Local animal rights activists are celebrating the closure of an animal testing laboratory in Wilmslow. The lab, owned by Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), had been targetted by activists for over 10 years. Manchester Animal Protection had predicted in the last Networking Newsletter that "this campaign is one we are confident we can win" and by putting continuous pressure on a company in trouble (see below), they have won. As Max Weston, of the Huntingdon Action Group, exclaimed, "We're all celebrating now. It's rare for an animal [testing] lab to close and our long, determined campaign has obviously played a part." (Sources indicate that the lab might not have closed down completely, but has definitely stopped all animal testing.)
HLS were exposed on a Channel 4 documentary last year. Beagle dogs, used in an experiment to test the toxicity of a pesticide, were filmed being punched and beaten. As a result of undercover film being shown on television, their shares almost collapsed, the government suspended their license, two workers were convicted of animal cruelty, two major HLS clients have stopped doing business with the firm and a number of investors have pulled out. However, the company still manages to survive, with other labs notably one in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Max added, "Our campaign will continue - we demand to know what animals HLS have so can we foster them into loving and caring homes."
Huntingdon Action Group and Manchester Animal Protection (0845 456 2492)