Will PETA Embrace Openness?

Two weeks ago, the American scientific community took a stand. Hundreds of scientists, veterinarians and animal care staff signed a letter in support of greater openness. To top it off, four Nobel Laureates – William Campbell, Mario Capecchi, Carol Greider and Torsten Wiesel – added their names to the list.

The letter calls for America’s scientific institutions to communicate more openly and regularly about how animal studies play a critical role in the development of new treatments and cures both now, and for the foreseeable future. We hope this call for openness is taken up by institutions across the US – driving them to find new and innovative ways to explain the research they do to the wider public.

PETA’s response to this was to write a blog telling scientists to “Bring It On” in response to the call for openness.

Sadly, PETA’s misleading, and often downright false claims about animal research appear to be a common theme in their coverage. But if PETA want to become a constructive part of the openness discussion, we would certainly welcome it.

We took the liberty of drafting a letter for PETA to sign up to – if they agree to sign it, we are happy to send it to USA Today, to sit alongside our own letter.

Dear Editor,

PETA would like to congratulate the scientific community in its call for greater openness in animal research. We say, “Bring it on”!

To support such openness, we agree to take our own steps to improve the accuracy of our own coverage of animal research.

  • We pledge to use only recent images of animal research, and cease using decades old images to illustrate our stories and videos.
  • We will, going forward, openly condemn the harassment of researchers, which stops many of them from feeling comfortable with speaking openly about the important research that they do.
  • We will only use quotes from researchers that accurately reflect their views on animal research – resisting the temptation to quote out of context.

Only by providing accurate information about how and why animals are used in research can we allow the public to make an informed decision on this emotive, but important issue.


If PETA wishes us to submit this letter on behalf of their organization – and show the world that they mean what they say about openness – then they need only email us.

Speaking of Research