Shareholder Campaign: Barr Pharmaceuticals

Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., was a holding company with two main subsidiaries, Barr Laboratories, Inc., and Duramed Pharmaceuticals, that focused on generic and proprietary drugs, respectively. Barr and Duramed developed, manufactured, and marketed more than 100 products.

2005 Resolution: ‘Give the Animals 5’

With the help of PETA supporters who held stock in Barr Pharmaceuticals, a resolution was filed in the fall of 2004 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.

Despite Barr’s response that “[w]e follow a policy that includes identifying, developing and using alternatives to laboratory animal testing whenever possible,” Barr recommended that its shareholders vote against our resolution. PETA’s resolution was voted on at Barr’s annual meeting, garnering approximately 1.25 million shares.

2006 Resolution: Animal Welfare Policy

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

Barr Laboratories challenged PETA’s resolution at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), claiming that the resolution should be excluded because it concerned substantially the same subject matter as the 2005 resolution, which did not receive the required 3 percent of the vote to be reintroduced. The SEC ruled in Barr’s favor, and PETA’s animal welfare policy resolution did not appear in Barr’s proxy materials that year.

In 2008, Barr Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, a non-U.S. entity.

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“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