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Animal rights protestors use Net to intimidate shareholders

Drug company targeted. 'People have to take responsibility for their actions'

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Animal rights protestors have used information posted on the Internet to launch a phone and hatemail attack on the shareholders of a contract research company that specialises in animal experiments.

The personal details of shareholders of Huntingdon Life Sciences were posted on an anti-company Web site and were also emailed to more than 10,000 members of an animal welfare newsgroup, the Kent Messenger reported. The three men have received numerous threatening phone calls and letters.

The intimidation is part of a wider campaign against Huntingdon shareholders, and Kent police have been asked to step up their investigations into the suspects behind it. One shareholder, 76-year-old Paul Ledbrook, is defiant that he will not sell his shareholding despite a two-month campaign against him.

"They claim to be against cruelty to animals but they are quite happy to subject human beings to mental cruelty," he told the paper.

Huntingdon Life Sciences in Cambridgeshire has been the target of animal welfare groups for years - to the extent that there is an animal rights group, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), devoted especially to the company.

A spokesman for SHAC said: "This is a very simple campaign. People have to take responsibility for their actions."

The company has also had to look to the US recently for a £34 million loan after protestors attacked NatWest branches because of the £22.6 million overdraft facility it has with Huntingdon.

Huntingdon's Web site is a fairly comprehensive rundown on what the company does, including the interesting (?) rundown on what percentage of what animals it experiments on. Here is:

Rodents - 85 per cent
Fish, Birds - 10 per cent
Rabbits, Guinea pigs - 5 per cent
Dogs, Cats - 0.3 per cent
Primates - 0.1 per cent

The other site of the coin is provided in a less relaxed tone on the Huntingdon Information Page.

Check out both and make up your own minds. We are neutral on this (vivisection, not intimidation which we deplore) and we don't want hundreds of ranting emails coming our way, so don't bother. ®

Related Links

Huntingdon's offical site
The other side of the coin

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