Animal Rights Groups Offer Reward for Evidence of Abuse at Salk Institute

Last Chance for Animals and San Diego Animal Advocates garnered some press earlier this month in a transparent publicity attempt — the two groups offered a reward of up to $30,000 for evidence of animal cruelty at the Salk Institute.

In a press release announcing the offer, the San Diego Animal Advocates said,

In conjunction with the Los Angeles-based group Last Chance for Animals, SDAA is offering a reward of $20,000 for information leading to the conviction on animal cruelty charges of a principal investigator and the Salk Institute in San Diego, after our groups were tipped by an anonymous source that animals are being mistreated.

. . .

We will also offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to official sanctions and termination of grants and research projects at Salk for animal abuse. These rewards are necessary to expose the truth because employees are threatened with loss of their jobs.

Last Chance for Animals Chris De Rose said in a prepared statement,

Salk officials have refused to meet with us to discuss the information we received. So now we are going directly to the employees who are witnessing this cruelty and asking them to help us expose it.

Jane Cartmill of San Diego Animal Advocates hints at the real reason behind this little stunt, complaining in a prepared statement about a recent $7 million donation to the Salk Institute by Qualcomm President and CEO Irwin Jacobs. The money will be used to fund the Crick-Jacobs Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology. According to a Salk Institute press release,

The goal of the center will be to help Salk scientists organize the wealth of information that is now available about the genes and proteins that regulate nerve cell activity as well as the networks of nerve cells that regulate brain function. Named to honor Salk Nobel laureate Francis Crick, the center will build upon Crick’s important work during the past two decades centering on consciousness and cognitive processing within the brain.

. . .

The center will allow computational biologists to mine the enormous amount of data on the composition of genes and proteins in the brain as well as the neural networks that regulate information processing. The ultimate goal will be to generate theoretical models to explain how the brain works, which then will be tested in Salk laboratories by experimental neuroscientists. To advance this work, the institute is in the process of recruiting up to four new faculty members to staff the center.

Cartmill is horrified at that prospect, saying that, “Brain-mapping experiments are among the most devastating to animals and involve tremendous deprivation and suffering.”

But apparently not so horrified as to bother to discuss his allegations with the Salk Institute. A Salk Institute spokesman told NBCSandiego.Com that it had tried to contact the group about the allegations but received no reply,

The Salk Institute takes all allegations of animal abuse seriously. On Oct. 22, the Salk Institute requested the San Diego Animal Advocates provide in writing the specifics of their unsubstantiated allegations about animal abuse. To this date, the institute has not received a response to its request.

Imagine that.


Salk Institute Receives $7 Million Gift to Establish Neuroscience Center Press Release, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, December 17, 2003.

Groups offer $20,000 for evidence of Salk animal cruelty. Sign on San Diego, January 2, 2004.

Chris DeRose on Animal Rights Terrorism

The Animal Liberation NSW site has an interesting interview with Last Chance for Animals president Chris DeRose. DeRose has long been a supporter and advocate of Animal Liberation Front-style terrorism, and in his interview reveals that he also thinks it is just great if the animal rights movement’s cause is advanced through violent physical attacks on individuals,

Claudette: A perceived downside to direct action is “Does the movement want to engage in a battle of opposition with governments who have unlimited ability to suppress us?” When you say “engage against the opposition” do you mean physically? Like bodily harm or property damage?

Chris: You know I always try to say that certain activities like bombings or arson — I always stay away from those things only because they are uncontrollable. There are things that I am against personally but I’ve seen them done and they have worked. For example the Managing Director of HLS in England was beaten and that put the fear of whatever into those people. It did start to shake up what was going on over there. I think the man that did it got 3 to 5 years but something like that, I think, had an effect. Now am I endorsing that? Not publicly.

If it happens and it works, then that’s great.

Ah, that famous animal rights brand of compassion on display once again. Oddly enough, later in his interview DeRose laments,

Other countries are following suit. We have created here in the States, two generations of monsters. We have done it because of what we teach them in schools. We teach them how to take living things and vivisect. We teach them to become desensitized rather than being compassionate.

Yeah, because they would never get the idea from the animal rights movement that it’s okay to firebomb buildings and violently attack people, now would they?

Much of the interview is filled with DeRose talking about how he plans and participates in illegal activities. For example, DeRose says,

If everybody follows doing their specific job that they wanted to do that will determine what makes a great direct action. I think it is also important when you look at individuals to take into consideration what that individual can do — what they are best suited to. I seldom ever just let anybody do exactly what they want to do, especially if they are not really appropriate for that specific job. I try to, if that’s what they want to do, but if it doesn’t work then I have to move them to another place. If that person is really in it for the animals they won’t mind. I mean we do group discussions and brainstorming sessions. The person in charge is aware of what each person can do and takes in everything of what they are saying. That’s what makes a good operation.

Say, if we are going to do a break-in at a chickery and we start talking to each other and somebody else has an opinion — “I think if we went down Old Man So and So’s farm on the back road it would be faster…” then, you know, the person who is putting this altogether is listening and taking it all in. At the end there will be a specific clear plan of what needs to be done.

Last Chance for Animals is a tax-exempt nonprofit. Doesn’t sound like its engaged in legitimate charitable activities.


Derose On Direct Action. Animal Liberation NSW, 2002.