Shareholder Campaign: Amgen

Shareholder Campaign: Amgen

Amgen develops, manufactures, and delivers innovative human therapeutics and is one of the largest biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the U.S.

2004 Resolution: ‘Give the Animals 5’

With the help of PETA supporters who held stock in Amgen, a resolution was filed in the fall of 2003 calling on the company to “Give the Animals 5”—replace five crude and cruel animal tests with state-of-the-art and scientifically valid non-animal methods that were already in use in other countries.

Amgen opposed our resolution and sought permission from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to exclude our resolution from its proxy statement, arguing that it dealt with ordinary business matters that are not subject to a vote by stockholders. Amgen failed to provide PETA with a copy of its “No Action” letter, as required by SEC regulations, and PETA was unable to offer a rebuttal. Remarkably, the SEC failed to take this into account when issuing an opinion concurring with Amgen’s arguments. Thus, PETA’s resolution did not appear in Amgen’s proxy materials that year.

2005 Resolution: Give the Animals 5

The following year, PETA filed another similar resolution. Despite assurances that Amgen was “fully committed to replacing in vivo testing with other procedures wherever such tests are scientifically valid,” the company opposed our resolution. Approximately 19.6 million shares (2.6 percent) were voted in favor of the resolution when it was brought to a vote at Amgen’s annual meeting.

2006 Resolution: Animal Welfare Policy

In 2006, PETA filed a resolution with Amgen calling on the company to develop and make publicly accessible an animal welfare policy that would include reducing the number of animals used and ensuring that social and behavioral enrichment measures were implemented for the animals used both in-house and at contract laboratories.

The resolution was largely the result of the horrors uncovered in the independent contract testing laboratory Covance Inc., whose officials boasted that their clients included “just about every major company around the world.”

Amgen published our resolution in its proxy materials, along with its opposition statement advising shareholders to vote against it. Our resolution garnered 8.4 percent of the vote (almost 58 million shares), which qualified it to be reintroduced in 2007.

2007 Resolution: Animal Welfare Policy

When PETA re-filed the 2006 resolution for Amgen’s 2007 annual meeting, the company again published our resolution in its proxy materials along with its opposition statement advising shareholders to vote against it. The resolution was brought to a vote and garnered 6.2 percent of the shares (almost 42 million shares).

2008 Resolution: Animal Welfare Act Violations

In 2008, PETA’s shareholder resolution called on Amgen to issue a report on the measures that the company had taken to resolve, correct, and prevent violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The resolution was the result of PETA’s findings that Amgen had been cited multiple times for AWA violations in U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports. The violations ranged from unsanitary conditions and poor recordkeeping to keeping rabbits in cages so small that normal posture was impossible. Our resolution garnered almost 6 percent of the vote (approximately 38 million shares).

2012 Resolution: Transparency in Animal Use

To promote transparency and minimize the use of animals, PETA filed a resolution in 2012 calling for Amgen to issue an annual report to shareholders detailing measures taken to ensure that Amgen’s animal experimentation oversight committee functioned properly with regard to the use of animals in painful and lethal experiments, procedures to ensure appropriate animal care at in-house and contract laboratories, and specifics on the manner in which Amgen used animals and planned to promote alternatives to animal use.

Amgen opposed our shareholder resolution, claiming the annual report would be “an unnecessary use of Company resources.” Almost 31 million shares (7 percent) were voted in favor of the resolution, allowing PETA to re-file in 2013.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind