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May 10, 2006

Pro-Test in Solidarity with GSK Shareholders

'Animal rights' campaigners have launched a campaign of intimidation against private shareholders of the pharamceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), sending them letters threatening to publish their personal details online if they fail to sell their shares in the company, which is involved in animal testing. GSK has obtained an injunction against further harrassment of their shareholders.

As the Research Defence Society points out, the newly-appeared Campaign Against Huntingdon Animal Life Sciences (CAHLS), the group behind the campaign of intimidation, has its work cut out for it if it really thinks it can harrass GSK's shareholders into bailing out - there are 167,000 of them in total.

The Pro-Test committee has bought 10 shares in GSK, one for each member of our committee. We are proud to stand up against such extremism, in solidarity with GSK and its shareholders, and all the millions of people who have seen medical benefits from animal research and refuse to be intimidated into abandoning hope of future advances. We believe there is no shame in being connected with animal research that saves lives and cures diseases.

What's more, we're far from alone. Public opinion is so vehemently pro-animal-testing that GSK's share prices have gone up, by 18p yesterday on the London Stock Exchange -- people are apparently buying up GSK shares to express how they feel, more than off-setting any fear caused by CAHLS's poison-pen letters.

This is a far cry from the campaign of shareholder intimidation waged by CAHLS's predecessor group, Stop Huntingdon Animal Life Sciences (SHAC, see here for more details), against HLS that forced it to de-list from the New York Stock Exchange and almost bankrupted the company. It's also a far cry from the shareholder intimidation that contributed to construction firm Montpellier's decision to pull out of the Oxford lab project in July 2004.

As a spokesman for the British Pharmaceutical Industry said in the Independent yesterday, public opinion is shifting rapidly in favour of continued animal research as people learn more about the benefits and the science behind the research, assisted by groups like Pro-Test, which raise awareness of the issues and provide hard facts to counter the irrationality of groups like CAHALS, SHAC and SPEAK.

Coverage - Pro-Test members in the News:
  • Prof Tipua Aziz on BBC News 24 and the Bill Heine show (10 May)
  • Laurie Pycroft on More4's top story (10 May)
  • Iain Simpson on BBC2's 'Newsnight' (10 May)
  • Jim Panton on Radio 5 Live (11 May)
  • Associated Press Wire (11 May, widely syndicated)
  • The Herald (11 May)

posted by Lee at 12:57 PM  

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This is blog is where you can find out information about the activities of the pro-animal testing campaign group, Pro-Test, and links to media coverage.

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