England’s government is considering a law that would criminalize intimidation and threats by animal rights activists against biomedical research companies. Britain’s Financial Times says the new law “would be based on measures already used to prosecute football [soccer] hooligans.”

If your mental image of an English soccer hooligan is a bloodied anarchist with free time and pent-up rage to spare, you’ve got an accurate picture of today’s most brutal animal rights thugs. Leading the charge is SHAC, a violent organization without scruples or common sense. They’re also the subject of a recent profile on our ActivistCash website.

One of SHAC’s favorite tactics typically involves making a late-night visit to a target’s home, waking the entire neighborhood, and (as SHAC did in Boston a few months ago) threatening to burn a businessman’s house to the ground. Scientific research in the UK is apparently familiar with this strategy; one trade group leader reportedly asked reporters, “how legitimate is it to demonstrate at 3am in front of someone’s house?”