Links for Keyword: Animal Rights

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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

The present situation where scientists are caught between political manipulation and public incomprehension must end for all our good Colin Blakemore Not a squeak. No sign of communication. Sitting in a strange environment, remote, mysterious and invisible. Microscope and mass spectrometer at the ready; ultraviolet sensor, thermocouples and three-axis accelerometer poised for action. Thirty-two-bit processor eager to crunch numbers. Centuries of scientific knowledge, years of preparation and investment were needed for its work. Yet it remains silent, a source of fascination to the public but unheard. No, not Beagle-2 (although as I write it is, alas, still silent). This image is the stereotypical, faceless British scientist - a grey, male personage in a white coat. He works long hours and shows a vocational devotion rare in other professions. His primary targets are gaining tenure in his job, publishing before his rivals in the States and getting his next grant. Telling anyone about his ideas (except through the medium of an academic paper) is very low on his list of priorities. In the pub, he will talk politics or Manchester Utd rather than bosons or genes. Who would listen, who would bother, who would understand? Was it ever thus? Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

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: 4782 - Posted: 06.24.2010

NewScientist.com news service Cambridge University has been granted permission to build a controversial new laboratory for conducting neuroscience research on primates. The centre is aimed at studying conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and stroke. The go-ahead, issued on Friday by John Prescott, the UK's deputy prime minister, was greeted with delight by scientists and doctors, but with anger by anti-vivisectionists. The proposed lab was the subject of a bitter public enquiry. Scientists argued that vital medical research cannot be done in any other way than by experiments on the brains of monkeys. Opponents disagreed, saying the work is unethical and that research on primates actually hinders rather than helps research into neurological disease (see New Scientist print edition, 23 November 2002). © 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: 4583 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By DAVID CRARY, AP National Writer NEW YORK -- A whistleblowing veterinarian has entangled Columbia University's prestigious medical center in a protracted dispute after alleging that baboons and other lab animals suffered from cruel or negligent treatment. A year after veterinarian Catherine Dell'Orto complained to senior medical center officials, the case remains very much alive. It is the subject of investigations by two federal agencies, and animal-rights activists are seeking punitive action against the medical center. Dell'Orto has left the university, contending she was shunned after speaking up, but she continues to press her cause. Copyright © 2003, The Associated Press

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: 4372 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Susan Milius The extent of a species' home range can be used to forecast how well members of the species will adapt to captivity, according to a controversial new survey of troubled behavior in zoo animals. "As far as I know, we're the first to test species vulnerability to welfare problems in captivity," says Ros Clubb of the University of Oxford in England. She spent 3 years examining carnivore-behavior studies from about 40 zoos. Animals with the biggest ranges, such as polar bears, tended to have the highest infant mortality and do a lot of repetitive pacing, report Clubb and her coauthor Georgia Mason. The results highlight a nasty problem for conservationists, says Clubb. Animals that need a lot of land often prove the hardest to conserve in the wild, yet her results show they could also be the most vulnerable in captivity. Copyright ©2003 Science Service.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook; Chapter 6: Evolution of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 4334 - Posted: 06.24.2010

NewScientist.com news service Carnivores with large home ranges have worse reactions to being caged than those that roam less widely in the wild, according to a major study of zoo animal welfare. The researchers conclude that wide-ranging carnivores should not be kept in captivity. "If we can't keep them well then don't keep them at all," says Ros Clubb at Oxford University, UK, who compiled the research. Scientists have suggested before that range size is important, but the new work is the first to show this with comprehensive data. © 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: 4321 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Stacy Finz, Chronicle Staff Writer The two pipe bomb explosions at an Emeryville biotechnology firm last week were part of a surge of extremism by animal rights and environmental militants that activists predict will increase as fringes of the movement grow more frustrated with peaceful protest. Though the threat may be nothing more than bravado, FBI agents are taking it seriously. "It is true that we've seen an increase in the intensity and level of damage," said Phil Celestini, a supervisory agent in the FBI's domestic terrorism unit in Washington. "And the Emeryville incident was certainly an escalation in their tactics." ©2003 San Francisco Chronicle

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: 4234 - Posted: 06.24.2010

SULTAN, Wash. - Days after 10,000 mink were released from a farm in southern Snohomish County, hundreds of the animals not yet captured have converged on local farms in search of food. The animals had killed at least 25 exotic birds and attacked other livestock in the area. "Over half our livestock was shredded. Murdered. Eaten alive," said Jeff Weaver, who discovered the dead birds on his farm Thursday. "These are not like regular farm animals. They're our pets." Copyright © 2003 The Associated Press. All rights Copyright © 2003 Yahoo! 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: 4186 - Posted: 06.24.2010