Fleet News

Animal rights activists: fleets in firing line

FLEETS throughout the country are reviewing security after a string of companies were named on an animal rights ‘hitlist’.

More than 50 companies have been listed on a website belonging to campaign group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), which is trying to shut down Huntingdon Life Sciences, a research laboratory that uses animals in its experiments.

As part of its campaign, SHAC has been targeting a wide range of suppliers and the latest hitlist focuses heavily on courier fleets, logistics companies and even taxi firms.

Details of company names, addresses, what they supply to Huntingdon Life Sciences and the names and contact details of a senior manager in each company are listed. The fleet manager of one of the courier fleets named on the list said: ‘Some of the staff are worried. I have spoken to the police and they have been out to advise us on what to do, such as where to park vehicles when they are left overnight. It is a worry for us.’

All the firms named in the list use some form of fleet transport to get to the Huntingdon Life Sciences site, but the main concern is that SHAC will take its campaign to get the company closed straight to suppliers’ headquarters, or even to the homes of employees.

The fleet manager of another firm listed on the website said the headquarters had been targeted for eight years by campaigners.

He said: ‘When they come to demonstrate, we receive verbal abuse, but we also have to make sure that we vary our routes and check cars are OK.’

Huntingdon Life Sciences has been contacting the affected companies to provide them with security advice following the list’s appearance on the SHAC website. Some firms say they have been wrongly named and have no contact with Huntingdon Life Sciences at all, but are still preparing to be targeted.

A statement from SHAC said: ‘We expect one thing only and that is for these companies to sever their links with Huntingdon Life Sciences.’

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    Canaccord quits contract after manager’s car firebombed

    AN extremist animal rights organisation has firebombed the company car of a senior manager, forcing his company to terminate a major supply contract. Canaccord Capital resigned as broker to drugs group Phytopharm following the attack.

    A group linked to the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for placing the incendiary device under the employee’s car.

    The device exploded and set light to the car, which was in a garage attached to the manager’s house. The explosion set off the car alarm and the fire was tackled by the employee, whose children were asleep in the house at the time of the attack.

    A statement on the ALF’s website said: ‘If you support or raise funds for any company associated with Hungtingdown Life Sciences, we will track you down, come for you and destroy your property by fire.’

    Although neither Canaccord nor Phytopharm has any connection with HSL, Phytopharm has links with Japanese firm Yamanouchi, which is a client of the Huntingdon firm.

    A spokesman for Canaccord said the firm’s commitment to put employee health and safety first meant its only choice was to step down.

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