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Novartis CEO's hunting lodge burnt down, mother's ashes stolen

Geoffrey Douglas | 04.08.2009 23:30 | SHAC | Animal Liberation | World

Media has reported that Novartis chairman and CEO Daniel Vasella's hunting lodge in Tyrol, Austria, has burnt down. A Novartis spokesperson claimed "It was arson with a professional fire accelerator," and that Vasella has now decided to sell the property.

There is speculation that it is the work of the same group that stole the ashes of Vasella's mother on July 27 in Chur, Switzerland. Her gravestone was defiled with "Drop HLS Now", calling on the Novartis CEO to sever its ties with Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS).

HLS is the largest and most exposed contract testing laboratory in Europe. Five hundred animals are put to death every day by HLS, killing tens of thousands of horses, cats, dogs, primates, rabbits, hamsters, rats, mice and fish amongst others each year.

About three weeks ago, graffiti slogans against Vasella and Novartis were written on the church in Vasella's village of Risch in central Switzerland. Messages were also left on the road near Vasellas home including "Vasella is a killer. We are watching you. Death to Vasella. We'll be back."

In recent months the Militant Forces Against HLS (MFAH) [1] has reportedly targeted Novartis in France, burning down a sports centre, and in Germany, vandalising executives cars and homes. [2, 3, 4]

MFAH has this year targeted HLS customers Sandoz, Sanofi-Aventis, Bayer, Schering Plough and Pfizer. [1] The Animal Liberation Brigade [5] also claimed setting fire to executives cars in Switzerland. [6]

Grave-robbing is not a new tactic. In October 2004 the Animal Rights Militia (ARM) [7] – 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. Darley Oaks Farm, in Newchurch, subsequently closed after the attack.

Novartis claims that it no longer contracts HLS and has not worked with them for years, but refuses to make a statement confirming this to anti-vivisection campaigners, namely Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC).

A spokeswoman for SHAC denied any involvement in the recent events, but added that the organisation had many sympathisers "who support our goals".


Geoffrey Douglas


Display the following 73 comments

  1. No doubt there will be a witch hunt — Lynn Sawyer
  2. I personally think this is great — a few thoughts
  3. Hmmm — Green & Black
  4. Nice to see — Arthur
  5. Just seen... — Rod Vegano
  6. what next? — Moral
  7. PR — Arthur
  8. Arthur — Porky
  9. @Porky — Pyschologist
  10. Porkies — Lynn Sawyer
  11. Horrible own goal — Green man
  12. Not porky — Not porky
  13. Mixed feelings — Lynn Sawyer
  14. To Greenman and others — Green & Black
  15. PR — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  16. We appear to have a difference of opinion re violence — Lynn Sawyer
  17. here we go again — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  18. Don't get excited I was only asking — Lynn Sawyer
  19. Why moan? — Steve Discombe
  20. nutters — adam
  21. Err Adam.. — Lynn Sawyer
  22. A few comments — Daniel Vasella
  23. @Daniel Vasella — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  24. Lynn — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  25. Photos — media watch
  26. To ex-slactavist — Steve Discombe
  27. Communique from the Militant Forces Against HLS — MFAH Supporter
  28. To the armchair ranter (Ex Activist) — Green & Black
  29. I don't support this action... — ARA
  30. Steve Discombe — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  31. what a load of drivel — cry baby
  32. @ cry baby — ARA
  33. Easy to talk about people who are in jail isn't it? — Watching
  34. Evasion — Steve Discombe
  35. Also... — Steve Discombe
  36. @ ex-activist — Lynn Sawyer
  37. Number of animals... — Count von Count
  38. count von count — HLS
  39. Lynn — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  40. Bite back not reporting this - they know a PR disaster —
  41. Bite back not reporting this - they know a PR disaster —
  42. Clint — Hi
  43. tell me — Eastwood
  44. jury? — harry potter
  45. Interesting thesis ex activist — Lynn Sawyer
  46. Eastwood — teller
  47. teller — Eastwood
  48. Not at all interesting Lynn — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  49. Think what the hell you like ex activist — Lynn Sawyer
  50. you have got all shitty. — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  51. Get over it — Steven Richards
  52. Sadly — Lynn Sawyer
  53. I can name one. — Simon
  54. Simon, please elaborate — Lynn Sawyer
  55. Local campaign? B&K — Simon
  56. Fitch hunt — Billy Gruff
  57. Good for you. — Tofu
  58. B and K campaign — Lynn Sawyer
  59. And as usual... — me
  60. Stitched up by SHAC. — Steve
  61. To anyone wanting to leak info on vivisection — Observing
  62. B&K etc — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  63. @ ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit) — me
  64. @ me — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  65. As I said — Lynn Sawyer
  66. @ ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit) — me
  67. @ me — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  68. Jack Straw used to go on demos too — Arthur
  69. @ ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit) — me
  70. you have got all shitty again. — ex (SHAC) activist (for lynns benefit)
  71. It may have escaped your attention, but... — Arthur
  72. As Arthur rightly says — Lynn Sawyer
  73. This is boring — troll hunter