HLS Managing Director Says UK Must Do More to Protect Research

Huntingdon Life Sciences managing director Brian Cass said that the United Kingdom must do more to crack down on extremist animal rights violence. Cass himself was the victim of a violent assault by three animal rights activists in February 2001.

Cass’ comments came on the heels of comments by Prime Minister Tony Blair promising to do more to fight “anti-science” attitudes and protests in Great Britain.

“A number of legal and policing changes were made last year,” Cass told The Times (London), “but we do need to see further practical actions of that sort to defend research in the UK.”

Blair is scheduled to elaborate on his plans for science in the UK in a speech scheduled for later this week.


HLS calls for better safety research. Mark Court, The Times (London), May 21, 2002.

Huntingdon Life Sciences Leaves the London Stock Exchange

Last week, Huntingdon Life Sciences left the London Stock Exchange as it prepares to move its stock listing to the U.S. NASDAQ where its shareholders will be afforded more protection from the animal rights terrorists who have plagued the company for the past few years. The move brought reactions from all of the different players in the HLS saga.

Not surprisingly, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty spokesman Joseph Dawson told Reuters that, “We will not stop until we have driven this disgusting firm out of business.” Of course given SHAC’s recent fortunes he might have wanted to add to that “or until we’re all in prison.”

Great Britain’s Home Office spoke out promising that it would not allow another testing firm to be hounded out of the country as HLS was. “We will not hesitate to take any further action to make sure that legitimate businesses are free to operate without fear of intimidation,” a spokeswoman for the Home Office said. Words are cheap, though. We’ll see how Great Britain reacts when the SHAC protesters inevitably turn their hostilities toward other companies.

Paul Drayson, chairman of the BioIndustry Association, said that the industry needs to deal with the anti-HLS thugs head on. “They’re bullies and . . . there’s only one way to deal with bullies,” Drayson said. “You stand up to them together.”

Drayson urged Great Britain to adopt U.S.-style disclosure rules where shareholders with less than a 5 percent stake in a company can remain anonymous. In Great Britain, the threshold is only three percent.

HLS managing director Brian Cass debunked a piece of nonsense that SHAC had been floating in the United States. SHAC has been sending out press releases claiming HLS’ listing on the NASDAQ over-the-counter bulletin board as Life Sciences is in danger because the company has been unable to find a market maker for the listing.

Cass described this as nonsense saying, “We needed a market maker to sponsor the submission of our listing request. But that has happened.” The companied does not need a market maker for NASDAQ’s over-the-counter bulletin board trading.


Call to shelter shareholders from extremists. Geoff Dyer, Patrick Jenkins, and Robert Shrimsley, The Financial Times (London), January 25, 2002.

UK says will defend firms as Huntingdon quits LSE. Mark Potter, Reuters, January 24, 2002.

Stand up to bullies says biotech chief. Rosie Murray-West, The Daily Telegraph (London), January 25, 2002.

Huntingdon Life Sciences to Become Life Sciences Research in Effort Aimed to Thwart Animal Rights Activists

Huntingdon Life Sciences has apparently found what it think is a solution to at least some of the problems it faces by being chartered in Great Britain and have its stock grade on the London Stock Exchange. A company, Life Sciences Research Inc. has been set up for the purpose of acquiring all Huntingdon Life Sciences stock.

Assuming this goes through, current Huntingdon Life Sciences stock will be converted into stock for Life Sciences Research. Rather than be listed on the London Stock Exchange, the new company will be listed on the NASDAQ Over the COunter Bulletin Board.

In a press release, Andrew Baker, Huntingdon’s Executive Chairman, said the move was being made both for long term strategic reasons as well as because of a more favorable regulatory climate in the United States. Baker said,

The US securities markets offer both a more developed market for our industry and greater shareholder privacy, which, as everyone is aware, has been a serious issue for our shareholder.

Brian Cass, Huntingdon’s Managing Director added, “This transaction offers us the best of both worlds, with the benefits of an American stock trading facility, and the continuance of our existing UK and US laboratory operations.”


Huntingdon and LSR Announce Transaction. Huntingdon Life Sciences, Press Release, Business Wire, October 9, 2001.

Huntingdon Life Sciences Releases Mixed Second Quarter Financial Results

The besieged Huntingdon Life Sciences recently released its second quarter financial data which were decidedly mixed. On the one hand, second-quarter revenues from the firm were up to 16.9 million pounds — the highest level in four years. On the other hand, the animal testing company also reported widening losses, with losses per share up to 2.2p compared to only 1.3p in the first quarter. At the same time, however, the firm’s cash reserves rose from 1.22 million pounds to 2.19 million pounds.

Brian Cass, the managing director of HLS and the recent recipient of the pharmaceutical industry’s Achievement Award for 2001, sounded an optimistic note about the future of the company.

“The protests are not affecting our customers because the orders are growing dramatically,” Cass said.

HLS executive chairman Andrew Baker added,

The animal rights campaign is now recognized as being much broader and of concern to all those involved in the vital endeavor of animal research. The backing we have seen from clients and from the government, including changes to the law they have introduced, reflects that new understanding, and provides benefits for our whole society.

HLS is not sitting still. Groups like Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty have adopted a policy of targeting those individuals and companies who invest in HLS. To minimize that tactic, HLS is close to deploying a system which would essentially render its investors anonymous.

An HLS spokesman told The Times of London that they expected to launch the system before the end of the year. If it proves successful, the company hopes to return to normal trading on SEATS, an electronic component of the London Stock Exchange designed specifically for the trading of stocks of small companies like HLS.


HLS says UK labs lift order growth. Gautam Malkani, The Financial Times (London), September 29, 2001.

HLS says revenues hit four-year high. The Financial Times (London), September 29, 2001.

HLS scheme nears launch. Mark Court, The Times (London), September 29, 2001.

Losses widen as protests dog HLS. Iain Dey, The Scotsman, September 29, 2001.

Huntingdon claims turnaround in sales. Saaed Shah, The Independent (London), September 29, 2001.

Huntingdon chief’s bravery award. The Independent (London), September 28, 2001.

SHAC's Favorite Activist Sentenced to Three Years in Jail for Assault

In February of this year, Huntingdon Life Sciences executive Brian Cass was attacked outside his home by three men wielding pickaxe handles. This month one of the attackers involved, animal rights activist David Blenkinsop, plead guilty to the assault and was sentenced to three years in jail for what the judge in the case called a “wicked act.”

Police tracked down Blenkinsop from DNA samples they found on the pickaxe handles. In Great Britain, most people convicted of crimes have DNA samples permanently stored in a nation-wide database. Blenkinsop has a long history of convictions for animal rights-related violence. When police ran the DNA samples through their database, Blenkinsop was flagged as a suspect.

Prior to his sentencing, Blenkinsop’s lawyer, Ian MacDonald, claimed that his client no longer believes violence is acceptable. “He was, and remains, appalled at the suffering of animals at HLS. He deeply regrets his part in this attack and now realizes that peaceful protest is the only way forward.”

It is amazing how so many animal rights terrorists have sudden changes of hearts when trying to angle for lenient sentences from judges.

And lets not leave this story without noting that a little more than a month ago, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty’s Kevin Jonas issued a press release endorsing Blenkinsop as “a brilliant and accomplished animal rights activist.” In a SHAC press release, Jonas said,

The police and animal abuse industries in the UK have wanted to stitch him up for years but have never been able too. While in custody Dave was also charged with the liberation of 600 Guinea Pigs from Newchurch Farm (a major breeder in England) in September of 2000. (Why he is being charged with this now is a mystery to everyone and indicates the police just want to make sure he remains in jail during the wait for his trial.)

Dave did not attack Brian Cass and this will be proven during his trial, in the meantime though the police think they have taken one of the best activists out of commission. We must prove them wrong and show that we only get strong as they attempt to stifle the only voice those animals inside of HLS have. Please send kind letters of support to Dave. Be advised that all of his letters are read by police and prison officials. Also, the police will use anything they can to try to tie Dave to direct action so please send him only updates about and news about legal campaigns.

Hmmm, “Dave did not attack Brian Cass and this will be proven during his trial.” As a psychic and a judge of character, Jonas is almost as pathetic as he is in his attempts to explain away the need for the animal research that HLS conducts.

At least now we have a good benchmark for what qualifies as a “brilliant and accomplished animal rights activist.”


Jail for lab boss attacker. The BBC, August 16, 2001.

Animal activist jailed for attack. Claire Hu, The Times (London), August 17, 2001.

Protest attacker jailed. The Scotsman, August 17, 2001.

Animal rights activist jailed. Harvey Morris, The Financial Times, August 17, 2001.

Activist jailed for attack with pickaxe handle. Chris Gray, The Independent (London), August 17, 2001.

Animal Lib Prisoner. Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, Press Release, June 28, 2001.

ALF Founder — Victim of Violent Attack Got What He Deserved

Ronnie Lee, who founded the Animal Liberation Front but claims he is no longer associated with the group, this week sang the praises of the unidentified attackers who attacked Huntingdon Life Sciences
managing director Brian Cass with baseball bats last week. The Daily Telegraph reports that Lee had this to say about the violent assault on Cass,

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

Robin Webb, a UK spokesman for the ALF, wouldn’t condone the act but did say he “understood” what motivated those who carried it out,

The Animal Liberation Front has always had a policy of not harming life, but while it would not condone what took place, it understands the anger and frustration that leads people to take this kind of action. Groups like the Animal Rights Militia and the Justice Department have said they are prepared to take this sort of action in the short-term for the long-term gain.

Whereas terrorism through arson and other acts of violence don’t phase Webb one bit.


Victim got what he deserved, says animal group’s founder. Richard Alleyne, The Daily Telegraph (UK), February 24, 2001.