Animal Protection > Activist Index

UK animal rights activist dies after hunger strike

UK: November 6, 2001

LONDON - A British animal rights activist, jailed for plotting a nationwide fire-bomb campaign and with a long history of hunger strikes, died yesterday after refusing food and water for 16 days, the prison service said. Barry Horne, 49, a former garbage collector from Liverpool in northwest England, became the first martyr to the animal rights cause in a nation famed for its love of pets.

He died in hospital of kidney failure after being taken there from a high-security prison where he had been serving an 18-year jail sentence for fire-bombings.

He had refused to take food and water since October 21, a prison service spokeswoman said, and was admitted to hospital on November 1 suffering from kidney damage. But he had signed a form forbidding doctors to give him any treatment.

Horne, jailed in November 1997, had already staged three hunger strikes to protest at the government's refusal to set up a full-scale inquiry into vivisection.

One previous six-week fast, which took him to the brink of death, left him with irreparable kidney damage.

Media reports suggested the latest protest was against the government's slaughter of millions of animals to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease.

During Horne's previous fasts, the Animal Rights Militia, an offshoot of a group called the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) to which he belonged, had vowed to assassinate 10 people it accused of cruelty to animals - mainly top medical researchers - if he died. The ALF has claimed responsibility for dozens of guerrilla-style attacks over the years in its campaign against cruelty to animals.


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