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The BBC's Norman Smith
"The warning follows threats and violence against staff working for Huntingdon Life Sciences in Cambridge"
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Saturday, 10 March, 2001, 21:35 GMT
Animal rights activists target MPs
Llin Golding
Llin Golding chairs the "middle way" group
Labour MP Llin Golding and Sports Minister Kate Hoey have been forced to take security precautions after it emerged that they are on an animal rights activists' "hit list".

Llin Golding, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, believes she has become a target for activists because of her views on fox hunting.

These people do not frighten me, they just make me sick and nothing they do will stop me from speaking up

Llin Golding
Mrs Golding is chairwoman of the parliamentary "middle way group" which supports statutory regulation of hunting rather than an outright ban.

The middle way is one of three options being considered by MPs and peers for the future of fox hunting.


The MP said: "I haven't had any threats yet, but I wouldn't be surprised.

"I'm quite certain that I'm on a list somewhere. Common sense tells me to be careful." she said.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that police had warned the backbencher, along with Sports Minister Kate Hoey, that they could face letter or car bomb attacks by animal rights extremists.

The move followed the discovery of a list which included the names of prominent people sympathetic to the continuation of fox hunting.

Mrs Golding told the newspaper: "I do not think it would be wise to discuss the advice I was given on the sort of precautions to take.

"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 right."

Mrs Golding did not say which police force had contacted her.

Minister warned

Ms Hoey, the MP for Vauxhall, who also advocates the continuation of hunting, said she was "not really worried" about the threats but admitted that she was being careful.

"All of us in public life get nasty letters and threats and so on," she told GMTV's The Sunday Programme.

"But I'm quite confident what I'm saying and doing is right and I'm not really worried about this sort of thing, although everybody has to be careful."

Kate Hoey
Kate Hoey has also been warned by police
Concerns in policing circles about increasing militancy among animal rights activists have been growing.

The threat appeared to be underlined last month when Brian Cass, the manager of the controversial research laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences, was attacked by balaclava-clad assailants.

The hunting argument, which traditionally arouses strong passions on all sides, returns to parliament on Monday, when the government will face calls from scores of pro-foxhunting peers not to press ahead with a ban on the sport.

MPs have already voted overwhelmingly to criminalise hunting with hounds, one of three options in the Hunting Bill, which is to be debated at Second Reading in the House of Lords.

Peers are expected to back the middle way option - allowing hunting to continue under licence - when the Bill reaches committee stage in the Lords later this month.

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