British animal rights groups have found the weak links in the biomedical research enterprise and have begun to export newly developed tactics to the U.S. Some financial institutions and research-based companies have capitulated to terrorist tactics, encouraging the activists to extend their attacks to new targets.

Anti-vivesectionists have protested the use of animals in medical experiments for decades, occasionally employing violent tactics, including arson, vandalism and theft targeted at research institutions. The latest campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences Group plc (LSE:HTD; HTDLY, Huntingdon, U.K.), the largest U.K. contract research organization that conducts preclinical research, started out with media attacks against the company, fueled by video footage allegedly illustrating the mistreatment of a beagle. In February, HTD managing director Brian Cass was pummeled outside his home by three masked men with baseball bats, and other employees have been attacked, had their cars bombed and their home windows smashed.