AVMA Board Endorses "Survivors" Pro-Research Campaign

In July the American Veterinary Medical Association Executive Board announced it had approved sending a letter in support of the Foundation for Biomedical Research’s “Surivors” campaign. The “Survivors” campaign highlights the role that biomedical research plays in improving animal health.

In a press release on its decision, the AVMA Executive Board said,

The goal of “Survivors” is to promote public understanding that biomedical research involving laboratory animals plays a key role in advancing veterinary medicine and companion animal heatlh.

Portraits of four animals that have survived feline and canine diseases are featured as part of the campaign . . .

The Council on Research recommended that the AVMA support “Survivors,” which the council calld “highly commendable and eagerly awaited by the veterinary medical research community.”


AVMA supports ‘Survivors’ campaign. Press Release, American Veterinary medical Association, July 1, 2003.

Frankie Trull's Nice Summary of Animal Research

Frankie Trull, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, wrote a nice op-ed about animal research that was picked up by the Orlando Sentinel. I particularly liked her summary of the important role that animal research has played in improving the lot of humankind,

Advances in genetic engineering have enabled scientists to develop excellent rodent models for research. The availability of “transgenic mice” (which have added genes) and “knock-out mice” (which have disabled genes) has revolutionized our understanding of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, memory loss, muscular dystrophy and spinal cord injuries. The so-called “nude mouse” — lacking a functioning immune system — has become an incredibly important model for understanding cancer suppression.

Thanks to animal research, many diseases that once killed millions of people every year are either treatable or have been eradicated altogether. Immunizations against polio, diphtheria, mumps, rubella and hepatitis save countless lives, and the survival rates from many major diseases are at an all-time high, thanks to the discovery of new drugs, medical devices and surgical procedures. According to the American Cancer Society, the fight against cancer has seen 24 significant biomedical advances in the past 30 years.

None of them could have occurred without animal research.

Eight of the discoveries required the use of living animals, and virtually all of those that did not use animals relied on information gained from earlier animal studies. Six of the discoveries were recognized with a Nobel Prize, among them: the bone-marrow transplantation technique; cloning of the first gene; and discovery of proto-oncogenes in normal DNA, showing that a normal cell could have latent cancer genes.

And, of course, animal rights activists lie and distort the realities of almost every one of those discoveries. The other day, for example, I ran across a site where the author was claiming that animal research played no role at all in the isolation of the AIDS virus.

If that’s true, I have to ask this: what exactly were the rabbits that Gallo used in December 1983 to produce the first HIV-specific reagent which allowed him to test for the presence of HIV? This test was crucial in allowing Gallo to follow Since they were not animals, were these vegetables or minerals?

Currently marketed tests for HIV typically use a variety of animal antibodies. I cannot wait for animal rights activists to produce an alternative taxonomy which explains how these animals are not really animals but something else — or else, confess that they know very little about medical research aside from what they copy and paste from the same tired “factsheets”.


Animal-test research has saved many human lives. Frankie L. Trull, The Orlando Sentinel, April 7, 2002.

Protesters Arrested, Beagles Stolen from HLS Facility In New Jersey

The Animal Defense League organized a 100-person strong protest outside a Huntingdon Life Sciences facility in New Jersey just one day after 14 dogs were stolen from the lab. The Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the theft.

Three people were arrested at the protest including Adam Weissman, 23; Nicholas Hensey, 22; Justin Kelley, 18; and an unidentified juvenile. Police said Darius Fullmer, 24, would be served with a summons after he was released from the hospital. Fullmer was one of about a dozen protesters who police sprayed with pepper spray to subdue.

Fullmer — one of the main organizers the protest — told an Associated Press reporter that the ADL fully supported the ALF action. “Fourteen innocent creatures have been rescued from a short life of pain and a brutal death.”

In a press release, Frankie Trull of the Foundation for Biomedical Research condemned the theft of the dogs,

This burglary and theft is the act of misguided, uninformed radicals who respect neither the law nor the vast body of medical and scientific knowledge that animal research has contributed to the field of human and animal health.

Unless the general public firmly rejects this criminal malfeasance and the hooligan perpetrators behind it, all medical and scientific progress is at risk. The anti-research cell of the animal rights movement would have you believe that pets are being subjected to painful experiments with no scientific validity but nothing could be further from the truth.

At the New Jersey protest, many of the activists joined in chanting, “We know where you live” to the occupants of the laboratory. Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, activists opposed to HLS are successfully using terrorist tactics to go after companies attempting to work with HLS.

Winterflood Securities, one of only two firms in Great Britain willing to deal in shares of the troubled company, recently dropped HLS after animal rights activists engaged in an intense campaign of abusive and threatening calls to Winterflood employees’ homes combined with picketing outside their homes.

The Daily Telegraph quoted an unidentified Winterflood executive describing the firm’s problems,

[The wife of the chairman of the company received threatening phone calls.] She had never heard such abusive language. They were phoning other employees as well. They said we know where you live. We know where your children live. We know where your friends live.

It became too difficult. one director returned to his home on Sunday with his seven-year-old and two-year-old and found 60 protesters there. His kids were in tears. His wife was terrified. The 80-year-old mother of one employee received threatening phone calls. It is all right for us to be brave, but different for our wives and kids.

Feeling it had no choice after the government refused its request for the level of police protection it felt it required, Winterflood Securities announced it would no longer trade HLS stock. Shortly afterward, the only other brokerage house dealing in the stock in the United Kingdom, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, also announced it would no longer handle trades of the stock.


Extremists terrorise animal lab brokers. Richard Alleyne, The Daily Telegraph (UK), March 30, 2001.

Four activists arrested. Lori Hinnant, Associated Press, April 3, 2001.

Foundation for Biomedical Research Condemns Theft Of 14 Dogs From The Huntingdon Life Sciences Facility. Foundation for Biomedical Research, Press Relesae, April 2, 2001.

Dogs taken from frequently protested lab. The Associated Press, April 1, 2001.