The London Sunday Times reports that a “secret hitlist” containing the names of more than 150 people is being quietly circulated among animal rights leaders in the United Kingdom. The five-page “cracker list” gives the addresses and phone numbers of targeted individuals, and directs activists to a website that outlines techniques for violent attacks. “Whatever you do,” the document advises, “just do it and show them no mercy.” Incredibly, the list includes the names of 21 children.

One person whose name appears on the list spoke to the Sunday Times on the condition of anonymity, saying:

I’ve had at least eight demonstrations outside my home, often involving up to 30 people. My car has been attacked twice with paint stripper being poured on the bonnet [hood], tires slashed and graffiti sprayed all over the bodywork. The windows have been smashed on the house and slogans sprayed on the walls. We’ve had letters mentioning the school my kids attend, letters sent to about 20 neighbors stating I am a convicted pedophile, three bomb hoaxes for which I have had to call the bomb squad, countless threatening phone calls and hundreds and hundreds of false credit applications.

At a recent training camp held near London, animal-rights militants were taught how to deliver fatal blows in hand-to-hand combat. And animal-rights leaders vowed to wage a British campaign of terror featuring at least 10 attacks every day. Because of threats like these, the famed Oxford University had to stop construction on a new biomedical research laboratory, and has applied to Britain’s High Court for protection. “We have allowed a virus to establish itself,” writes Daily Telegraph columnist W.F. Deedes. “We are talking about blackmail … ministers had better get going against the animal rights thugs.”

UK Animal Liberation Front leader Robin Webb told the Scottish Sunday Herald last weekend that violent attacks are likely to escalate, and warned that children were fair game:

There are about 2,000 people prepared at any one time to take action for us … The children [of targeted scientists and executives] are enjoying a lifestyle built on the blood and abuse of innocent animals. Why should they be allowed to close the door on that and sit down and watch TV and enjoy themselves when animals are suffering and dying because of the actions of the family breadwinner? They are a justifiable target for protest.

Americans would be wrong to assume this is just a British problem. As we told the Wall Street Journal last month, “the highest-profile cheerleader for Britain’s animal-rights thugs is California physician Jerry Vlasak, a longtime spokesman for the Washington-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which the better-known People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) describes as a ‘related’ organization.”

At last year’s “Animal Rights 2003” convention in Los Angeles, Vlasak — described in the convention program as a representative of PCRM — endorsed the murder of medical researchers whose search for cancer and AIDS cures requires the use of animals. “I don’t think you’d have to kill — assassinate — too many,” Vlasak said. “I think for five lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, two million, 10 million non-human lives.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. component of the violent SHAC movement (which is supported by Vlasak) is currently facing a federal terrorism indictment, as are seven of its leaders. Yet that group is planning a high-profile gathering one month from now. Planned speakers include high-seas animal rights pirate Paul Watson and University of Texas El Paso professor (and terrorism apologist) Steven Best.