In 1997 and 1998, Barry Horne, an imprisoned animal liberation
activist, carried out 3 hunger strike protests against government policy on
vivisection. The hunger strikes created massive publicity in the media, and
brought worldwide attention to the plight of animals in laboratories, and to the
collusion between politicians and the pharmaceutical industry. Barry's actions
also provoked a huge upsurge in activism against vivisection and all animal
abuse which shook the establishment and inspired a generation of activists.
This period was a watershed in the growth of the radical animal
liberation movement. This is a chronological account of the hunger strikes
compiled by those who were close to Barry throughout this period. If you have
any further information, press cuttings, photos, from the time please contact us
so we can build up a tribute to Barry's contribution to the animal liberation
Barry and the Hunger Strike Campaigns.
In July 1996, Barry Horne, a long time animal liberation activist, was
arrested while trying to plant timed incendiary devices at various premises in
Bristol. Subsequently he was charged with several other incendiary attacks the
previous year on the Isle of Wight, which had caused millions of pounds worth of
damage to businesses mainly connected to vivisection. He was remanded in custody
to Bristol prison to await trial.
The First Hunger Strike, January 1997
Six months later on January 6 1997, while still awaiting trial, Barry
announced he would refuse all food until the government pledged to withdraw its
support and funding for vivisection within the next 5 years. His plan was to
highlight the government's support for animal experiments, which would in turn
provoke an increase in action in the animal rights movement. His anger was
heightened by the fact that the same government department which was responsible
for keeping him in prison, the Home Office, was also responsible for supporting
and licensing animal experiments. Within days of the beginning of the hunger
strike, he was unexpectedly taken from his cell and transferred to another
prison, HMP Bullingdon near Oxford
As planned, the hunger strike sparked off a big upsurge in activity. Just 12
days into the protest on Jan 18th a support vigil outside Bullingdon Prison was
attended by hundreds of activists. Later in the day, crowds of activists stormed
the nearby Harlan animal breeding centre at Blackthorn, where a massive amount
of damage was caused as a small group of police looked on. The activists then
converged on Hill Grove Farm, which bred cats for experiments. Here the owner
Chris Brown could only hide as almost every window was broken and a tractor
destroyed. Fourteen cats were were liberated from the sheds as activists escaped
across fields. Later police reinforcements finally arrived, and 7 of the cats
were recaptured and 26 activists arrested.
The hunger strike campaign had got off to an explosive start, and it was
about to get even hotter for the vivisection industry.
The arrests failed to deter activists. The following week, on Saturday
January 25th, there was was protest at Consort beagle breeders in Herefordshire,
which was the subject of an ongoing campaign. The tension increased as the demo
reached the kennels. Eventually crowds of activists broke through police lines
to reach the cages, despite police attempts to hold them back using batons and
cs gas. Despite a big police presence, 8 beagle puppies were taken from the
cages and this time all the animals stayed free and were rehomed.
Later that same night, ALF activists destroyed 7 meat lorries with incendiary
devices at a Buxted Poultry plant in Northamptonshire, an action which was
dedicated to Barry Horne.
The following Saturday 1 February, another demo was planned at Dover in
memory of Jill Phipps, a friend of Barry's who had been killed while trying to
stop calves being exported from Coventry airport. The protest was attended by
300 activists, and it was clear that Barry's hunger strike protest had greatly
increased both the numbers and the anger.
The determined crowds eventually overwhelmed the police yet again, and
blocked the port of Dover for several hours. Later as the policed tried to
restore order, a McDonalds in the town was heavily damaged by a group of
activists. Later, in nearby countryside, activists stormed into Homestead Farm
which breeds rabbits for vivisection and liberated 10 rabbits.
The movement had certainly been stirred up, but there was no reply from the
politicians. It was the beginning of 1997, the dying days of the last
Conservative government, and there was little hope of progress with them.
However a general election was approaching, which Labour looked certain to win.
Several Labour officials and MP's wrote to Barry's support campaign hinting that
when Labour came to power they would act against vivisection. Among the various
other measures promised were an end to certain types of experiments, such as
LD50, draize eye tests, cosmetic, weapons, tobacco and alcohol tests, and a ban
on all primate experiments.
One MP, the then Labour animal welfare spokesperson Elliot Morley, wrote
"Labour is committed to a reduction and an eventual end to vivisection."
This was relayed to Barry in Prison. After much though, he decided to end the
hunger strike on 9th February, after 35 days. One of the aims of the hunger
strike, to provoke action in the movement, had clearly been achieved. Barry
would be keeping a close eye on whether the Labour Party kept its promises once
Three months later in May 1997 the Labour party won the general election.
In July Consort beagle breeders closed down, forced out of business by grass
roots campaigners, and some of the credit for this was due to Barry's protest.
The Second Hunger Strike
Six months after the end of the hunger strike, and Barry was back in Bristol
prison and had recovered his health.
While the Consort closure was
welcome news, on a political level Barry was becoming concerned that Labour had
no intention of carrying out even their limited pledges. They had failed to
implement any one of their promises, and despite many correspondences, would not
give any timetable on when any action would be taken.
On August 11th, Barry began his second hunger strike protest. This time his
demand was that the government to withdraw all vivisection licences within an
agreed time period. The Barry Horne Support Campaign was set up to mobilise
The following Saturday 16th, in a support action for Barry, in one evening
activists caused extensive damage to the properties of 5 Oxford University
vivisectors, including the infamous Colin Blakemore, famous for sewing up the
eyes of kittens. A few days later on 19th August, an article appeared in the
Independent newspaper about the hunger strike. Blakemore was interviewed, and
was quoted as saying as he would consider granting groups such as the ALF "a
place at the negotiating table." Barely a week into the hunger strike, and the
pressure was already telling on the vivisectors.
The government was also under pressure to answer why it had not fulfilled its
promises. In a further article in The Independent on August 20th, the second in
two days about the hunger strike, a Home Office spokewoman, asked about the
pre-election promises, was quoted as saying "December was a long time before the
election", a clear hint that they had no intention of honouring their promises.
On Monday 25th August, two weeks into the hunger strike, the first mass
protest saw 150 activists descend on Hill Grove Farm cat breeders near Witney,
Oxfordshire. Unlike during the first hunger strike, the police were more
prepared this time round, and all roads leading to the farm had been closed, all
vehicles were stopped and searched, activists questionned. Undeterred, activists
took to the woods and countryside surrounding the farm, causing mayhem for
several hours as riot police gave chase and a helicopter circled overhead.
With the farm surrounded by hundreds of police, around 100 activists
regrouped in the woods, and walked the short distance to hold a demo at the
holiday home of the then Home Secretary Jack Straw. By an incredible
coincidence, the government minister in charge of the Home Office had a property
in the same small village as Hill Grove Farm, the prime target of
anti-vivisection activists in the country.
However a further 100 police were surrounding the property, many with boiler
suits and no numbers on their shoulders. They aggressively pushed the protesters
away from the building before any demo could start. Two who didn't move quickly
enough were bundled to the ground and arrested in a no-nonsense operation.
Throughout the rest of the evening and into the night, the activists made
repeated attempts to reach the farm, and it took the efforts of hundreds of riot
police, around a dozen vehicles, and two police helicopters to protect the farm
from the crowd.
Two days later on Wednesday 27th August, 60 activists effectively blockaded
the London offices of the Labour Party for over an hour, before police arrived
in large numbers and pushed protesters across the road. On the same day in the
north of England, dozens of protesters blockaded Huntingdon Life Sciences' site
in Wilmslow, Cheshire (since closed). Also on 27th August, there were support
demos for Barry in the US states of New York and Minneapolis. The campaign was
growing and spreading far and wide.
The following day on Aug 28th Swedish activists broke into Stockholm
University's vivisection labs, causing damage and rescuing rats, during a week
of action in support of Barry. The same day 4 activists were arrested at a
rooftop demo at a cancer research shop in Bristol.
Another big demo 2 days later on Saturday 30th August saw 150 activists at
BIBRA toxicology lab at Carshalton in south-west London, who were greeted by a
massive police presence, including about 20 riot vans, police horses and police
dogs. Outnumbered, the crowd made several unsuccessful attempts to gain access,
but were forced back by police. Eventually they carried out a noisy march
through Carshalton and surrounding streets.
Demonstrations were now attracting many times more people than usual due to
the hunger strike. It was taking massive state resources to protect animal abuse
establishments from angry and determined activists.
Next Day, Sunday 31st
August, over 200 protesters turned up to a fur demo at Windmill Mink Farm in
Dorset. Again ranks of police surrounded the premises, though two fur farmers
were injured after being foolish enough to confront the crowd. Police were not
on hand later the same day when activist moved on to a nearby farm in Ringwood,
Hants, which supplied ferrets for vivisection. A large amount of damage was
caused to windows, doors and cars, and only the appearance of the farmer's wife
with a shotgun prevented animals being taken. In another action, a group of
activists liberated a few dozen hens from a battery farm not far from the mink
The hunger strike protest was still only 3 weeks old, and there were support
demos and actions every day in the UK and throughout the world. The aim of
mobilising the movement had been very successful. However, after the initial
publicity in the first days of the protest, media coverage had become almost
non-existent. The death of Princess Diana, also on 31st August, meant even less
chance of gaining publicity in the media, though as there was a virtual news
blackout anyway, it didn't make that much difference.
Even so actions continued unabated and reports of demos poured in. In this
vacuum of publicity, a regular bulletin from the Barry Horne Support Campaign
was mailed out every week without fail to well over a thousand supporters in the
UK and around the world.
Activists in several parts of the UK came up with a novel way of highlighting
the campaign, by painting slogans along bridges over motorways throughout the
country. Slogans such as "SUPPORT BARRY HORNE, END VIVISECTION NOW", were seen
in places as far afield as Newcastle, Oxford, Yorkshire, South Wales and
At the same time many thousands of letters and emails of protest were
flooding into the Home Office and MP's in support of Barry's demands.
On September 7th, day 27 of the hunger strike, the campaign took a new twist.
Using the tactics employed by peace campaigners and road protesters, 60
activists set up a permanent camp in support of Barry, directly opposite the
main gates of Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) main complex near Huntingdon. The
effect on HLS was profound, with a permanent anti-vivisection presence right on
their doorstep, vivisectors and support staff had to run the gauntlet of angry
activists every time they arrived or left the site.
As well as twice daily demos at the gates to greet the workers, there were
frequent night-time actions with fences cut and property attacked. .
HLS had been under pressure since an undercover investigation earlier in
1997, which had revealed scenes of cruelty, neglect and malpractice, including
the infamous scenes of beagle dogs being punched in the face. The investigation
had received much publicity, and the outcry forced the the Home Office to at
least be seen to be doing something. It was announced that HLS would be given
until November 30th to improve its practices, or it would have its licence to
experiment on animals withdrawn.
The publicity had led to a collapse in the company's share price, wiping �80
million off their share price overnight, and they were temporarily delisted from
the Stock Exchange. Over half their customers either withdrew contracts, or
refused to place new work with the company. Even the vivisection industry was
keen to distance themselves from HLS. David Christopher, Research Laboratories
Director of HLS, suddenly resigned from the Animal Procedures Committee, the
Home Office body which is supposed to regulate animal experiments. The
pro-vivisection Research Defence Society announced in its July newsletter that
it had suspended HLS from its corporate membership.
Now the pressure was being stepped up further. As well as the Huntingdon
camp, there were almost daily protests at the HLS site in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
(HLS had bought the site from Ciba Geigy, but in doing so they also took on an
ongoing campaign by local activists who now joined forces with those already
targeting HLS' main site).
However HLS was only a part of the picture. As Barry's hunger strike moved
into a second month, and concern for his health grew, the campaign was being
waged on a broad front. The campaign support bulletin reported that on a single
day, Friday 12th September, there were protests at the Home Office in London,
and at the Labour Party office in Southampton, while overseas there were demos
at British Embassy in The Hague, Holland and at the British Consulate in
Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and an anti vivisection protest at Umea University in
Sweden, which ended in scuffles with vivisectors as activists tried to storm the
The following day, Saturday 13th around 40 activists tried to hold a demo at
the notorious agricultural research station at Babraham, but the demo was
effectively smothered by over 200 police in full riot gear.
Later the same day, 13th September, there was another mass night protest at
Hill Grove Cat Farm.With police once again surrounding the farm and blocking off
roads, large groups of protesters spent the night roaming the woods, using
megaphones, sirens and setting off firecrackers as a police helicopter circled
ahead almost all night. The Hill Grove campaign was now in full swing, with
regular protests and leafleting of every house in the area.
Next Day, Sunday 14th, over 400 activists turned up to another high profile
target, Shamrock Farm in West Sussex which imported monkeys for vivisection
(like Hillgrove, this farm is long gone now). Protesters blocked the road, and
there were angry scenes and scuffles as others tried to get into the farm. A
massive police presence ensured that just one activist managed to scale the
fence and get onto the roof.
The following day, Monday 15th, HLS went to court in an attempt to evict the
Huntingdon camp. Despite a team of highly paid lawyers, the action failed when a
judge granted a 7 day adjournment, giving the camp crucial time to dig in.
On Thursday 18th a public meeting organised by the Hill Grove campaign drew
over 80 people, mostly concerned locals. Actions against HLS and Hill Grove were
now daily occurences.
On 18th September, the same day as the Hill Grove public meeting, two HLS
animal technicians, Andrew Mash and Robert Waters appeared in court for causing
unnecessary cruelty in connection with the undercover investigation which had
caused HLS such trouble. They received community service orders and were ordered
to pay costs. Three days later activists struck at the home of Andrew Mash in
Godmanchester, and smashed over 20 windows.
Two days later, on Saturday 20th the action moved to Wickham animal labs in
Hampshire, where 300 activists marched on the site. Yet again riot police,
barbed wire and security fencing kept out the angry crowd. Nearby however police
were not in attendance as activists smashed the windows and patio doors at the
home of Wickham director William Cartmel in Southampton.
The following day, Sunday 21st, over 150 people turned up to a special Animal
Rights Coalition/Barry Horne Support Campaign meeting which was held at the
Huntingdon camp. After the meeting, there was a large demo at the gates as staff
left work. After one car struck two protesters carrying placards, the angry
crowd surged forward, and 3 protesters were arrested as police struggled to
protect the labs. Another three activists broke through the police lines, scaled
the fence and got onto the roof of HLS, where they stayed for several days
gaining much publicity.
The pressure was now so intense that the
government was forced into action. It was 6 weeks since the beginning of the
hunger strike, and Barry's health was failing fast. The support letters, phone
calls and emails were now flooding into the Home Office.
On Thursday 25th September, a then Home Office Minister, Lord Williams of
Mostyn (who later became Attorney General), contacted Barry's supporters with an
offer of dialogue between government officials and Barry's supporters. Barry was
allowed a phone call from Bristol Prison to discuss the offer with his campaign
Barry agreed to a meeting between his supporters and a Home Office
delegation. He decided to call off the protest at midnight the following day,
Friday Sept 26th, after 46 days on hunger strike.
The campaign had achieved many of its aims. There had been another huge
upsurge in activism, nationally and internationally. The vivisection industry
and the individuals involved had come under pressure as never before. And though
the government had still not acted, it had at least been forced to justify its
failure to honour its pre-election promises.
However there were ominous signs of the government's bad faith almost
immediately. Within days of the end of the hunger strike it emerged that the
Home Office had been in talks with HLS executives, and had withdrawn the threat
to terminate their vivisection licence. Soon afterwards, police and bailiffs
moved in to physically evict the camp outside HLS labs. The eviction took
several days as one activist remained long after the others, locked in a safe
buried underground, which was widely reported in the media.
It was also reported that the number of animal experiments was set to rise
for the first time in over 2 decades.
At the Home Office talks on October 10th, three supporters put questions to
government officials on Barry's behalf. Among this issues on the agends were
Labour's unfilled pre-election promises, the blatant bias of the Animal
Procedures Committee , the inadequate inspecorate regime, and the decision to
support HLS despite its terrible record.
The most important question was how did the first rise in the number of
experiments in 25 years equate with the government's pre-election promise of a
"reduction and an eventual end of vivisection".
Nevertheless, the meeting was recorded, and a copy was sent to Barry in
prison, who was still very unwell, making a slow and painful recovery, and
certainly in no position to make any judgement at this stage.
Barry's Trial and Sentencing
There was also another matter which Barry would now have to deal with, his
forthcoming trial at Bristol Crown Court. The two hunger strike protests had
taken place while Barry was still on remand.
Just over a month after the end of a 6 week hunger strike, Barry went on
trial at Bristol Crown Court on November 12th. He pleaded guilty to attempted
arson in Bristol, but he denied involvement in the earlier Isle of Wight attacks
which had caused so much damage.
Although there was no direct evidence to link Barry to the Isle of Wight
attacks, the prosecution claimed that the devices in both cases were so similar
that they were made by the same person, and he was convicted on all charges.
Three weeks later, on 5th December Barry was sentenced to 18 years in prison,
the longest sentence ever handed out to an animal activist.
Barry begins his sentence, and a third hunger strike
Over the next 6 months Barry continued to recover, and to evaluate the
lessons learned from the last hunger strike. He was transferred from Bristol to
the top security Full Sutton prison near York.
As summer ended, he made up his mind that the government acted in bad faith
at the end of the previous hunger strike. Supporters contacted the government on
his behalf. He set the date of September 26th 1998, exactly a year on from the
end of the second hunger strike, as a deadline for the government to respond
When the date passed, he resolved to carry out a 3rd hunger strike protest.
Two weeks later, at midnight on October 6th 1998 he again began refusing food.
A newsletter and website were again set up to support the campaign. The
campaign newsletter this time was produced by the Animals Betrayed Coalition
(ABC), an umbrella group set up to highlight all of the government's promises
regarding animals, including the fur trade and hunting, as well as vivisection.
As this was the third hunger strike, it would be more difficult to motivate
the movement or to get publicity than the previous occasions. Barry and his
supporters were aware that he it could be some weeks before there was much
impact this time.
Even so, the number of actions and the amount of awareness began to grow
again. On October 11th, 5 days into the protest, Finnish activists carried out a
support action dedicated to Barry when they released 400 foxes and 200 raccoons
from a fur farm, and destroyed a killing machine.
The following Saturday October 17th, saw the first big protest of the hunger
strike, when hundreds of activists turned up to Hill Grove Cat Farm. With
feelings running so high again, the police used special powers to cordon off the
area, closing down public roads and preventing any access to the farm. This
time, instead of taking to the woods, activists regrouped in nearby Oxford city
centre where a whole day of mayhem followed. Traffic was brought to a standstill
as protests were held at animal labs and vivisector Colin Blakemore's home. Riot
police made 13 arrests as they struggled to restore order and clear the streets.
The following Tuesday October 20th there was a large demo at the Home Office
in London to support Barry's demands. Later crowds of activists stormed animal
labs at King's College and at the Institute of Neurology, where there were
scuffles with staff and fire alarms were set off.
Reports of actions dedicated to Barry continued to come in from the UK and
around the world.
Another support demo in Oxford on October 31st led to two arrests. Later
activists caused damage to the nearby vivisection breeders Park Farm, as well as
a battery hen farm where all vehicles were disabled. Elsewhere twenty activists
occupied the London offices of drug company merial, customers of Hill Grove,
while many smaller demos and vigils were held around the country outside labs
and Labour Party offices.
Large painted slogans again began to appear on motorways bridges and in town
centres highlighting the hunger strike.
Supporters once again began to deluge the Home Office with letters, emails
and faxes demanding action.
Initially the press hadn't taken much notice, but things started to change as
the hunger strike moved into the eighth week, and Barry's health deteriorated
sharply. The prison acknowledged he was in danger, the press slowly began to
take notice, and before long there were media reports in both the local and
national press and even some international interest. A permanent support camp
was set up outside Full Sutton Prison near York where Barry was held, which drew
even more interest from the media.
The second Home Office talks
The government was forced into action. Barry's local Member of Parliament,
Tony Clarke, visited Barry in Prison on November 12th. Another meeting with
Barry's supporters was agreed at the Home Office, which took place a week later
on November 19th, 44 days into the hunger strike, at which Barry's MP Tony
Clarke was also present.
A crucial difference this time was that Barry continued the hunger strike
while the talks went ahead which gave the discussion more of a sense of urgency.
There was talk of reform, dialogue, hints of more animals procedures inspectors,
a reformed Animal Procedures Committee, but nothing concrete.
It was clear that the government was worried however, and desperate to know
whether Barry would call off the hunger strike. The talks were once again
recorded, and a copy of the tapes was taken to Barry the next day at Full Sutton
After a couple of days, Barry concluded that there was nothing on offer from
the government, and he released a statement saying he would continue to the end
With the media now alerted to the campaign, and at least some of protest aims
achieved, Barry now took a decision to simplify the demands of the campaign. All
he would now call for was for the government to honour its pledge for a Royal
Commission to examine the validity of animal experiments. This appeared so
reasonable that even some in the mainstream media expressed sympathy. The
government was taken by surprise, but could not be seen to give in, claiming a
Royal Commission would be too expensive among other excuses. The hunger strike
continued, and so did the protests and support actions.
On 24th November, at the state opening of Parliament, several activists
managed to drop a banner in support of Barry in front of the Queen's official
car as it drove towards the Houses of Parliament, and the incident was seen on
live TV. A short time later there was an even bigger security scare near the
Prime Minister's residence. Two activists parked their car at the end of Downing
St, slashed the car's tyres and used D-Locks to fasten their necks to the
steering wheel. It took police an hour to remove the pair, while forty
protesters held a support demo nearby, holding banners to explain the action.
Meanwhile also on 24th November, the after 49 days without food, Barry's
health suddenly worsened further, and he was rushed from prison to York District
Hospital. The permanent vigil was also moved to the hospital.
At this news the already high media interest became a frenzy. Calls began to
flood into the campaign from local and national papers, then from radio and TV,
and then from reporters around the world. Soon there was a media camp too
outside the hospital, with daily press briefings by Barry's supporters to ranks
of reporters and cameras.
The pressure on the government was also increasing. Two days after the move
to hospital, a Labour MP, Kerry Pollard faxed a letter to Barry at the hospital
which purported to be new proposals. It was around 8 pages long, and Barry was
in no condition to concentrate.
He decided to take sugared tea and fruit juice in order to be able to
evaluate the proposals. Three days later on November 29th, Barry decided the
'proposals' were not enough, and resumed the water only fast. Later the
government and media would use this in a cynical attempt to undermine the hunger
For the next week Barry remained determined, but was weakening by the day.
The media coverage continued to at fever-pitch, several times it was the main
item on national TV news, and the name Barry Horne became internationally
famous. More importantly the issue of animal experiments and the government's
broken promises was coming under intense scrutiny.
On 5th December, there was another approach from the government. Barry's MP
Tony Clarke suggested another meeting, this time between some of Barry's
supporters and MP's at the House of Commons. Barry rejected this, after 60 days
on hunger strikes he said there had been enough meetings, he was running out of
The following day on Sunday 6th December, seven refrigerated lorries were
burned out in an attack by ALF activists at a chicken processing factory in
Crowton, Cheshire, causing hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages. The
number of ALF actions was increasing, and both sides were well aware that
Barry's protest was largely responsible.
On 9th December there were more communications from the government. Ian
Cawsey MP, head of an parliamentary all-party animal welfare working group of
MP's, stated that new proposals would mean that the Animals Procedures Committee
would from now on report to his group. He said this group could 'make a real and
independent impact'. On the same day it emerged that the Animals Procedures
Committee had met that day to discuss the hunger strike, and in its first ever
press release confirmed that the APC would report directly to the parliamentary
group. An article appeared in the Guardian newspaper about the hunger strike, in
which Professor Banner, head of the APC stated "..things cannot go on as they
are." Clearly they were beginning to fear the consequences of Barry's death on
The following day, when copies of the proposals were taken into Barry in
hospital, he was too ill to take in the information. This was made worse by the
fact his eyesight was now also very poor. It was agreed that his supporters
would be allowed to visit again the following day at 12 noon to speak to him
Events then took a sinister twist. About an hour after his visitors left, the
authorities took the decision to move Barry out of the hospital and back to the
top security Full Sutton prison.
We will never know for sure what happened during these few hours, but it was
clear to Barry's friends that he was never the same person afterwards. It was at
best a cynical and callous act perpetrated by a cowardly goverment terrified of
the consequences of an Animal Liberation prisoner dying in custody.
Back in prison, when supporters were able to visit him, Barry had was no
longer able to focus and would sometimes forget he was on hunger strike. He was
incapable of making any decision about the government proposals he was supposed
to be reading.
Finally on day 68 of the protest, Sunday 13th December, Barry agreed to take
food again, and he was immediately rushed back to York District Hospital as he
would have to be carefully monitored if he was to survive.
The government, with the help of its media lackies, immediately put into
action a dirty tricks campaign to discredit Barry and the campaign. Headlines
appeared claiming the whole thing had been a hoax and there had been no hunger
Barry survived after months of terrible agony as his body struggled to
overcome the pain. But he never truly recovered physically or mentally from the
third hunger strike. He died less than three years later on November 5th 2001 of
liver failure in the hospital wing of Long Lartin Prison in Worcestershire.
Hundreds of activists turned out at his funeral in Norhampton to pay tribute
to a brave warrior for the animals. His coffin was carried through the streets
of the town by his comrades. After a Pagan funeral, he was laid to rest under an
oak tree planted above his grave, with a simple wooden plaque to mark the spot.
Those who know Barry knew it was his decision entirely to undertake the
hunger strike protests, and our role was to support him in any way we could. He
always said that the protests should be used to the fullest extent to further
the cause of animal liberation.
Barry's actions brought worldwide attention to the issue of animals in
laboratories and animal abuse in general. In doing so he inspired a whole new
generation of activists to take up where he left off.
Today the animal liberation movement is firmly established as a world-wide
force. There is no doubt that this can be attributed in large part to the
actions of Barry Horne and the hunger strike campaigns.