Militant Animal Rights Activity: Terrorism, Extremism or Something Else?

Rachel Monaghan, João Raphael da Silva

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Since the early 1970s, the United Kingdom (UK) has experienced political violence undertaken by militant animal rights actors. This violence has included the use of car bombs and incendiary devices, which are more akin to the tactics of a terrorist campaign. Similar acts in the United States have been described as “eco-terrorism” yet this label has not gained traction in the UK. This article is concerned with the labelling of militant animal rights actions in the UK and explores the labels that have been applied by the print media, notably The Guardian to the actions of those animal rights actors who have utilised or espoused illegal and violent tactics in the pursuit of their cause. Moreover, the article takes a more in-depth look at the labelling of the group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) in its campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences and its business partners. How actions are labelled can have repercussions in shaping the public debate and policy implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in Conflict & Terrorism
Early online date3 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2023

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  • Eco-terrorism
  • Extremism
  • Animal rights
  • Media


  • Security and Resilience
  • Social Movements and Contentious Politics


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