Move to protect lab staff from animal activists

The
Home Secretary’s drive to strengthen the Police and Criminal Justice Bill so
that employers are better protected against animal rights activists has been
welcomed by the pharmaceutical industry.

Jack
Straw announced last week that the Home Office is considering measures to deter
attacks on staff who work for companies that perform animal testing.

Possible
measures include legislation to curb the sending of hate mail and the banning
of protests outside employees’ and directors’ homes implementing changes to the
bill.

A
spokesperson for the Bioindustry Association, which represents biotechnology
companies in the UK, said, "Employees who work in this industry must be
protected from this intimidatory behaviour. The legislation should be broadened
to include companies that hold and have shares in these companies."

Citibank,
which acts as a custodian for clients who hold shares in HLS is understood to
have received threats from animal rights activists.

The
Association for British Pharmaceutical Industries welcomed the Home Secretary’s
call for tougher legislation, but added, "It’s difficult to say whether
the measures, if implemented, will be sufficient.

"The
proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say."

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