Geneva -- The head of Swiss drugmaker Novartis
said Sunday that everything necessary was being done to protect him and his
staff from escalating attacks by animal rights activists he described as
"How far must we go before we talk about terrorism? For me,
it is terrorism to propagate fear, to put targeted people under pressure with
all possible, and in particular illegal, methods," Daniel Vasella told newspaper
Blick am Sonntag in an interview published Sunday.
holiday home was set on fire on 4 August in an arson attack claimed by a group
called Militant Forces against Huntingdon Life Science Austria. Vasella was
absent at the time.
The group had warned that it would attack Vasella's
"private life wherever possible" unless Novartis cut all ties with Huntingdon
Life Sciences, a animal-testing laboratory which provides testing services to
the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
Huntingdon Life Sciences has
become a focal point for activists against animal experimentation.
Novartis meanwhile claimed that another group, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty
(SHAC), was responsible for the arson.