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."