Links for Keyword: Animal Rights

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to our mailing list, to receive news updates. Learn more.


Links 61 - 80 of 109

by Andy Coghlan Seven of the UK's most active animal rights extremists were jailed on Wednesday, receiving sentences of up to 11 years. "These sentences signal the end of the long dark era of animal rights extremism," said Simon Festing of the pro-research organisation, Understanding Animal Research. Globally, however, the situation is far from resolved. In the US, attacks are intensifying and researchers are expecting the new administration to clamp down on offenders. In the UK, the activists were tried for their parts in a six-year campaign to close Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), a company based near Cambridge that undertakes animal research for pharmaceutical companies. The activists' campaign of terror and blackmail, orchestrated by an organisation called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), went well beyond HLS itself, targeting any companies, contractors, shareholders, or individuals with connections to the company. According to Alastair Nisbet of the UK Crown Prosecution Service's Wessex Complex Casework Unit, the conspirators threatened to continue subjecting their victims to blackmail and intimidation unless they agreed to stop working with HLS. The harassment included noisy protests outside business premises; abusive telephone calls, emails and letters; threats of damage to property and physical assault; as well as false allegations of child abuse, hoax bombs, demonstrations and damage to the homes of targets through so-called "home visits". They also sent victims used tampons said to be soaked in HIV-infected blood. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 12480 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Fergus Walsh Oxford University says the first animals have been moved into a new biomedical sciences centre in the city. The building will bring together animal research currently conducted at around half a dozen facilities in the city. Construction began five years ago but building work halted for more than a year when the contractors pulled out, citing intimidation from animal rights groups. The four storey Oxford animal lab is still surrounded by anonymous wooden hoardings topped with barbed wire. It is ringed with cameras and is a highly secure building. Inside, biosecurity is a key feature. Before getting to see the first animals I had to put on protective overalls, plastic shoe covers and a hairnet. This is mostly to protect the animals from any germs I might bring in. The first animals moved in were mice, which is perhaps appropriate given that rodents will make up 98% of the inhabitants. Eventually there will also be zebrafish, tadpoles, frogs and small numbers of guinea pigs, gerbils and hamsters. There will be no cats or dogs and no farm animals. BBC © MMVIII

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 12228 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Greg Miller Early Saturday morning, a Molotov-cocktail-like device set fire to the home of a developmental neurobiologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). His family escaped by climbing down a fire escape from a second-story window. Around the same time, a similar device destroyed the car of another UCSC researcher. As ScienceNOW went to press, no one had claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the university and police suspect they are the work of animal-rights extremists. In recent years, universities and law enforcement officials in the United States have had to grapple with increasingly personal threats, harassment, and attacks on animal researchers and their families (Science, 21 December 2007, p. 1856). California has been an epicenter of such animal-rights extremism: Several biomedical researchers at UC Los Angeles have been targeted in recent years, and more recently, scientists at other University of California (UC) campuses have endured harassment and had their homes vandalized. Twenty-four UC Berkeley researchers and seven staff members have been harassed in recent months, according to a university spokesperson. In February, six masked intruders tried to force their way into the home of a UCSC researcher during a birthday party for her young daughter. Concerns were sparked again last week in Santa Cruz by pamphlets discovered in a downtown coffee shop and turned in to police. Titled "Murderers and Torturers Alive and Well in Santa Cruz," they contained the photographs, home addresses, and phone numbers of 13 UCSC faculty members, along with "threat-laden language" condemning animal research, says Captain Steve Clark of the Santa Cruz police. © 2008 American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 11898 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Alison Abbott Zurich's two largest institutes are appealing to the country's supreme court after a lower court decided to ban two primate experiments studying how the brain adapts to change. They say that the ban is a serious threat to all basic research that uses animals in Switzerland. The University of Zurich and the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) announced on 4 June that their local administrative court had ruled against the experiments on rhesus monkeys that had been approved in 2006 by the Swiss National Science Foundation, a funding agency and the Zurich canton's veterinary office, which is responsible for controlling animal welfare. The veterinary office decision was challenged by an external advisory committee on animal experimentation, which argued that the proposed experiments would offend the dignity of the animals. The requirement to consider the 'dignity of creatures' was introduced into the Swiss constitution in 2004. The court did not refer to dignity, but agreed that society was unlikely to see the benefits of the research during the three-year funding period approved, and thus the burden on the animals was not justified. Swiss law requires that the benefit to society must be weighed against the burden to animals before any animal experiment can take place. © 2008 Nature Publishing Group

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 11709 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Ned Stafford An Austrian judge turned down a request this week to appoint a woman as legal guardian of a chimpanzee. The decision is a blow to a growing movement in Europe attempting to give apes some of the legal rights of humans, such as protection from being owned. But proponents of ape rights say they will appeal the decision and continue fighting for the cause elsewhere in Europe. In Spain, for example, they are pushing for a national law that would extend some human rights to apes. Paula Casal, a vice-president of the Great Ape Project branch in Spain, says the Spanish law, first proposed a year ago, might finally be put to a vote soon in parliament. "After that battle is won, then we will have momentum to start organizing groups in other countries to do the same," said Casal, a philosopher at the University of Reading, UK. The goal of the Great Ape Project is to extend basic human rights to apes, such as the right to life, protection of individual liberty and prohibition of torture. Apes are no longer used in most western nations for research, with the United States being a major exception. New Zealand passed an ape rights law in 1999, backed by the Great Ape Project, which prohibits using apes in any experiments that would benefit humans. ©2007 Nature Publishing Group

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 10226 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Constance Holden The U.S. Congress has passed a measure that is expected to make it much easier to prosecute animal-rights activists who target enterprises that deal with research animals. Research groups immediately hailed the measure, called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, as a milestone in protecting science, while animal activists warned that it labels peaceful demonstrators as terrorists. The House of Representatives approved the act yesterday by a voice vote, following similar action by the Senate in September. The bill tightens provisions in the existing Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, which made it a federal offense to interfere with the conduct of "animal enterprises" from university labs to slaughterhouses to circuses. The new measure extends that protection to anyone targeted by activists because they do business with an animal enterprise, including accountants and suppliers. It also calls for reimbursement for economic damages caused to such entities. Offenders will face fines or jail terms ranging from 1 year to life for various forms of harrassment and intimidation, including property damage, trespassing, and death threats. The bill is largely a response to the tactics of a group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC). Active in both the U.K. and the U.S., SHAC has for years targeted U.K.-based Huntingdon Life Sciences, which uses animals to test drugs, food additives, and pesticides. Last year, SHAC reportedly intimidated the New York Stock Exchange into declining to list Huntingdon's parent company, New Jersey-based Life Sciences Research. © 2006 American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 9622 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Researchers are working on ways to reduce the need for animal experiments, but new laws may increase the number of experiments needed That ideal world, sadly, is still some way away. People need new drugs and vaccines. They want protection from the toxicity of chemicals. The search for basic scientific answers goes on. Indeed, the European Commission is forging ahead with proposals that will increase the number of animal experiments carried out in the European Union, by requiring toxicity tests on every chemical approved for use within the union's borders in the past 25 years. Already, the commission has identified 140,000 chemicals that have not yet been tested. It wants 30,000 of these to be examined right away, and plans to spend between €4 billion-8 billion ($5 billion-10 billion) doing so. The number of animals used for toxicity testing in Europe will thus, experts reckon, quintuple from just over 1m a year to about 5m, unless they are saved by some dramatic advances in non-animal testing technology. At the moment, roughly 10% of European animal tests are for general toxicity, 35% for basic research, 45% for drugs and vaccines, and the remaining 10% a variety of uses such as diagnosing diseases. Animal experimentation will therefore be around for some time yet. But the hunt for substitutes continues, and last weekend the Middle European Society for Alternative Methods to Animal Testing met in Linz, Austria, to review progress. © The Economist Newspaper Limited 2006

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 9036 - Posted: 06.24.2010

by Brendan O'Neill I've been on a lot of demos in my time, but none quite like Saturday's march in Oxford from Broad Street to South Parks Road to defend the building of a biomedical research laboratory at Oxford University where experiments will be conducted on animals. Animal rights activists have demonstrated against the lab almost every week for the past 18 months; the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a ragbag of self-deluded 'freedom fighters' for animals, even described all academics, students and other workers at Oxford as 'legitimate targets' in its 'war' on the laboratory. On Saturday, the fightback started: around 700 people, a mix of scientists, academics, Home County wives and a generous sprinkling of bright and angry students, marched on the lab shouting such memorable slogans as 'What do we want? The Oxford lab! When do we want it? Now!', and 'Animal research cures disease, Human beings over chimpanzees!' (that one made some of the Home County types a little uncomfortable). The pro-testing protest easily overshadowed the anti-testing protest (which was taking place, as usual, opposite the lab), both on the day itself and in the miles of media coverage that followed. Pro-Test, the group behind the pro-lab demo, is the brainchild of a 16-year-old school dropout from Swindon. He got the idea for it in late January, when he and two friends visited Oxford and decided to scribble the words 'Support progress: build the Oxford lab' on a makeshift placard and parade around the city centre. © spiked 2000-2006

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 8615 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Ed Owen It is "the ultimate evil" and "the most intense form of systematic cruelty in the history of humanity". Strong stuff. Yet these are not descriptions of the Holocaust or the genocides of Rwanda or Cambodia. It is how one animal rights group chooses to describe on its website the use of animals in scientific research. And far from being members of a balaclava-clad, extremist fringe, the authors of this rhetoric are from a mainstream organisation called Uncaged, which lobbies the government and works closely with many of our MPs. In the wake of the news last month that Darley Oaks Farm in Staffordshire, which bred guinea pigs for research purposes, was being forced to shut down its business, there has been a renewed focus on the militants within the animal rights lobby who use intimidation and violence to get their way. But in doing so, we must also step up effective scrutiny of the equally uncompromising arguments of those groups that do act within the law. Make no mistake, these so-called moderate organisations are as fundamental in their aims, if not in the tactics, as the hard core. I should at the outset declare an interest. My three-year-old daughter suffers from cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening inherited condition that attacks the lungs and digestive system. About one in every 2,500 babies born in the UK is affected. Our refrigerator and kitchen cupboards are full of medicines that have been developed with the help of animal research. Using these treatments, most sufferers can expect to live until their early thirties with a disease that few used to survive beyond childhood. © New Statesman 1913 - 2005

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 7904 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Robin McKie, science editor Mike Robins is a man redeemed. Thanks to pioneering surgery, the debilitating effects of Parkinson's disease that were wrecking his life are now under tight control. With the flick of a switch, he can turn off the uncontrollable tremors that stopped him holding down a job, having a social life or even getting to sleep. Not surprisingly, Robins reckons he is lucky to be fit and alive. Others are not so sure. At a recent public meeting to discuss a proposed animal research centre in Oxford, 63-year-old Robins was jeered and ridiculed when he tried to show how surgery, perfected through animal experiments, had transformed his life. 'I was bayed at,' said Robins, a retired naval engineer from Southampton. 'Several hundred people were shouting. Some called out "Nazi!", "bastard!" and "Why don't you roll over and die!" I tried to speak, but was shouted down. It was utterly terrifying.' The attack has shocked even hardened observers of vivisection debates. 'I have seen many unpleasant things at these debates, but to scream at a middle-aged man with Parkinson's disease and then tell him he deserved to die is the worst I have observed,' said Simon Festing, director of the Research Defence Society, which defends the scientific use of animals for experimentation. © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook; Chapter 11: Motor Control and Plasticity
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior; Chapter 5: The Sensorimotor System
Link ID: 7371 - Posted: 06.24.2010

A leading US nutritionist today claimed that vegetarian and vegan parents are damaging their children's health by denying them meat. UK experts immediately contested the findings of Professor Lindsay Allen, of the University of California at Davis, and Sir Paul McCartney told the BBC that the claims were "rubbish". Prof Allen conducted a study of impoverished children in Kenya, and found that adding as little as two spoonfuls of meat a day to their starch-based diets dramatically improved muscle development and mental skills. Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in Washington DC, she said: "Animal source foods have some nutrients which are not found anywhere else. "If you're talking about feeding young children and pregnant women and lactating women, I would go as far as to say it is unethical to withhold these foods during that period of life. There's a lot of empirical research that will show the very adverse effects on child development of doing that." Prof Allen was especially critical of parents who imposed a vegan lifestyle on their children, denying them milk, cheese, eggs and butter, as well as meat. "There's absolutely no question that it's unethical for parents to bring up their children as strict vegans," she said. © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 6914 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Mark Peplow Animal rights activists who disrupt UK medical research could face up to five years in jail, if a legal amendment proposed by the British government becomes law. The new law would make it a criminal offence to cause "economic damage" to businesses connected with animal research, either by intimidating individuals or by interfering with commercial activities. "Animal rights extremism is out of control," says Simon Festing, head of the Research Defence Society, London, which lobbies for the use of animals in research. "It's time something was done about these zealots." Current legislation focuses on physical damage caused by protestors. But activists are increasingly trying to undermine animal-testing laboratories by targeting the companies that supply them, even threatening courier services who make deliveries to the high-security sites. "This new law would not affect the important right to peaceful protest, while cracking down hard on those extremists committing crimes, and some horrific acts, against innocent people involved in the supply chain," says the trade and industry secretary, Patricia Hewitt, who announced the amendment on 31 January. ©2005 Nature Publishing Group

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 6787 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Roxanne Khamsi Mice living in exciting environments still produce reliable and reproducible results when used in scientific experiments, according to a new study. The finding suggests that researchers could offer their lab animals more interesting surroundings. Previous work has shown that mice living in standard, barren cages may suffer greater stress or exhibit abnormal repetitive behaviours1. This uninspired housing has caused concerns over animal welfare, and the validity of experiments. Stress, for example, is known to interfere with learning and memory, as well as the immune system. But regardless of this, scientists have hesitated to add exciting elements to mouse cages for fear that doing so would influence the precision and reproducibility of test results. Although the reluctance is widespread, not everyone believes in this logic. "There have been no data substantiating these fears," says Hanno Würbel, an ethologist at the University of Giessen in Germany. He and a team of researchers decided to investigate whether enriched cage environments compromised experimental outcomes. ©2004 Nature Publishing Group

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 6602 - Posted: 06.24.2010

A veterinarian analyzes the turf battles that have transformed the animal laboratory By Madhusree Mukerjee The one time I saw the inside of an animal laboratory, at a prestigious university, the veterinarian who showed me around was subsequently fired for that transgression. So it is little surprise that Larry Carbone, a laboratory animal veterinarian, gives us few peeks behind the door: the book has virtually no anecdotes. Instead he takes off the lab's roof to offer a bird's-eye view--distant, measured and worded with sometimes excruciating care--of the battles raging within. A veterinarian's oath binds her to "the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge." It imposes contradictory tasks on the laboratory animal veterinarian. "So you keep them healthy until the scientists can make them sick," Carbone quotes a skeptic as saying. A lab animal vet can please no one, it seems--certainly not the animal lover, who suspects her split loyalties, nor the animal researcher, who resents her attempts to oversee not just animal care but also experimental practice. Carbone, who holds doctorates in veterinary medicine and in the history and philosophy of science, is a vet in the animal facility at the University of California at San Francisco. In early chapters of What Animals Want, he describes the unending philosophical debates over animal care and use, while in the more interesting later chapters he documents the jostling that determined the rather limited turf of the lab animal vet. © 1996-2004 Scientific American, Inc. All rights reserved.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 6174 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Britain is the new training ground for animal rights activists, with anti-vivisectionists travelling here from all over the world to learn techniques of unarmed combat and how to evade arrest. Up to 300 young militants from abroad, including about 50 from the United States, will arrive in Britain next month for a training camp. They will be taught to climb using ropes - useful in scaling buildings - plus skills required by hunt saboteurs. The four-day training workshop for aspiring anti-vivisectionists, in Tonbridge, Kent, has been organised by the two most prominent and militant groups - Speak, which is campaigning for the closure of Oxford University's new science laboratory, and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) which targets Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), the leading animal testing company. A SHAC website gives a timetable of workshops for the camp, one of which is titled "unarmed combat". As guest speaker they have invited Ronnie Lee, who is credited with founding the Animal Liberation Front, a group notorious for its extreme tactics. Both groups deny they promote violence, although their followers have been blamed for a series of attacks on the homes and properties of scientists. © 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 5878 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Peter Aldhous British animal-rights protesters have won another victory, now that the lead contractor building a research facility at the University of Oxford has withdrawn from the project. The protesters' opponents condemn the campaign of intimidation that led to the contractor's move. But they argue that it represents a minor hiccup, rather than a signal that the protesters are winning their war to end experimentation on animals. Oxford officials say that the US$33.5-million facility, due to open next year, is vital to the future of research at the university. Most of the planned research would be on rodents, investigating conditions including cancer, heart disease and stroke. Some monkeys would also be used. The lab became the main focus for the attention of British animal rights activists after the University of Cambridge abandoned plans to build a primate research facility in January this year. That decision was in part due to the soaring costs of providing security in the face of repeated protests. Repeating the tactics employed in previous campaigns, protesters soon began targeting contractors building the Oxford lab. The offices of a company providing concrete were heavily vandalized. Activists also sent letters to the shareholders of the lead contractor, a company called Montpellier, purporting to be from its chairman. These urged shareholders to sell their stock to avoid reprisals from the animal rights movement. ©2004 Nature Publishing Group

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 5853 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Jane Salodof MacNeil Physically and behaviorally, few creatures have been measured, tested, and probed as much as the laboratory mouse. Yet what do scientists know about making mice happy or free of pain? Often, the answer is not nearly enough. This is a knowledge vacuum with ethical and experimental ramifications. Pain management and environmental enrichment are hot topics in laboratory animal science. They are also conundrums defying easy fixes. Researchers may want to mitigate pain and suffering in their charges, but animals of prey hide their pain. Moreover, researchers do not agree on which medicines to administer, or at what doses. Making the animals' living conditions more stimulating is also problematic. Doing what comes naturally, some social animals turn their new communal housing into boxing rings. And even if they don't, the new environment can change animal physiology in ways that confound experiments and undermine comparisons to previously obtained data. © 2004, The Scientist LLC, All rights reserved.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 5346 - Posted: 06.24.2010

People linked to animal experimentation who have suffered attacks and intimidation from animal rights extremists have banded together to lobby the UK government for changes in the law. The Victims of Animal Rights Extremism (VARE) group was launched at the British Parliament on Thursday. The 100-strong body of people who have suffered violence and harassment wants the government to crack down on the problem of extremism. "I think there's a tremendous and desperate need for an organisation like this to exist," says Mark Matfield, director of the Research Defence Society, who set up VARE. The voluntary group, which is currently not listed as a charity so that its address does not have to be revealed, aims to also provide support and help for victims of extremism. "The government and police don't seem to be solving this problem," says Matfield. He adds the situation may even be worsening. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 5337 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Robin McKie and Mark Townsend Sweeping new powers against animal rights activists are being prepared by Home Secretary David Blunkett. New legislation would make it an imprisonable offence to intimidate scientists involved in animal research, and prevent large groups gathering outside laboratories. A national police unit dedicated to tackling animal terrorism could be set up. The decision follows last week's announcement that Cambridge University has abandoned construction of its proposed Primate Research Centre. The laboratory, where scientists would have carried out research on Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other brain diseases, was ditched because the costs of protecting buildings and staff from activists protesting about the use of primates in experiments had begun to spiral out of control. The laboratory's price tag had already risen from £24 million to £32 million and was expected to increase even more as security estimates soared. Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 4901 - Posted: 06.24.2010

NewScientist.com news service Cambridge University has axed plans for a controversial primate centre to conduct animal research into brain diseases. However, the centre could still be built elsewhere, possibly at a location more protected from action by anti-vivisectionists. The UK Prime Minister Tony Blair had backed the plan as being "of national importance". The university blames "escalating costs" caused by years of delays and security concerns for its decision to axe the centre. But it is being accused by many of having buckled under a sustained campaign from animal-rights activists who opposed the centre from the outset. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 4875 - Posted: 06.24.2010