Canaccord defeated by animal extremist actions

Related tags Animal rights Animal liberation front

The activities of animal extremists took a sinister turn as it was
revealed the broker to the drug company Phytopharm quit after a
bomb exploded beneath the car of one of the firm's executives.

A group linked to the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the attack saying it had placed the device under the car of the company's finance director Michael Kendall last month.

In the incident that took place at Kendall's home a device exploded setting light to the car, which was in the garage attached to Mr Kendall's house. The explosion set off the car alarm, which woke Kendall, who was able to extinguish the fire. Kendall's children were asleep in the house at the time.

The latest incident is a shocking reflection on the extremes animal activists are prepared to go to and pharmaceutical companies are seriously considering whether it is still appropriate to carry out this essential research work in the UK.

While it is difficult to gauge the direct impact of the actions of animal extremists on the industry - particularly as their actions tend to be targeted at individuals in companies, there is no doubt that it has been taking up time in the boardrooms of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and could affect investment decisions in the UK,

The company said its offices in Cambridgeshire, UK had twice been broken into in the past year and the firm has taken out an injunction against animal rights activists linked to the campaign against Huntingdon.

Phytopharm​'s links to Huntingdon Life Sciences, a research firm that tests products on animals, had decided to sever all links to protect its workers' safety. Shareholders also bailed, sending shares in the firm down as much as 22 per cent.

In September last year, Huntingdon Life Sciences lost three suppliers after animal rights terrorists threatened the companies with attack. In a separate incident the building of a laboratory for Oxford University was delayed after extremists hounded contractors off the site.

PhytoPharm, which make treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, obesity, asthma and eczema, had been warned by a message that appeared on the animal rights website Bite Back, which stated: "Phytopharm get out of HLS or see your share price crash and your supporters' property go up in flames."

The targeting of Canaccord​ follows a series of attacks on businesses supplying or working with companies using animals to develop life-saving drugs. Phytopharm's former partner in developing a treatment for Alzheimer's, the Japanese drug maker Yamanouchi Pharamaceutical, was a Huntingdon client. Animal rights activists have targeted a wide array of companies with links to Huntingdon, including BOC and HSBC.

In December last year, the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill was introduced by the UK government to strengthen police powers to direct protesters away from people's homes, including bans of up to three months.

Related topics Preclinical Research

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