The holiday home of Novartis Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Vasella has burnt down, reports Swissinfo.ch. The police do not know who or what caused the fire early on Monday morning in the
The gravestone was defiled with a message saying the
Swissinfo.ch reports that the recent actions reflect those of British extremists Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), which in recent months is suspected of targeting Novartis in
Austrian police have confirmed that they are "probably" dealing with a criminal act and are investigating all possible angles – "including SHAC". Swiss security services say they have noticed increases in animal rights violence for some time.
SHAC spokesperson denied any involvement in the recent events, but added that it had many sympathizers "who support our goals". SHAC sent a statement indicating that it was willing to meet Novartis and discuss these issues, "but our campaign against them will continue until they stop using HLS."
Grave-robbing is not a new tactic for European animal rights groups, reports Swissinfo.ch. In October 2004 the Animal Rights Militia, which has also targeted Novartis, claimed responsibility for removing from a grave the mother-in-law of a British farm-owner who bred guinea pigs for HLS.
Source: Swissinfo.ch and agencies, porkmag.com
Interestingly, Novartis is in the news for another reason this week. The company announced it has begun its first human trials of a vaccine against the H1N1 influenza. I wonder how many animal-rights extremists will refuse inoculations for themselves or their children once the vaccine becomes available. — John Maday, Drovers managing editor