A significant reduction in the number of incidents provoked by animal rights extremists during the first half of this year is shown in statistics published by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) today.
Incidents of attacks on people’s private homes, usually in the middle of the night, causing damage and leaving threatening messages – ‘home visits’ - have declined dramatically to just 15 – under half the number in the same period last year and 14 per cent of the total for the first six months of 2004.
“These figures mark a sea change in the level of attacks and harassment in the UK and substantive progress towards Government objectives,” said Dr Philip Wright, Director of Science and Technology at the ABPI.
“While the number of ‘home visits’ is at an all-time low, the new figures also show a drop in virtually every area of illegal activity by extremists. The pharmaceutical industry will be very much encouraged by these figures, which show that good progress has been made by the Government in combating animal rights extremism.”
The ABPI attributes the reduction to a three-pronged strategy of new legislation; enhanced policing with co-ordinated enquiries; and working with stakeholders to combat attacks.
“While this success is to be celebrated, it is vital to sustain the effort to ensure that business confidence can continue to build and that suppliers of services to those engaged in medicines research are no longer afraid to carry out their legitimate business,” Dr Wright said.
The ABPI and its member companies are committed to the principles of good welfare and actively implementing the ‘three Rs’ of reduction, refinement and replacement of Animals and Medicines Research.
View a table of figures for the first and second quarters of 2006 (PDF, 39KB)