Animal Rights Activists Predict More Violent Actions in the Wake of Barry Horne's Death

Reaction to Barry Horne’s death from animal rights activists was swift and predictable — Horne was a hero and his death will likely inspire more violent actions against people in animal industries.

Ronnie Lee, founder of the Animal Liberation Front, said, “I think there are some people who would regard him as a martyr. Everyone in the animal rights movement feels a combination of sadness and anger over his death. That includes people whose thing is to carry out personal actions on animal rights abusers.”

Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid, said he did not condone arson but called Horne a “thoroughly dedicated anti-vivisectionist.”

Robin Webb, current ALF spokesman, said, “Barry has given his life. It will harden people’s resolve. … I can’t predict what will happen but people are becoming angry and I belive this will make them angrier. Some people are becoming more radical still.”

Scriptwriter and animal rights activist Carla Lane said, “I don’t believe in violence, arson, or anything like that, but I believe in why Barry did what he did. I hope he will make others think more deeply about it, because if someone is prepared to give their life they must have seen something that was deeply, deeply upsetting to them.”

And Kevin Jonas of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, weighed in to predict that violent actions would escalate. “He was a household name for animal rights activists around the world,” Jonas said. “I can only predict that his death is going to spark a reaction.”

Companies and police in Great Britain are reportedly already preparing for an increase in animal rights related terrorism following Horne’s death. During his last hunger strike, the Animal Rights Militia issued a list of 10 people it claimed it would kill if Horne died. Given the outpouring of love for such a violent individual, don’t expect the activists to pull their punches.


Police alert after animal rights bomber dies on hunger strike. Richard Ford, The Times (London), November 6, 2001.

Animal rights activist dies after hunger strike. Ian Burrell, The Independent (London), November 6, 2001.

Interview. The Guardian (London), November 6, 2001.

Animal activists mourn their martyr dies in hunger strike: Firebomber dies after fourth hunger strike bid to change vivisection policy. Sarah Hall, The Guardian (London), November 6, 2001.

Companies on alert after death of activist: Animal rights group wars of violence. Jimmy Burns and David Firn, The Financial Times (London), November 6, 2001.

Firebomber dies on hunger strike. Philip Johnston, The Daily Telegraph (London), November 6, 2001.

Animal Rights Protesters in Arkansas Show True Heart of the Movement

Surprise, surprise, surprise. Animal rights activists associated with Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty have long been extolling and promising violence, and in their big protest (if you consider 180 or so activists a major protest) against Stephens Incorporated, they tried to follow through on those promises.

Police had set up a 3 foot barrier to separate the protesters from the Stephens, Inc. building. Late in the afternoon, while one activist shouted “The Battle of Little Rock has begun” over a bullhorn, several demonstrators — pushed at the barrier and attempted to climb it, at which point police apparently used force, reportedly including stun grenades, rubber bullets, and pepper spray, to control the crowd.

Estimates of the number arrested ranged from 10 reported by an Arkansas television station two a couple dozen reported by the Associated Press.

Earlier in the day the activist, many of whom refused to give the press their last names, showed up at the homes of at least two executives of Stephens Inc. to protest. Police were well-prepared, however, with plenty of police at several points along the march and a police helicopter circling overhead (hint — maybe police in Great Britain should take a look at how police can prevent violent hooliganism while still allowing people to peacefully protest).

Animal rights activist Ryan Courtade (who still can’t make up his mind which side he’s on), quickly sent out an e-mail describing the events and, in my opinion, accurately assessing the state of the animal rights movement,

Our movement needs to take a step back and reanalyze itself. What happened today is not acceptable. If we have to force Stephen’s to drop it’s financial back [sic] of HLS from Terrorism, and Fear, then we are no better than the lowest form of life. We need Stephen’s to drop financial back because of what they are doing to animals. We need to speak in a unified voice, and not with terror.

Sure, but lets be honest — there is no animal rights movement today that is separate from this sort of violence. The handful of animal rights organizations willing to condemn these sorts of actions can be counted on one hand, while even a group like the Humane Society of the United States stoops to hiring advocates of terrorism and violence.

The problem that folks like Courtade face is that the animal rights movement already waged its nonviolent campaign and it lost big time. People do care about animal welfare, and they are certainly more aware of animal issues than they were 20 years ago, but the animal rights movement has been heard and soundly rejected by the overwhelming majority of Americans. People may disagree about the most humane way to kill a cow, but few Americans consider killing a cow for food to be inherently immoral. People may be concerned about the fate of animals used in medical research, but nobody except Ingrid Newkirk is going to go along with letting a premature infant die just to preserve the life of a calf whose lung tissue is used to make the infant’s lungs work more efficiently.

The rhetoric is stale and played out — all the animal rights movement has left are its arsonists and agitators. It’s ironic that even as SHAC should be riding high with its claimed successes at driving HLS out of business, its leaders (as well as the rest of the animal rights movement) seems to have an air of increasing desperation. Even PETA’s nutty campaigns are becoming less and less imaginative and, more importantly, the shock value is simply no longer news.

Look at the protest against Stephens. After hyping this protested practically every week on animal rights mailing lists, and garnering extensive publicity for itself, the best SHAC can do is convince a little under 200 activists to travel to Arkansas? No wonder they have to resort to intimidation and fear — without it, they’d be irrelevant.


In response to the Stephen’s demonstrations. Ryan Courtade, E-mail communication, October, 29, 2001.

Animal rights activists picket. Tim Taylor, Times Record (Fort Smith, Arkansas), October 29, 2001.

Demonstrations turn violent. KARK News 4, October 29, 2001.

Activists clash with police in Ark. Melissa Nelson, The Associated Press, October 29, 2001.

SHAC Unsuccessfully Tries to Pressure Shell

For a brief period at the end of August and beginning of September, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty was actively trying to pressure Shell Oil to stop doing business with Huntingdon Life Sciences, but didn’t get very far.

In the first week of September, 15 animal rights activists chained themselves to concrete-filled oil drums on the road leading to a Shell oil refinery in the United Kingdom. The protest forced police to close the read, causing disruptions during rush hour traffic near the refinery.

The interesting thing was that a SHAC spokesman, Joseph Dawson, was obviously frustrated by SHAC’s inability to pressure Shell to withdraw its business from HLS. Dawson told The Guardian,

The list of companies who have pulled out because of this sort of action is endless. We have tried to reason with Shell. We offered to do it the nice way and speak to them but they basically put the phone down on us so now this campaign has to be stepped up.

Dawson seemed shocked that a company might actually resist his group’s harassment and ignorance. Good for Shell.


Animal rights activists blockade refinery. The Guardian (UK), September 4, 2001.

SHAC Vows to "Smash HLS" Regardless of Where It Is Incorporated

Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty responded to the October 9 announcement that Huntingdon Life Sciences would be reorganized in the United States by promising to work even harder to “SMASH HLS.”

SHAC issued a press release referring to the move as an act of desperation that would have little impact on their activities, even though SHAC itself conceded that by incorporating itself in Maryland, the new Life Sciences corporation will be able to effectively prevent animal rights activists from having access to its list of shareholders.

SHAC apparently believes it will be able to continue receiving all of the information it needs from leaks within the company and/or third parties the company deals with. As the SHAC press release put it,

…HLS’s hope for privacy from the US listing and Maryland shareholder privacy law is nothing but a pipe dream for the company. HLS can keep nothing secret. Stephens bailout of HLS in January was meant to be very hush-hush but was discovered in a matter of days. The same will prove true for the “anonymous” group of US backers that are buying the 15% stake in HLS and their current and future shareholders.


SHAC-USA on the HLS US Listing! Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, Press Release, October 9, 2001.

Anti-lab activists see victory as animal testing center HLS moves financial listing to US in desperate bid to survive! Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, Press Release, October 10, 2001.

Huntingdon Life Sciences to Become Life Sciences Research in Effort Aimed to Thwart Animal Rights Activists

Huntingdon Life Sciences has apparently found what it think is a solution to at least some of the problems it faces by being chartered in Great Britain and have its stock grade on the London Stock Exchange. A company, Life Sciences Research Inc. has been set up for the purpose of acquiring all Huntingdon Life Sciences stock.

Assuming this goes through, current Huntingdon Life Sciences stock will be converted into stock for Life Sciences Research. Rather than be listed on the London Stock Exchange, the new company will be listed on the NASDAQ Over the COunter Bulletin Board.

In a press release, Andrew Baker, Huntingdon’s Executive Chairman, said the move was being made both for long term strategic reasons as well as because of a more favorable regulatory climate in the United States. Baker said,

The US securities markets offer both a more developed market for our industry and greater shareholder privacy, which, as everyone is aware, has been a serious issue for our shareholder.

Brian Cass, Huntingdon’s Managing Director added, “This transaction offers us the best of both worlds, with the benefits of an American stock trading facility, and the continuance of our existing UK and US laboratory operations.”


Huntingdon and LSR Announce Transaction. Huntingdon Life Sciences, Press Release, Business Wire, October 9, 2001.

Huntingdon Life Sciences Releases Mixed Second Quarter Financial Results

The besieged Huntingdon Life Sciences recently released its second quarter financial data which were decidedly mixed. On the one hand, second-quarter revenues from the firm were up to 16.9 million pounds — the highest level in four years. On the other hand, the animal testing company also reported widening losses, with losses per share up to 2.2p compared to only 1.3p in the first quarter. At the same time, however, the firm’s cash reserves rose from 1.22 million pounds to 2.19 million pounds.

Brian Cass, the managing director of HLS and the recent recipient of the pharmaceutical industry’s Achievement Award for 2001, sounded an optimistic note about the future of the company.

“The protests are not affecting our customers because the orders are growing dramatically,” Cass said.

HLS executive chairman Andrew Baker added,

The animal rights campaign is now recognized as being much broader and of concern to all those involved in the vital endeavor of animal research. The backing we have seen from clients and from the government, including changes to the law they have introduced, reflects that new understanding, and provides benefits for our whole society.

HLS is not sitting still. Groups like Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty have adopted a policy of targeting those individuals and companies who invest in HLS. To minimize that tactic, HLS is close to deploying a system which would essentially render its investors anonymous.

An HLS spokesman told The Times of London that they expected to launch the system before the end of the year. If it proves successful, the company hopes to return to normal trading on SEATS, an electronic component of the London Stock Exchange designed specifically for the trading of stocks of small companies like HLS.


HLS says UK labs lift order growth. Gautam Malkani, The Financial Times (London), September 29, 2001.

HLS says revenues hit four-year high. The Financial Times (London), September 29, 2001.

HLS scheme nears launch. Mark Court, The Times (London), September 29, 2001.

Losses widen as protests dog HLS. Iain Dey, The Scotsman, September 29, 2001.

Huntingdon claims turnaround in sales. Saaed Shah, The Independent (London), September 29, 2001.

Huntingdon chief’s bravery award. The Independent (London), September 28, 2001.