HLS First Quarter Revenue and Profits Reach Five Year Highs

Huntingdon Life Sciences reported in early May that its revenues and operating profit for the first quarter of 2004 were the highest the company has reached in the last five years.

Revenues for the first quarter were $37.2 million, an increase of 16.7 percent above the company’s revenues in the first quarter of 2003.

HLS president and managing director Brian Cass said in a press release announcing the results,

When we announced our results for 2003 I noted that new business enquiries remained strong and that we were seeing indications of strong order demand in the beginning of the year. I am pleased to report that net new orders in the first quarter were a record for this company, 34% up on the first quarter of 2003 and 29% ahead of the last quarter of 2003. This growth in orders has increased backlog, and helped support the continuing growth in revenues. Toxicology and pharmaceutical chemistry, two of the company’s core competencies have shown strong growth in orders.


LSR Announces Q1 2004 results. Press Release, Huntingdon Life Sciences, May 6, 2004.

Save the Guinea Pigs — Assault the Humans

A British group called Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs sent out a release in August announcing plans for a September 6 demonstration to commemorate the 1999 theft from a research facility of 600 guinea pigs by the Animal Liberation Front.

According to the press release (emphasis added),

On September the 6th we will be gathering to remember the 600 guinea pigs rescued by the ALF from those gruesome sheds; we will be remembering the 2,500 guinea pigs that Chris Hall killed with his bare hands after that victorious raid; we will be remembering Dave Blenkinsop and all those in prison for making a difference to the lives of subjugated animals and we will be remembering all the human and non human victims of the accursed vivisection industry.

Blenkinsop, of course, is the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty extremist currently serving more than 10 years in jail for, among other things, assaulting Huntingdon Life Science’s managing director Brian Cass with a pickaxe handle.

According to the Birmingham Post, more than 150 people showed up for this protest. Despite openly celebrating Blenkinsop, a Save the Newchurch Guinea Pig representative who would only give his first name, John, whined that animal rights activists were unfairly portrayed as terrorists,

The word terrorist is bandied around too often. Demonstration and peaceful protest is part of everyday life and we are stigmatized for it. We are being branded for being compassionate. We give our lives to this campaign and some people will go to prison.

In “John’s” world, three people assaulting a man with pickaxe handles is a compassionate act for which activists are unfairly stigmatized.

It’s fitting then, that the other speaker of the event was ALF spokesman Robin Webb. Webb said,

At the very outset of this campaign we liberated 600 guinea pigs, some would say burgled, and placed them in permanent homes.

The ALF activities have also pursued acts of economic sabotage, damaged vehicles associated with the breeding of guinea pigs for vivisection.

I can’t predict what ALF activists will do, I have no prior knowledge of unlawful activities but their actions will continue so long as Darley Oaks Farm continues to breed guinea pigs for vivisection.

Of course, Webb too thinks assaulting people with wooden weapons is also perfectly appropriate. After the attack on Cass, Webb said,

This serves Brian Cass right and is totally justifiable. In fact he has got off lightly. I have no sympathy for him. I do not condemn this act. I condemn what Brian Cass does to animals. In fact, I would say I condone this. What surprises me is that this doesn’t happen more often.

Gee, it’s hard to imagine where the press gets the idea that animal rights activists are terrorists who condone violence.


Perspective: Sinister Face Of Guinea Pig Farm Protest Movement. Sarah Probert, Birmingham Post, September 8, 2003.

The SNGP National: Lichfield 200. Press Release, August 1, 2003.

SNGP NATIONAL MARCH AND DEMO. Press Release, Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs, September 6, 2003.

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.

Kevin Kjonaas on SHAC-Related Violence

In July the Philadelphia Inquirer ran an extensive story on the harassment that workers at Huntingdon Life Sciences have faced from Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and its supporters. The article included quotes from SHAC’s Kevin Kjonaas highlighting his view of SHAC-inspired violence and revealing an interesting (if typical) hypocrisy.

On the issue of violence, not surprisingly Kjonaas has no problem with it. Kjonaas told the Inquirer,

If a car being blown up in a driveway or animals being liberated from a lab scares them, then I would say that fear pales by comparison to the fear that the animals have every day. The kind of true violence that these animals endure at the hands of people at Huntingdon leaves me with little sympathy.

The Inquirer even reports that Kjonaas “speaks favorably” of British animal rights activist David Blenkinsop. Blenkinsop was one of three activists imprisoned for beating HLS director Brian Cass. Blenkinsop was also charged with a series of arson attacks on cars. The Inquirer quotes Kjonaas as saying,

David is a very passionate person, and what he did was with the best intentions. I don’t feel any sympathy for people in England or America who have had their cars tipped or torched, because those cars were paid for out of blood money.

But perhaps the most revealing part of the story was Kjonaas’ explanation of why he has sometimes uses the name “Kevin Jonas.” According to the Inquirer,

He [Kjonaas] says he uses the alias to spare family members outside Minneapolis from harassing phone calls from people who oppose the tactics and aims of his group.

So the man behind a group that specializes in harassing family members of people even tangentially linked to HLS is a hypocrite who himself tries to shield his family from the ire of his opponents. Of course, you will note that there are no anti-animal rights sites that lists the phone numbers and addresses of Kjonaas or any of his family members next to slogans like “go smash them.” Apparently Kjonaas’ violent ways have also bred a bit of paranoia.


A harsh animal-rights campaign targets N.J. firm, workers. Chris Mondics, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 14, 2002.

Huntingdon Life Sciences Once Again Profitable

At the end of July, Huntingdon Life Sciences (now Life Sciences Research) announced its first profitable quarter in years. The company reported net income of $2.9 million for the quarter ending June 30, 2002, compared to a net loss of $1.7 million during the same period in 2001.

For the first six months of 2002, HLS sustained a loss of $400,000 compared to a loss of $6 million in the first six months of 2001.

Total revenues at the drug testing company were up 19% in the second quarter over a year ago and the company reported it currently has a backlog of testing.

This after Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty has spent the last 12 months claiming the company was on the verge of imploding.

Cass believes that SHAC’s campaign is beginning to lose steam as it fails to achieve its goal and is widely perceived as endorsing terrorism in its campaign against HLS. Citing a rally in Cambridge where SHAC talked of as many as 1,000 protesters but where only 200 or so people showed up,

The demonstration at the weekend shows that support is waning, and the rank and file [animal rights activists] are beginning to stand up and say that this is not what peaceful protest is about. The campaign leadership is losing credibility.

Cass also had some unkind — but accurate — words for the numerous banks, market makers and brokers who abandoned the firm due to pressure from SHAC,

We were very disappointed that there are people in the City who should give in to terrorism, on a relatively minor scale, so easily. They seemed to think: ‘Here’s a small company, let’s just dump them and have the problem go away.’

In fact, the problem has not gone away and the movement has got more aggressive as they realized the effective, intimidatory power they had. Perhaps if the financial community had stood more firm all the other individual investors and shareholders and members of staff would not have suffered as much harassment as they have done.

Assuming that HLS is able to maintain its profitability over the rest of the year, Cass is right that interest in the campaign is likely to wane, but it is also likely to become more militant as the hardcore activists see illegal actions as their only effective avenue. Expect more actions like the smoke grenade bombings at those Seattle office towers.


Huntingdon about to step back from brink. Alex Jackson-Proes. The Daily Telegraph (London), July 29, 2002.

How Cass brought Huntingdon back to life. Lauren Mills, Sunday Telegraph (London), July 28, 2002.

LSR Announces Second Quarter Results. Life Sciences Research, Press Release, July 31, 2002.

Brian Cass Awarded CBE

Huntingdon Life Sciences managing director Brian Cass has been appointed as a Commander in The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the third-highest highest rank in the Order of the British Empire (and just shy of knighthood).

Cass was assaulted by violent animal rights thugs in 2001 and the award was seen by British commentators as a signal from the Labour government that it is serious about curtailing animal rights violence.

Along with Cass, a number of others in the pharmaceutical industry including Ian Pollock Sword, chairman of Inveresk Research, and GIll Samuels, of Pfizer, were appointed CBe.

Cass told The Times of London,

It [the award] is very special for me as an individual, but, much more importantly, there couldn’t be a clearer signal of support from the Government, and indeed from society for all those who are involved in research in this sector.

All our people share in this honour, as they have been so resolute in standing up to this pretty awful intimidation we have had to put up with for the past three or four years.

Richard Ley of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry agreed, telling The Times of London,

Brian deserves this award. It does send a very positive message to those who are involved in the research and development of medicines, and to those who conduct the animal experiments that are a vital part of that.

The BBC quoted an unnamed spokesperson for the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection criticizing the award,

I am appalled that in the face of growing public concern that the government has made this symbolic award. It shows the extent of HLS’s high-level support.

Greg Avery of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty said that,

It’s disgusting that someone who causes 500 animal deaths every single day should be awarded a CBE. ‘It casts a long shadow over people who have been awarded them for good reasons. It’s not Tony Blair’s voice we hear now but that of the global companies for whom he has become a mouthpiece.’

And, of course, there were politicians displaying the sort of “lets give in to the extremist” attitudes that are driving medical research out of Great Britain. Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrats’ Home Affairs spokesman, said of the award,

I’m very surprised. It’s a political statement by the Prime Minister to demonstrate his commitment to science, but it’s probably ill-judged and unduly provocative. Tony Blair is right to say we must support science but he must recognize that what’s been done at HLS is extremely controversial.

Yeah, do not do anything “unduly provocative” while animal rights extremists are busy assaulting pharmaceutical company employees and driving pharmaceutical companies to the United States and elsewhere. Just appease them and hope they’ll go away. Yeah, that’s a winning strategy.


CBE for animal test boss. Mark Milner, The Guardian (London), June 15, 2002.

Scientists praise CBE for battered boss of animal research labs. Mark Henderson, The Times (London), June 15, 2002.

Controversial lab director gets award. The BBC, June 15, 2002.

Head of animal research laboratory appointed CBE. Christopher Adams and Krishna Guha, The Financial Times (London), June 15, 2002.

Fury at CBE for Huntingdon boss. Lucy McDonald, ThisIsMoney.Com, June 16, 2002.