On August 1st, Win Animal Rights (W.A.R.) launched a campaign to influence the top Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) Investor, Morgan Stanley, (who recently bought LSR stock) to divest their large holding of LSR shares. With 679,225 shares, Morgan Stanley was a 5% owner of Europe's largest and most exposed vivisection laboratory, swiftly selling all their LSR stock within a week of the campaign against them.
Protests included W.A.R. visiting the homes of 5 senior executives, as well as the two co-presidents of the firm, and five days later demonstrating at the headquarters of Morgan Stanley in New York City. This was followed by visits to the homes of multiple senior executives of the company.
The divestiture comes as LSR/HLS CEO, Andrew Baker, moves forward with his plans to acquire HLS and make it a privately held company, therefore delisting themselves from the NYSE (a major target in the campaign to close HLS). The proxy statement makes it abundantly clear that activists have had a tremendous impact on LSR/HLS' financial predicament, causing them to have limited options for the future.
Previous features: Novartis CEO's hunting lodge destroyed | Highgate Farm Protest Camp | Operation Liberation: Highgate Rabbit Farm | Largest Shareholder Barclays and Top Investors Dump HLS | World Day for Animals in Laboratories March | SHAC supporter unlawfully arrested at Barclays Bank | SHAC Shakedown City Investors | Top HLS Investors Dump Shares | HLS Exposed - Yet Again! SHAC To Shakedown Financial Investors In The City | 50 Years For The UK SHAC 7 | Anti-vivisection campaigners convicted of blackmail | Largest HLS Investor Dumps All Shares | SHAC Prepares For National March & Rally | Victory for animal rights campaigners | Activist Imprisoned for Shouting | Fisher Scientific Embarrassed Over Links with HLS | SHAC World Day for Lab Animals | Asahi Glass Protesters Harassed by Police | "March Against the Murderers"
The proxy report states: "Since December 1999, LSR has been, and employees, directors, stockholders, customers, suppliers and advisors of LSR and financial firms directly or indirectly associated with LSR, in each case on account of such relationship with LSR, have been, the target of actions by animal rights activists, such actions including physical violence, harassment, vandalism, bomb and death threats, protests and demonstrations. No other publicly traded company in the contract research organization (“CRO”) industry has been affected by the actions of animal rights activists to a similar extent."
The in depth presentation, assembled by the Board of Directors appointed special committee, also detailed the imminent danger of HLS defaulting on their long term debt and being delisted by the NYSE Arca. Another analysis on the pending merger, from a New York Times financial blogger, concluded that the manager buyout was almost certainly due to animal rights advocates, which affected the entire process, and that "the facility have been perhaps the biggest targets of the European animal rights movement".
The news follows the torching of Novartis CEO's hunting lodge, due to the companies ties with HLS, and precedes HLS supplier Biocair reporting that they will never deal with HLS again. The statement came after a series of demos from Animal Rights Cambridge, one of which was attacked by violent opponents (see video). HLS customer Arpida AG also vowed this week not to deal with HLS again, as SHAC, Win Animal Rights and other animal rights groups move ahead with plans to focus on HLS' primary customers, calling on supporters to "put this dying monster of a company out of it's (and our) misery".
Background: Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS)
Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) are in the business of poisoning healthy animals to death. They are a contract testing operation that tests products for others. They have three sites two in the UK and one in the US. Five hundred animals are put to death every day by HLS, killing tens of thousands of horses, cats, dogs, primates, rabbits, hamsters, rats, mice and fish amongst others each year.
Shareholders, stockbrokers, market makers, suppliers and clients have all dumped HLS, including the world’s largest companies; all four main high street banks in the UK, the world’s largest financial institution, the world’s second largest bank and the world’s largest insurance broker. Huntingdon are $72 million dollars in debt with NO commercial bank and insurance company anywhere in the world prepared to deal with them.
HLS’ key weakness is their finances and by throwing the spotlight on those funding their abuse campaigners across the globe have managed to bring HLS to the brink of financial collapse. Throughout the campaign activists have made financial history as one by one major corporations have yielded to protester power and severed their links with the failing company.
Campaigners use evidence obtained in seven undercover investigations at their different laboratories in the UK and USA where HLS workers have been caught on film punching puppies in the face, simulating sex with animals in their care, cutting open primates while they are still alive and falsifying experiments to get products on the market. HLS workers have even been caught drunk at work and dealing drugs at the labs.
Huntingdon Life Sciences have a criminal record from a British court of law for breaking the Companies’ Act. They are the only UK laboratory to ever have their licence revoked by the government.