Report: Animal Rights Conference – Part 4

We come to my final day at the Animal Rights Conference, but it is worth quickly looking back over the last few days.

Part 1 – Looks at AR violence and includes recordings of Camille Hankins (Win Animal Rights – WAR) speaking in support of the grave robbings and arson attacks carried out by animal rights activists.
Part 2 – Looks at AR tactics and includes comments and a video on Matt Rossell’s (In Defense of Animals – IDA) infiltration of Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC).
Part 3 – Looks at AR conspiracies and quotes from (and commentary on) various activists from a variety of animal issues.

So on to Sunday and Vivisection Campaigns. This first session was held by Camille Hankins (WAR), George Guimaraes (VEDDAS) who had run campaigns in Brazil, and Matt Rossell of In Defence of Animals (see Part 2 for my comments on his earlier talks). Rossell talks about his time as an infiltrator at ONPRC and the allegations he brought to the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) against them. He, as usual, fails to mention that the USDA cleared ONPRC of all allegations of mistreatment. He also briefly mentions the rest of their current campaigns, against University of Minnesota, Georgetown University, and UC Davis. After Rossell came Guimaraes, who discussed his campaigns in Brazil – trying to use the law to his advantage. Finally came Hankins, and she had an announcement:
SHAC is back!
(Do they lack attack, or do they pack a smack? They’ll be dressed in black to track the quack in our snack … Ok, I’m done)
Hankins proclaimed that she would be helping to bring back SHAC with new members (preferably ones who aren’t in prison). This was one of the only fresh things in her talk (apparently she’s been wanting to announce her intentions for a while on this front). During the Q&A section it was announced that basic science (as opposed to applied) was “Junk Science” (In the next session Rossell used the phrase “Gee Whiz science”) which shows a huge misunderstanding as to the importance of understanding pathologies – which is crucial if you want to go about treating them.

The second of the Sunday sessions I attended was Effective Tactics for Vivisection, with Hankins and Rossell. Rossell’s talk dealt with much the same things as before, as did Hankins for the most part, although Hankins did make two comments worthy of note (albeit maybe for ridiculous comedy value):
We’re trying to stop the drug companies killing your children” – perhaps they should look at corticosteroids and life support systems for premature babies (developed in rabbits and monkeys respectively) or the Meningitis Vaccine (mice) and Asthma Treatments (rabbits) that both continue to help millions of children worldwide.
The threatening letters directed to HLS (Huntingdon Life Sciences) were “probably written by a GSK [GlaxoSmithKline] employer” – No, sorry Camille, you’ve lost me!

Before leaving I popped to the WAR stall. It was interesting to see that they had bolt cutters for sale (can be used to, say, cut fences open) on the stall.

So I hope you enjoyed my review of the animal rights conference. Keep checking back for more interesting stories relating to animals in science, animal rights activism, and the activities of Speaking of Research.



2 thoughts on “Report: Animal Rights Conference – Part 4

  1. It was interesting to hear that basic science was described as “junk” science, clearly not everyone in the Anti-viv movement is out to capture the hearts and minds of the scientific community;-)

    Actually in The Scientist online this week there’s an interesting example of how basic research on transgenic mice lead to a new treatment for Osteoporosis that has had promising results in clinical trials

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