03 March 1998
Straw attacks animal rights "activists "
THE militant actions of some animal rights protesters have come under the spotlight after home secretary Jack Straw yesterday accused them of being “terrorists”.
He told the House of Commons at question time that individuals had been convicted of offences “which amount to terrorism”.
He declared: “They call themselves `animal rights terrorists and that is exactly the kind of action they are pursuing.”
Mr Straw was replying to a statement from Tory MP Julie Kirkbride, who complained about the harassment of a turkey exporter in her Bromsgrove constituency.
Ms Kirkbride, a former .Daily Telegraph journalist, said: “Some of the people he gets are perfectly reasonable people who wish to have their legitimate rights to protest. There are others who abuse his grandchildren, abuse his farm workers and who behave completely irresponsibly.”
She told MPs: “He finds himself completely at the mercy of these protesters, who come every week to abuse his staff and who he finds cannot be dealt with under the law at present.”
Mr Straw said: “I do have every sympathy for the circumstances faced by your constituent and I would be happy to meet you to discuss it in further detail.
“I am aware of a similar situation, of which you may be aware, and I believe that some of the actions of the so-called animal rights protesters to be utterly outrageous.
“In some cases you will know that some of the individuals have been convicted of offences which amount to terrorism.”