protectors are not subject to the mind set that mud slinging is an intrinsic part of?

        Look at any first report from protectors, and it will usually be to the subject in hand only, no personal remarks, unless of course it is in reply to an anti anti personal attack?

        if you look at most, if not all of the anti anti posts now, you will see that there is almost always a personal attack angle included in the comment, if not the entire content?

        its the same strategy isnt it? Mud Sticks.

        This quote always springs to mind, i wont tell you who said it because that appears to be one of those forbidden references and would be deleted, it can be found on the internet however, that is not quite so censored yet.

        “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

        Another less volatile quote is this from George Orwell from his book “1984” (INGSOC):

        “War is Peace” “Freedom is Slavery” “Ignorance is Strength” Hooray for Peace, Freedom and Strength? That’s a perspective view as well?

        I think i will refer to such personal attack anti anti comments from now on as “mud sticks”?

      • Sherwulfe
        I am sure we will never see a full report on the issue. Well, certainly not from the media, as yesterday’s news used to be today’s chip wrapper.

        But it’s not unusual for the press to get a good quote and flaunt it around. After all, for day to day reporting, they are there for the story. It happens every day on the today programme, it being a win if they get a good soundbite to brag about all,day., re investigations, It can take a long time for the facts to appear, by which time interest wanes.

        Re the MP, he may need a bit more coaching on how to respond to media requests for a comment. He could have said that all protesting should be banned until a full investigation has been carried out, but better to say that he would be disappointed if it were true, but that everyone should await the results of the investigation.

    • Hi Hewes62. Apologies for not linking to the FOI. It’s added to the piece now. Best wishes, Ruth

  10. Well, it didn’t achieve the point I’m afraid Sherwulfe, as in your own words “will the actual truth ever materialise?” I can’t see what can be gained by speculating who may be correct. The site is mothballed (in respect of fracking) for the time being and most people not wanting to revisit the past just for speculation. Speculating on the future is slightly more rewarding. Will TE find a buyer?

    Maybe a more interesting debate would be when Planning Committees give the go ahead it is anti democratic to the antis and should be challenged, when they don’t, it is democratic and should not be challenged! Donald could miss out on the Peace Prize if that one was solved.

    I suspect both subjects would end up with the majority identifying “cake and eat it”.

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