Animal crackers

Four former and current Dutch directors of the Amsterdam-based European stock exchange Euronext have had their cars and houses vandalised by animal rights activists. Their email inboxes are also probably full of hate mail.

The directors are being intimidated by ALF, the Animal Liberation Front, because Euronext recently merged with the New York Stock Exchange. The American bourse has a listing for Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British research laboratory that tests medicines on animals which is the main target of ALF.
If ALF’s past actions are anything to go on, the Dutch bourse executives had better start building a bunker. In the past, the group has planted mines in a fur farmer’s fields and dug up the corpse of his mother-in-law.
For all their animal compassion, the campaign by ALF is illegal and totally out of proportion. Their practices are more in line with criminal gangs.
The stock exchange cannot refuse a bona fide company seeking a listing. And Huntingdon Life Sciences is operating according to the law. There must surely be more effective things ALF could do to protect animal rights than to terrorise bourse directors.
On the other hand, the group has made an impact on the Dutch government which has tabled an emergency debate on how to combat animal rights extremists. It’s not only businesses that should operate ethically and legally. The same applies to activists.

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