Royal recognition ain’t what it used to be. On Friday the Prince of Wales honored Brian Cass of Huntingdon Life Sciences with the “Commander of the Order of the British Empire.” Today Her Majesty’s Government announced that henceforth it would have to serve as Huntingdon’s insurer, because violent thugs in the animal rights movement have beaten the commercial insurance industry into submission.

Huntington has grown accustomed to being left in the lurch. The beleaguered company, whose enterprises include AIDS, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease research, turned to the Bank of England last year after the Royal Bank of Scotland, Citibank, CSFB, HSBC and Barclays all withdrew their services.

Credit (or blame, depending on who tells the story) for scaring away Huntingdon’s business partners goes to the violent animal rights group Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC). Today one of its spokesmen bragged: “This is a massive victory. Over the last 12 months SHAC has gone global. This has served as a training ground for our next target.”

Today’s news proves that violence and intimidation, while unlawful and dishonorable, are just as effective as ever. Threatening employees’ children also gets results. Soon SHAC will turn its attention to some other unfortunate company. How long will the “next target” be able to brave assaults from violent militants? It’s anyone’s guess.