Two opponents of the ban on fox Hunting in the United Kingdom were warned by police that their names appeared on a hit list prepared by extremist animal rights groups. Labour Member of Parliament Llin Golding and Sports Minister Kate Hoey were advised by police to take extra security precautions after the list came to light. Given recent animal rights violence, including an assault on an animal lab manager and a wave of letter bombs, police are taking the threat very seriously.
Hoey is an outspoken defender of fox hunting, while Golding supported a compromise proposal that would have heavily regulated fox hunting rather than banning it outright. They were the only Labour Members of Parliament to vote against the bill banning fox hunting.
Golding lashed out at extremists in the animal rights movement saying,
These people do not frighten me, they just make me sick and nothing they do will stop me from speaking up for what I think is wright. They have already sent me a coffin containing a huntsman, and tombstone. They are bullies and they are evil. It is important that people do not give in to them.
Robin Webb, spokesman for the UK Animal Liberation Front, was relatively candid in an interview with the Daily Telegraph about his group’s indifference to human life and the ALF’s connection to violent attacks in the UK.
Asked whether or not the ALF condemned the threats, Webb said,
This is something the ALF will neither condone or condemn. We fully understand the anger and frustration which leads people to take this type of action. The Labour Party has failed to keep all those pledges it made to animal rights campaigners in the run-up to the last election.
Many people feel they have been conned and let down by New Labour. The whole movement has taken a step towards radicalism. The argument has been used, quite justifiably in my opinion, that if the animals could fight for themselves there would be a lot of dead animal abusers.
Webb said that the hit list was probably put together by members of the Animal Rights Militia and the Justice Department, both of which have been responsible for numerous acts of violence, including letter bomb attacks, in the UK and other countries. Webb also confirmed what anyone who has followed the ALF for very long could also deduce — ALF members are behind the Animal Rights Militia and Justice Department. Webb said,
People who are ALF members do work for other organistions. The ALF cannot be held responsible for actions they carry out as [a] result of membership of another organisation.
In other words, the ALF is just a label. If nobody gets hurt in an action, the activists say it was done in the name of the ALF. If it involves potentially maiming or killing someone, they simply pick another name out of the hat such as the Animal Rights Militia, but the same core group of activists is likely behind both types of actions.
Animal rights activists target MPs. The BBC, March 10, 2001.
Bomb threat to pro-hunt women MPs. Joe Murphy and Chris Hastings, The Daily Telegraph (London) March 11, 2001.
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