Animal Protection >
October 21, 2004
Move to seize HQ of animal activists
By Nicola Woolcock
ANIMAL rights activists have been served with a £200,000 legal bill in a landmark case brought by Britain's largest testing laboratory. Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) has obtained a court order giving notice that it may seek to seize the headquarters of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac) to try to gain possession of the property.
The order is an unprecedented attempt by the Cambridgeshire laboratory to recoup the costs of applying for High Court legal injunctions against protesters. The testing centre was granted temporary exclusion zones around its offices and homes of staff after a series of attacks on workers and vandalism of their property.
The £205,000 costs order was served on several activists including Lynn Sawyer, who owns 6 Boat Lane in Evesham, Worcestershire, the address given for Shac on its website. It also applies to London Animal Action, the Animal Liberation Front, Joseph Dawson, Sarah Brown, Donald Currie and Sarah Gisbourne.
The order, for £199,220 plus interest, was served on Tuesday in the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court. A full hearing will be held in the High Court on November 29. Lawyers for HLS could start the process of applying for an order of sale against 6 Boat Lane.
A Shac spokesman said: "6 Boat Lane is an address used by Shac but no one works from there. It's just a mail-drop address. All the people named on the costs order left us between two and four years ago."