Tag Archives: violence

PETA’s Mixed Martial Assault on Scientists

Video games have had their fair share of controversies over the past few decades. Games like Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 have all caused some measure of public outrage for their depictions of violence. However all three games had two things in common – they do not suggest they are anything but pure fiction, and the violence means the games have a mature rating, suitable only to those 17 or more years old,

Peta’s new video game “Cage Fight” involves the player taking the role of a famous Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter as he travels through a university lab, military installment and pharmaceutical lab, assaulting scientists and freeing animals. While the game is not as visceral as those previously mentioned, it is no less disturbing. It also breaks the two important strands common to the previously mentioned games. Below the game window it notes:

Animals abused in laboratories in real life need your help. Complete this action to unlock the next. Complete them all to earn a special Cage Fight cheat code.

Essentially gamers are tempted to carry out PETA’s actions in order to improve the game regardless of whether they support (or understand) the implications of these activities. The first of these activities is to send a letter to the NIH to oppose sound-localization experiments carried out at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which have already been improving our understanding of brain mechanisms for spatial hearing. Essentially, PETA is trying to connect, to the players mind, the ridiculous representation of torture labs (see below) with the ethically conducted research carried out at universities like UW-Madison.

The second strand common to games like Manhunt and Grand Theft Auto is that they are intended only for mature audiences who can understand what they see – with clear differentiation of fact and fiction. PETA is marketing this as a game for children of all ages. It promotes violence against researchers with only the barest of disclaimers:

PETA Mixed Martial Arts Game Disclaimer

Note that PETA does not say we should not assault researchers because it would be wrong, but only because it is illegal. The phrase “it is still illegal to punch animal experimenters” [My emphasis] suggests not only a degree of disappointment in not being able to attack animal researchers, but also suggests that it may not be illegal in the future. Disturbing indeed.

The game opens with the player’s MMA character of choice travelling to a university animal research laboratory:

PETA MMA Game attacks Scientists

Now, PETA, please tell me the name of any laboratory in the US where blood is spattered across the wall and floors, scientists walk around with machetes, and cats are kept in cages less than 4 cubic feet in size (less than half the size recommended by the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals).

Here is what Justin McNulty, Research Compliance Oversight Administrator at the University of Texas at Austin said about the image:

Those who work with animals in a laboratory setting must adhere to strict guidelines to ensure animals are provided an environment that allows them to grow, mature, and reproduce normally while providing for their health and well-being. This cartoon is not representative of any laboratory that adheres to the Guide. For example, animals must be provided enclosures that allow normal posture and movement, unlike the small cage depicted in the cartoon. The cartoon does not show that the animal is provided any food or water, which, researchers MUST provide (why would a researcher want an unhealthy animal)? Finally, laboratories must remain clean – not covered in blood as depicted in the cartoon. Federal regulations require a level of cleanliness at par with a food service kitchen.

Later in the game the “hero” (if you can call someone who beats up scientists that) travels to a pharmaceutical company (another blood spattered affair, this time with dead mouse pictures and an incinerator to boot). Before unleashing hell on the scientists within (and a few military personnel who are inexplicably wandering around there), he converses with Igor, who says:

Clip from PETA's MMA GamePETA MMA Game

PETA are making misleading accusations about the law. As Justin McNulty goes on to explain:

While the Animal Welfare Act and Regulations may exclude laboratory mice and rats, these animals are protected by other policies and guidelines. For example, for Federally funded research with laboratory mice and rats, researchers must follow the provisions of the Guide, which requires the same level, if not more, protections than the Animal Welfare Act. This cartoon is not even close to portraying what a laboratory would look like – incinerators in a laboratory? Blood-covered walls and floors? Unsanitary conditions in laboratories are not allowed and violate numerous laws, regulations, and guidelines. In addition, the government has established pain and distress management policies – anything that would cause pain in a person is assumed to cause pain in an animal and therefore pain management drugs must be provided. Finally, there are no laws that allow a researcher to poison a monkey. Perhaps PETA’s game makers needed to see images of a real lab before they embark on their next game.

So let’s look at some footage from inside a real lab and see how similar it is to the picture:

You’ll notice the lack of blood stains, evil scientists and tortured animals in the video.

The game then finishes with the player’s MMA character beating up researchers, soldiers and scientists in an MMA ring. Having completed this final level the gamer is rewarded with a gish gallop of images from labs (not all in the US and certainly not recent), mashed together without context or even enough time to think about each image. Examples of clever imagery used include the misleading clip of a monkey clutching its leg

This game allows PETA to pump its false-advertising into children and game-maker “This is Pop” should be ashamed of their needless promotion of violence against researchers.  Games like this trivialise the violence which has affected many researchers who have had their cars burned, their houses flooded and their families threatened. The game also fails to make any reference as to why animals are used in laboratories. Children playing could be forgiven for thinking that researchers experiment on animals for their own sadistic pleasure – rather than to conduct important medical research that saves lives in a strictly regulated environment. Games such as these go some way to explaining why support for medical research on animals has dropped almost 20 percentage points to 47% over the last 12 years.

PETA has continued its mission to discover new lows to climb down to.


Read our follow up post showing how PETA has been heavily hypocritical in the manner in which it promotes and defends this game on Twitter

Science’s Voices Must be Heard!

When my colleagues and I were first confronted with violence from animal rights groups we were offered the following justification:

“… direct action is the only choice available when all other attempts at open discussion are brushed off. The university’s resistance to public discussion is proportional to the frustration it engenders by doing so.  To those awakened to this holocaust, inaction is morally responsible.  Escalation [of violence] seems sadly inevitable in light of the university’s refusal to talk about the suffering within its laboratories.”

Clearly, these activists feel in possession of a moral upper hand.  In their mind, your refusal to talk to them in their terms justifies the use of violence against you and your family.

The above was written in an article by Rick Bogle entitled “Hiding Jews and Throwing Rocks through Vivisectors’ Windows: Hallmarks of Heroism” in response to the vandalism and attack on one of my colleagues.

Mr. Bogle is the founder of the Primate Freedom Project, a former advisor to the Animal Liberation Front Press Office, and now works for Alliance for Animals in Madison, Wisconsin.

These activists’ views are wrong on multiple counts.

First, moral disputes in our society cannot be possibly settled by means of violence. If we allowed this, a democratic society as we know it could not exist.  For example, in my experience, most animal right activists are pro-choice when it comes to abortion issues.  I seriously doubt they consider the killing of abortion doctors, or even the harassment  of abortion providers in their homes, by pro-life supporters acceptable.  Nor they will likely accept the intimidation and beating of individuals because of their sexual orientation.  Paradoxically, when it comes to their own cause, they see the violence justified.

Second, it is a fact is that these activists and the public have ample information in the NIH, FDA and CDC web sites that explain the scientific rationale for the use of animals in biomedical research.  The information was available (still is!) that explains why we, as a society, have decided that this research is important to the advancement of medical knowledge and the federal and sate guidelines that are in place to ensure the welfare of the animals in the process.

But, as confused as these activists are about the science, they also bring with them an ethical complaint. They argue that, independent of the benefits of the work, the use of animals in research is unethical and should stop immediately.  The reason is simple: they believe all living beings as having a basic right to life and freedom that we should respect.

I was initially surprised to discover little to no discussion on the ethics of animal research in the resources listed above.  Perhaps I should not have been… after all, the USDA does not include a moral justification for the use of animals in our food chain either.

However, I noticed with some sadness that, except for a handful of accounts in the literature (such as the Cohen and Regan debate), the voice of scientists seemed largely absent from the ethical debate.

We must bring our voices to bear on the ethical debate. We ought to explain the public not just the scientific basis of our work, but also why we see it as morally permissible. It was with this in mind that I participated in two recent debates and organized a symposium on animal cognition.

In my conversations with opponents of Animal Research I have learned about many of their key objections to our work. I have now published a symposium article in the the American Journal of the Medical Sciences summarizing some of my personal views on both the scientific and ethical objections to animal research, which can be read here.

I know not all colleagues will necessarily share my thoughts on all these issues.  I encourage everyone to voice their views as well.

The public and our society will benefit from having scientists’ voices heard.

Dario Ringach

Bruins for Animals and Dr. Ray Greek speak against extremists’ attempt to derail dialogue

The upcoming panel discussion, Perspectives on the Science and Ethics of Animals Used in Research, at the University of California Los Angeles co-hosted by Bruins for Animals and Pro-Test for Science has drawn interest all around. The event is the result of joint efforts by the two groups working together “with the goal of opening an ongoing dialogue between individuals who are in favor of or against the use of animals in biomedical research.”  The panel will include six speakers who will present their views on the use of animals in biomedical research, as well as moderator-driven discussion based on questions submitted by the audience.

“The event is structured to maximize the opportunity to engage in a civil, intellectually honest discussion on issues about which people hold passionate, differing opinions. This event must demonstrate that such a discussion can effectively take place in order for future dialogue to be possible.”

More information about the February 16th panel discussion can be found at Pro-Test for Science, Bruins for Animals, and Speaking of Research.

In the weeks leading up to the event, it has become clear that some members of the animal activist community are using the occasion to focus threats, intimidation, and harassment on members of the panel, UCLA scientists, and research advocates. At the same time, other opponents of the use of animals in medical research have stepped forward to condemn the threats and the apparent attempts to sabotage efforts for discussion. Bruins for Animals issued the following statement on their website:

“Ideally this event would be open to the general public and originally this was our intention. Due to the fact that a group of violent individuals attempted to stop this event by threats and intimidation, we have had no option but to make this event closed to the broad public due to security concerns. These same individuals have called for open debates and are now apparently trying to sabotage our efforts to promote open dialogue and education of this important issue. It is unfortunate that the actions of a small group have resulted in the closing of this event that so many of you wish to attend, and for this, we apologize. …

Bruins for Animals condemns the use of violence, moreover the violence perpetrated by certain individuals has resulted in overshadowing the scientific and ethical reasons why many are opposed to vivisection.”

Dr. Ray Greek, one of the panel participants speaking against the use of animals in biomedical research, also addressed the issue in a thoughtful essay.  Greek begins by noting the uniqueness and significance of the event, and goes on to discuss the impetus for his essay.

“This is the first time, in my recollection, that experts in their fields opposed, to varying degrees, to using animals in research and experts in favor of such use have sat down at the same forum and presented their views. As such, the event is very controversial and unfortunately more heat than light has been generated. It is the source of some of this heat that I would like to address in the essay.”

Dr. Ray Greek

Greek’s essay is a welcome discussion of the panel’s purpose and potential to encourage dialogue about the use of animals in research.  He addresses a wide range of questions and issues, including his assessment of the venue, the selection of panel participants, the audience, and the need for security. Greek criticizes the attempts of various vocal activists to derail or diminish the event:

“More pointedly, I do not understand the opposition coming from animal rightists. … But this event is the first in a series of events where the AR and AV communities are getting what they have wanted and yet I am reading what can only be described as vitriol and not well-informed vitriol at that.”

And also points out what seems obvious to almost everyone:

“If activists wish to engage in direct action, promote direct action, condone violence in the pursuit of certain outcomes and so forth, so be it. (Now is not the time and this is not the forum for a debate about the ethics of such actions and positions.) But it is disingenuous to simultaneously act in the ways described above and then feign surprise and offense when society does not take seriously their request to participate in an event that functions in the confines of the norms of society. You cannot have it both ways.”

There are a number of noted schisms between factions in the animal activist community and heated discussion over agendas, tactics, and methods of advocating for their viewpoints. Greek addresses this issue as well, with a pointed comment about the harassment directed at UCLA scientists.

“But while we are on the topic, when was the last time a protest, especially home demos (a tactic favoured by some of those expressing vitriol over the February 16 event), resulted in immediate change? If individuals in the AR and AV movements are serious about having the scientific facts on their side and wanting a forum to have those facts presented to society in general, they might consider the old medical adage: first do no harm. Continuing home demos after a researcher has agreed to a panel discussion and subsequent debate is not helpful. The researcher is under no pressure from society to participate in the process. Society already agrees with him that vivisection is a necessary evil. If the researcher is going to continue to be exposed to threats and harassment irrespective of his actions, then why bother?”

Speaking of Research does not agree with Dr. Greek’s position on the use of animals in research or many of his arguments about the validity and usefulness of the results of animal studies. We have in common, however, our understanding of one major purpose of this panel, and more broadly of encouraging discussion of this complex issue in public forums.  As Greek says:

“The purpose of the panel and subsequent debate is not for anyone to change the minds of people with a vested interest in the process (this is a straw man set up by the writer)* but rather to air the various positions in a forum so society can be exposed to them and thus make a decision about the validity of the views expressed. (*The writer Greek refers to is an animal extremist posting from See You in the Streets.)”

We believe that the UCLA panel is an important step forward.  There have been few other occasions and groups that have worked together to identify common ground, debate, and discuss animal research publicly. These include the 2006 debate at the University of Wisconsin Madison between scientist and Institution Animal Care and Use Committee chair Eric Sandgren and Rick Bogle, an animal activist and founder of Primate Freedom.  In the UK, The Boyd Group, is a “forum for open exchange of views on issues of concern related to the use of animals in science.” Its membership includes individuals and organizations from the spectrum of views on the use of animals in research and its objectives are “to promote dialogue between these diverse people and organisations; and, where there is consensus, to recommend practical steps towards achieving common goals.” These efforts are accompanied by a range of other types of activities that promote engagement and dialogue between members of the scientific community, research advocates, and the public.

We appreciate the effort that Bruins for Animals and Dr. Greek have taken to make public statements condemning the tactics of animal activists who advocate for, or condone, violence against scientists and supporters of animal research.  We look forward to this event, where panelists will offer their broad range of personal views on the science and ethics of animal research.  We sincerely hope the event will mark a new beginning where civil dialogue and debate are possible in a topic that evokes strong emotions from all sides.

Allyson J. Bennett, Ph.D.

The views expressed on this blog post are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Wake Forest University Health Sciences.

Pro-Test for Science: Pushing forward… and pushing back

It was warm and sunny Saturday evening when approximately 120 people gathered in support of the use of animals in biomedical research at the corner of LeConte and Westwood on the UCLA campus.

Pro-Test for Science organized the event in response to a demonstration organized by Michael Budkie (Stop Animal Exploitation Now!) that was taking place simultaneously across the street.

Like the April rally, our group was composed of members of the entire biomedical research family (faculty, physicians, students and animal care staff).

Researchers stand up to defend science

Researchers stand up to defend science

Theirs, as far as we could tell, was composed from representatives of animal rights organizations to a few individuals covering their faces with bandannas and sunglasses.  Their group totaled about about 50 people.

Despite various attempts from animal right activists to provoke us by crossing the street and occluding our signs, or by conducting video interviews that would be more appropriately described as interrogations, our group remained calm and explained our reasons for being there in support of research.

One encouraging sign that some progress is being made was that some activists crossed the street to debate our mutual positions in a civil way (as civil as we have ever seen), not just screaming at us, but stopping to listen as well.  Others, unfortunately, decided to stay on the other side and continue their usual screaming of obscenities and threats through bull horns, claiming that science has never produced relief for human suffering, that scientists are only after the money (along with many conspiracy theories), and that we deserve to be the targets of violent attacks.  Many openly argued that any well-respected social movement is entitled to their underground terrorist wing. We know for a fact that a number of animal right activists left at this point in disgust.

Their group lit candles to honor the lives of the animals used by UCLA.  Our group lit candles too.  They were to honor both the lives of the animals as well as to those of the thousands of patients dying today across the world from multiple diseases we are working to find cures for.

Overall this was a very successful event.  Our message was heard loud and clear.  Pro-Test for Science will always be there to stand for the responsible use of animals in research.  We will be there to present our side of the story; to counteract the mis-information and mis-representation of our work by some animal right activists.  We will be there to talk to whoever wants to engage in a civil discussion, and to condemn those that support violence.

If there was one clear take home message is this: every day more and more scientists are deciding that it is time to voice their opinions and to stand up for research.  Pro-Test for Science is now here to stay, to spread across US campuses, and reach out across the ocean to join the global movement of scientists, policy makers and the public that will defend science, reason, and the responsible use of animals in biomedical research.


Pro-Test for Science

Violence vs Non-Violence? The AR Debate!

A Fractured Movement?

It is easy to believe that the animal rights movement is one giant bloc, working together to abolish animal research using tactics which range from the legal, to the dubious, to the outright criminal. However it is these range of tactics which prove to be the most divisive point for activists, and is causing large fractures and infighting between groups. Recently the Thomas Paine’s Corner blog (TPC) (Warning: AR Extremist Website) has been attacking those parts of the animal rights movement who reject the use of “militant direct action”. The editors of this website include two Animal Liberation Front Press Officers (Jerry Vlasak and Jason Miller – see links for more details on them) and numerous other pro-violence extremists such as Camille Marino and Gary Yourofsky.

Emotion & passion drive action; not sterile debate. Attitudes change when people engage and feel. BE DISRUPTIVE. UNRAVEL COMPLACENCY. IT’S OUR JOB. We need to obliterate the status quo — not tolerate it; not become a part of it. Be loud! Be unafraid! Be Militant!
– Camille Marino – “Negotiation is Over” blog (Warning AR website)

“Do not be afraid to condone arsons at places of animal torture,” [Yourofsky] has written to supporters.
Matter of fact, if an “animal abuser” were to get killed in the process of burning down a research lab, “I would unequivocally support that, too.”
– The Toledo Blade, Sunday, June 24, 2001 (copy of article on AR website here)

TPC "approaches anti-capitalism and total liberation from an essentially anarcho-veganist position"

TPC "approaches anti-capitalism and total liberation from an essentially anarcho-veganist position"

TPC’s pro-violence rants have reached epic proportions, as this recent piece by Jason Miller (ALF Spokesman) on the TPC blog shows:

Call it [attacks on vivisectionists] extensional self defense. Call it justifiable homicide. Call it vigilante justice. A rose is a rose by any other name and it’s time for that flower to blossom in the AR movement. One of the master’s principal tools to maintain power, domination, and affluence is violence or the threat of violence—be it physical, psychological, social, political, or economic.

Consider this. Hideous as their agenda may be to some of us, anti-abortionist activists love embryos and fetuses enough to utilize violence as a form of extensional self-defense on their behalf. The question isn’t, “Do we agree with their agenda?” The question is, “Have they been effective?” Their record speaks for itself. Assassinations of doctors who performed abortions have nearly eliminated the practice of late-term abortions in the US. Food for thought.

Essentially Miller argues that any tactic that works – no matter how disgusting or morally reprehensible – should given consideration by his fellow activists. This kind of pro-violence rant, and the violence it encourages, has brought comment from non-violent AR activist Gary Francione. I’m no supporter of Francione, but I applaud his condemnation of the violent fringes of the AR movement:

Those who claim that there is such a thing as destroying a building or engaging in a break-in that does not result in harm or the risk of harm to sentient beings (humans and nonhumans alike) are simply deluding themselves.
– Francione’s blog “The Abolitionist Approach”

A Novartis executive has his house burned down by the Animal Liberation Front in August 2009

Did this arson attack risk harm to sentient brings? Almost certainly!

Sadly, other parts of Francione’s blog contain questionable pseudoscience (often thrown these in as “extras” to his arguments) and an even more questionable justification of anti-vivisection through arguments of sentience (see the AR belief section for a counter-argument).

Nonetheless, the fury of TPC against Gary Francione has been disgusting. His position of non-violence pro-veganism has apparently (according to Francione) resulted in him and his supporters receiving death threats. The TPC and “Negotiation is Over” blogs attacks have brought many other groups, such as HSUS, into the crossfire, as the fractures in the AR movement become more and more public:

[Francione’s] amoral and unconscionable actions became so regressive and dangerous, we have penned this response to denounce him unequivocally not only as a fraud, charlatan, opportunist, and megalomaniac, but also as a traitor and enemy to the animal liberation movement and as a major impediment to social transformation. Just as Wayne Pacelle of HSUS recently demonstrated that he is a collaborator with systems of oppression, so too Francione has now degenerated into an agent of state repression. He and Pacelle have now both attempted to defame and falsely accuse the radical wing of the animal liberation movement of terrorist actions and have sought to enlist and join forces with the state, the police and the FBI to break the back of militant forces in the movement.
– Camille Marino on TPC and Negotiation is Over blogs (Warning: AR wesbite)

Violence vs Non-Violence?

I will briefly end with my own assessment of the violence question. AR extremist groups frequently defend their actions by comparing themselves with other violent liberation movement in history e.g. The French Resistance who fought the Nazi’s in Vichy France.

The problem is that the entire argument fundamentally relies on the movement being morally justifiable. If you are willing to murder for your cause then you do so in the belief that you are in the right, that does not make it right. History is littered with examples of reistance/liberation movements who committed murder in the belief it would further their liberation cause – The Red Army Faction (Bader-Meinhof Group) killed many trying to liberate Germany from capitalist oppression, the Black September massacre at the 1972 Munich olympics was an action committed for liberation, recently Russia helped “liberate” South Ossetia from the Georgian Government and in 1945 the Soviet Russian forces liberating Germany raped and killed tens of thousands of unarmed German civillians.

The problem is that those animal rights extremists willing to commit arson, grave robbings and other attacks, do so in the belief that they are one of the “good” liberation/resistance movements – the fact that they are a tiny minority of people does not effect them if they believe they have billions of animals on their side (especially if they grant these animals moral equivalence) . There is little we can do to convince these extremists that their actions are wrong and immoral – many of these individuals have given years of their life to the liberation movement – for them to change their mind would be to say that the prime of their life has been wasted – something few people would be willing to accept.

Sadly there are a small number of people for whom jail will be the only deterrent – however our efforts in debating them can serve to stop them creating the next generation of animal rights extremists.



Positive Comments for Pro-Test Petition!!

The Pro-Test Petition has now reached well over 2700 signatures – have you signed yet? This petition, supported by  Speaking of Research, Americans for Medical Progress, and UCLA Pro-Test,  aims to show the world that the majority do support animal research – and moreover they dare stand up and sign their name to it. On April 22nd around 800 people stood up at UCLA in support of lifesaving medical research – now it’s up to you. Tell your friends, family and colleagues to go to:


The Petition has also been getting a lot of positive feedback – here is a selection:


I went to the pro-test rally and really enjoyed the information that was shared and the support of the community. I do research for Alzheimer’s and spend more time with my mice and rats than I do with my own pets at home. I’m also the IACUC contact member for my lab and spend A LOT of my day making sure my animals are comfortable and happy. This research needs to continue for both humans and animals to prosper. Thanks for setting up this petition, let’s get it around to as many as possible!
– Dana Grant

I am a animal researcher and a cancer survior and my son is alive because of our work he had heart problems when he was a baby and had life saving open heart surgery at 9 months of age. Neither of us would be around if not for the benefit of research.
– David Miller

Working in the biomedical research field, everyday I witness the dedication of people who work tirelessly to improve the quality of human and animal life. Now these hard working people must also deal with the risk of being targeted by misinformed, lawbreaking individuals who would harass and threaten them and their families at their homes. I stand strong in my support of Pro-Test and salute the people on the front lines.
– Mike Aertker

The Pro-Test Petition states that “We the undersigned believe:

  1. That animal research has contributed and continues to contribute to major advances in the length and quality of our lives.  It remains vital to understanding basic biological processes and for the development of new treatments and therapies such as antibiotics, vaccines, organ transplants, and cancer medicines.
  2. That animal research is morally justifiable provided animal welfare remains a high priority and no valid non-animal alternatives are available.
  3. That violence, intimidation and harassment of scientists and others involved in animal research is neither a legitimate means of protest, nor morally justified.”



ALF shooting blanks – we can only hope!

On the 19th October the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) sent the following communique:

There a roughly 12 (give or take a few, they’ll have to find the exact number) of those UCLA vans driving around with unfired shotgun shells in their mufflers. Some of them may have ignited with the warm weather that we have been having. Most of them will eventually blow the mufflers straight off of those vans, it all depends on when the conditions are just right. The security cameras, the easily timed late night patrols, and the new laws don’t mean a thing to us. We WILL keep coming up with new ways to keep the primate tortures wondering.

A target?

A target?

According to the Daily Bruin,  Nancy Greenstein of the UCPD (University of California Police Department) said the claims are not likely to be true. Admittedly an activist who loses count almost immediately after running out of fingers to count on (they say a dozen, but apparently aren’t sure if the baker was planting them) could be considered unlikely to actually have the planning to pull it off – however the risk to students remains. Hopefully this will turn out to be a case of all-talk-and-no-action. Phil Howard, a UCLA spokesman reported that, “The police department has looked into it and found no evidence to support the claims.”

These terror tactics are reminiscient of the old animal rights reports of tainting medical supplies, such as  in the UK when animal rights activists reported that they had poisoned hundreds of tubes of Savlon cream – a claim that was fortunately another case of words-without-action.

We cannot deny that animal rights extemism is on the rise on the West Coast. Must we wait for the US to peak at the levels of violence that the UK reached, culminating in the grave-robbing of the remains of Gladys Hammond, the grand mother of a family that bred Guinea Pigs. Although the police remain a crucial part in the fight against animal rights extemism, the most important battle is to bring the public behind life-saving animal research and the only way in which this can be possible is through public outreach.