Violent activity by animal rights extremists against medicines researchers and those who work with them has fallen to new lows, figures for the first six months of this year show, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) announced today.
At the same time, the number of advertised demonstrations by activists has marginally increased, showing that the right to protest in a lawful manner has not been compromised.
“We welcome the sustained low level of extremist activity, which is thanks to determined action by the Government, the police and the courts in clamping down on the small number of those who resort to illegal activity,” said Dr Philip Wright, ABPI Director of Science and Technology.
“With new Government departments being formed, it is essential that this momentum is maintained. In particular, it is critical the effective cross-departmental co-ordination through the Cabinet is not lost.”
One of the biggest drops has been in the number of “capitulations” – companies, or sometimes individuals, agreeing not to work with targeted organisations – which fell to two in the first half of the year, compared with 24 in the same period of 2006.
Dr Wright added: “While fewer companies are withdrawing from contracts with animal research facilities after threats from animal rights extremists, more work needs to be done to build confidence across the business community to support companies going about their legal activities.”
Damage to property, whether company, personal or public, stood at 29 incidents during January-June 2007 compared with 31 in the same period for 2006, although all this year’s activity occurred in the first quarter with none being reported for the second.‘Home visits’ – where protestors target people’s homes, often in the middle of the night – rose slightly from 15 in the first half of 2006 to 20 in 2007.
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410