Over the past decade, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty—SHAC—has waged an international direct action campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences, Europe’s largest contract animal testing corporation. By targeting investors and business partners of HLS, SHAC repeatedly brought HLS to the brink of collapse; it took direct assistance from the British government and an international counter-campaign of severe legal repression to keep the corporation afloat.
In the wake of this campaign, there has been talk of applying the SHAC model in other contexts, such as environmental defense and anti-war organizing. But what is the SHAC model, precisely? What are its strengths and limitations? Is it, in fact, an effective model? If so, for what?
This analysis explores these questions in depth, charting the history of anti-HLS organizing and reviewing subsequent attempts to utilize the same tactics.