John Coombe, chief financial officer of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, has become the latest victim in the campaign to close down Huntingdon Life Sciences, the drugs testing company. Coombe has been subjected to a hate campaign at his Buckinghamshire home by the anti-vivisectionist group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty.
The campaign has been stepped up after SHAC declared it would target customers of HLS following a financial rescue earlier this year.
Coombe has received hate messages written in fake blood and posters have been put up around his home village featuring mutilated animals and Coombe’s phone number. But, according to local newspaper The Buckingham Advertiser, the number was wrong and another family received nuisance calls.
SHAC has also been implicated in attacks on other businesses in the Buckinghamshire area in recent weeks.
A spokesperson for GSK said: ‘We very much regret this action has been undertaken. The fact is that while we aim to keep animal testing to a minimum, it is essential for developing drugs to combat illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and asthma.’
The spokesperson also confirmed the company had taken certain security measures to protect its employees and that other directors had also been the target of similar campaigns.
The news of the campaign came as the biotechnology industry launched a campaign urging institutional investors and other financial organisations not to give in to the demands of animal rights protesters.
More at www.glaxosmithkline.co.uk
Anti-Huntingdon site is at www.shac.net.
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