Huntingdon Life Sciences



Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) is a controversial animal-testing laboratory based in Huntingdon, England, and New Jersey in the United States.

HLS is the largest such laboratory in the UK. On behalf of private clients, it conducts tests on animals using pharmaceutical products, agricultural chemicals, industrial chemicals, and foodstuffs. It has clients worldwide, particularly in the UK, the U.S. and Japan.


HLS is criticised by animal rights and animal welfare groups for documented instances of animal abuse and for the wide range of substances it tests on animals, especially non-medical products.

The company's labs have been infiltrated by undercover animal-rights activists several times since the 1980s. In 1999, video footage was secretly recorded inside HLS showing severe breaches of animal-protection laws, including a beagle being repeatedly punched in the face, and animals being laughed at and taunted. The investigation led to the company's Home Office licence being temporarily revoked. Huntingdon officials claim these breaches were isolated cases and that the staff responsible were sacked and prosecuted. However, the lab has been repeatedly accused by animal-rights supporters of further offences regarding animal cruelty.

The campaign to close HLS

In response to the 1999 video, animal-rights activists Greg Avery and Heather James began a campaign against HLS called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC). It aimed to close HLS within three years. The campaign, which is based on non-violent direct action, and well as lobbying and demonstrations, is still active as of 2005. It targets not only HLS directly, but any company or institution doing business with the laboratory, whether as clients, suppliers, or disposal and cleaning services.

Links with Chiron

Animal rights supporters allege HLS has connections with the Chiron corporation. The corporation received an email from a group calling itself "Revolutionary Cells" which said "We gave all of the customers the chance, the choice, to withdraw their business from HLS. Now you all will have to reap what you have sown. All customers and their families are considered legitimate targets,". This was followed by two bomb blasts at the corporation's headquarters in Emeryville. The FBI obtained an arrest warrant for Daniel Andreas. [1] ( It is not known if there is a relationship between Revolutionary Cells and SHAC.

Animal rights supporters have been served with a High Court injunction [2] ( preventing them from harassing Chiron's UK staff in or around their homes.

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