AR groups winning hollow PR victories

Animal Rights groups like PETA and HSUS have been trumpeting the latest PR victories by animal rights campaigners – but what’s behind these “success stories”?

The first “victory” for AR groups, recently touted by PeTA, was a ban on animal testing put in place by the small country of San Marino. However, let us put this in perspective. San Marino is a country smaller (in size) than Manhattan (New York City), and with a population of just 30,000 (comparable to a medium sized American University). So what impact has the ban had on the world’s oldest republic? None! Not one iota of difference has been made. Not a single animal will be saved in this hollow stunt. San Marino’s biotech industry is non-existent, and its borders contain just one University – The Advanced School of Historical Studies (Scuola Superiore di Studi Storici), unsurprisingly not a university reknowned for undertaking biomedical research.

Spurred on by this victory can we expect animal rights groups to attempt a similar ban in Monaco? Or perhaps the Vatican City? Why stop there – perhaps we’ll start hearing about people banning animal research in their own homes.

The second triumph was HSUS convincing 13 educational institutions to ban “severe and unrelieved pain and/or distress” in research, despite the fact that such experiments account for only 7% of the total. It was interesting that most of the institutions, such as Amherst, are liberal-arts colleges and do not carry out any pain-causing research (for example many used animals for just behavioral studies), and, unsurprisingly, none of these institutions are well known for their animal experiments.

It has been a common tactic by animal rights groups in need of a “victory”, to ban animal research where it doesn’t exist. In 1986 the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) passed a law in parliament banning Great Ape Research. The result? A waste of public money – scientists in Britain had already stopped using great apes by choice long before the ban, preferring to use lower primates which provided similar quality results without the very high upkeep costs required for great apes.

All for now!