LondonNet News Headlines
|City Caves in on Animal Rights
- Huntingdon trade 'is no longer viable,' says Schwab
CITY stockbrokers Charles Schwab, the world's leading online share broker, have caved in to the demands of animal rights zealots by agreeing to no longer deal in the shares of leading medical research company Huntingdon Life Sciences.
"This is another nail in Huntingdon's coffin," said Greg Avery of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac). "It is yet more evidence that the financial community does not think Huntingdon has a future and that they will close." Shac now plans to switch its attacks to the Canary Wharf headquarters of the Bank of New York, the bank that carries many of Huntingdon's US share holdings.
Schwab's move came after campaigners dressed as rabbits climbed onto the roof of the firm's Birmingham office. "It is no longer viable for Schwab to continue trading in shares," said Bob Duste, CEO of Schwab Europe.
Huntingdon Life Sciences has become a lightning rod for animal rights activists in recent times. Regular demonstrations take place outside the company's labs in Cambridgeshire, staff are often physically abused and some have been followed home.
But it is the tactic of targeting the City that most threatens the future of a company involved in cutting edge medical research, including research into organ transplants. In March, two other broking firms, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Winterflood Securities refused to act as a clearing house for Huntingdon.
Despite the short term success of the campaign, even if Shac manages to close down Huntingdon, it is likely the company's research contracts will be taken up by its rivals for the basic reason that it is quite properly often illegal for drugs firms to sell products for human use that have not been tested previously on animals.