British Cancer Charity Turns Down 30,000 Pound Donation Because Money Was Raised At Pheasant Hunts

In March, the UK’s Institute of Cancer Research charity refused a Pound 30,000 donations from Barry Atkinson because Atkinson had raised the money over 148 days flushing out grouse partridge and pheasants at shoots in the UK.

According to the BBC, when Atkinson’s dog suffered a cancerous tumor, the artist and retired teacher came up with the idea of raising money for cancer research by working at different shoots the UK.

The Institute of Cancer Research accepted a 1,500 pound donation from Atkinson in November 2004, but rejected his offer of another 30,000 Pounds saying it did not approve of how Atkinson had raise the money. In a statement, the charity said,

The Institute recognizes the necessity of minimizing pain and suffering to animals.

Consequently we advised Mr. Atkinson of our position before he started fundraising.

We have subsequently discovered that we accepted a donation which will be returned; the further donation will not be accepted.

So, the Institute of Cancer Research is willing to subsume its goal of research cancer to the goal of minimizing animal suffering and pain. Fine, but then why does the ICR continue to fund animal research?

The Institute funds, for example, cancer researcher Peter Rigby’s work using transgenic mice to better understand gene functions believed to play roles in cancer development. According to a summary of Rigby’s work,

Our general approach has been to take genes that are intrinsically of wide general interest such as the homeobox genes and the genes controlling muscle differentiation, then to try to understand how their transcription is controlled using the power of transgenic mouse technology. In each case our ultimate objective is to identify (or know the name) of each of the transcription factors that control the chosen regulatory gene so that we can then study how the activities of these factors are modulated, and thus build up a picture of the signal transduction pathways, and signals, involved in the developmental decision.

For the love of God, how can they allow this nightmare to continue? What happened to minimizing the pain and suffering of animals?


Charity rejects Pound 30,000 donation. The BBC, March 22, 2005.

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