The Evening Standard Profiles Brian Cass

The Evening Standard’s Michael Pilgrim wrote an interesting profile of Huntingdon Life Science’s that outlined both Cass’ willingness to stand up to the intimidation from animal rights activists as well as the increasingly limited ability that groups such as Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty have had in actually harming HLS economically.

Although SHAC’s campaign is, if anything, stronger than ever, Huntingdon’s bottom line continues to improve. The company recently reported that the value of is orders have doubled over the last five years to just shy of Pounds 100 million. In 2002, HLS’ net income was Pounds 1.7 million compared to a loss in 2001 of Pounds 6.1 million.

Despite SHAC’s never ending claim that now HLS is really teetering on the brink of insolvency and despite SHAC’s terrorist-like tactics against the testing company, HLS seems to have regrouped and now has an effective strategy to go forward even in the very hostile environment that SHAC and others have created.

Cass told Pilgrim,

These guys are not going to screw up my life. I am just going to live as I want and they are not going to impinge on that.

. . .

I am not closed or secretive. I’ve always believed in openness. For too long people have put up walls and said we don’t need to communicate. Organisations like this used to say, ‘We just need bigger fences.’

Frankly such a view is refreshing, given how many companies have folded rather quickly in the face of a SHAC’s campaigns of harassment. Certainly one cannot blame a company like Deloitte & Touche for not wanting to put its employees at ground zero of a campaign of threats and harassment by animal rights activists, but at the same time it’s good to see somebody standing up even after a violent physical assault on his person and say that he will remain unbowed in the face of such terrorist acts.


Behind the razor wire with the man from Huntingdon. Michael Pilgrim, The Evening Standard (London), March 31, 2003.

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