Research Group Says Animal Rights Extremism Increasing in UK

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry released figures in January suggesting that the number of attacks on suppliers of pharmaceutical firms by animal rights extremists is increasing and suggested that unless the government does more to control this problem it may drive pharmaceutical companies out of the UK.

According to the ABPI, 42 companies quit supplying animal research firms in the fourth quarter of 2004 due to pressure from animal rights extremists. The group reported that in the first quarter, 22 firms bowed to pressure, in the second quarter 23, and in the third quarter 26, bringing the total for the year to 113. The ABPI also documented more than 108 cases of campaigns of threatening and abusive phone calls and 177 instance of property damage to the property of British companies and their employees by animal rights extremists.

Philip Wright, ABPI’s director of science and technology, told Reuters,

The fact that more and more suppliers are being forced to drop their business with companies involved in animals research in especially ominous. If this trend continues, it is by no means fanciful to suggest that pharmaceutical companies will seriously considered whether it is still appropriate to carry out this essential research work in the UK.


U.K Animal Rights Activists Scare Away Suppliers, Group Says. Bloomberg, January 19, 2005.

Animal protests scare drug firm suppliers. Reuters, January 19, 2005.

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