Activists Steal Dogs Used for Genetic Disease Research

In August, the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility for stealing a dog and her five puppies from Jennersmead Research Farm at Massey University in New Zealand.

What makes the dogs in this case so special is that they are carriers of mucopolysaccharidosis, a degenerative genetic disease that in human beings typically leads to death before the age of 10. In dogs, the disease typically results in death by the second year of life.

The owner of the dog, who carries a copy of the defective gene but does not suffer from the disease, had apparently loaned her to the university for breeding purposes.

Grant Guilford, head of Massey’s Veterinary School, told The Dominion Post,

It [the genetic disease] causes wasting of the nervous system till by the end the dogs — and humans can only stagger about. We were given the dogs by a farmer who is very upset that they have been stolen. We were working with the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital on gene therapy to find a cure for this disease . . . Rehoming these dogs will put the families who take them at risk of serious trauma when the well-loved dog dies down the track.

Not that Guilford had to worry for very long. The dog and five puppies turned up at an animal shelter after being turned in a few days later by people who said that they had found the animals “dumped by the river” near the animal shelter. The shelter recognized the dogs as the stolen animals and returned them to the university.

Massey University is now in the process of reevaluating its security arrangements at its animal facilities. Guilford told the New Zealand Press Association,

The bigger problem [beyond this theft] is that the animal rightists are generalising their attacks beyond this one farm and now are doing their best to defile everything that Massey does, and so we’ve now got issues to consider whether the veterinary school itself is safe. That’s a problem, there’s 800 students and staff a day in the building.


Bitch and puppies stolen from lab handed in. Michael Daly, New Zealand Press Association, August 29, 2005.

Activists ‘liberate’ diseases lab dogs. Don Kavanagh, The Dominion Post (New Zealand), August 27, 2005.

Animal Rights Groups Call for End to Primate Experimentation

At August’s Fifth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, a number of animal rights groups signed on to a resolution calling for the worldwide end to all medical research involving primates.

Those agreeing to the resolution included the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and the German Animal Welfare Federation.

The full text of the resolution read,

Call to end the use of non-human primates in biomedical research
and testing from animal protection organisations worldwide
Berlin, August 2005

Non-human primates are highly intelligent, sentient animals. They form intricate social
relationships, interact with their environment in a dynamic and complex way, and
engage in imaginative problem solving. It is also widely accepted that primates
experience a range of negative emotions (e.g. anxiety, apprehension, fear,
frustration, boredom and mental stress) as well as a range of positive emotions (e.g.
interest, pleasure, happiness and excitement). In short, they are very close to humans
in their biology and capabilities, and the users of non-human primates argue that this
makes them ideal ‘models’ for research. However, this also means that primates have
the capacity to suffer like humans, so there can be no question that primates can
experience pain and distress.

Confining animals who would normally live in a very large and complex home range in
the laboratory, must have a significant adverse effect on their welfare. At its best
laboratory primate housing represents only a small fraction of their home range. The
worst, still commonly used in many countries, is a small, barren metal box in which the
animals can only take a few steps in any direction. Other aspects of the lifetime
experience of laboratory primates also cause stress and suffering, particularly where
they cannot control their environment, social grouping, or what is done to them. Any
pain or distress associated with experimental procedures is therefore compounded by
additional adverse effects resulting from capture of wild primates, breeding practices,
transport, housing, husbandry, identification, restraint, and finally, euthanasia.

For these reasons alone, the use of primates in research and testing is a matter of
extreme concern to the animal protection community worldwide and to the significant
sector of the public who they represent. This concern has been recognised at a
regulatory level with some countries making special provisions for primates in their
legislation, and emphasising the need to reduce and replace primate experiments.


The animal protection organisations attending the Fifth World Congress on
Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in Berlin in 2005 have united to
call for an end to the use of non-human primates in biomedical research and
testing. We urge governments, regulators, industry, scientists and research
funders worldwide to accept the need to end primate use as a legitimate and
essential goal; to make achieving this goal a high priority; and to work together
to facilitate this. In particular, we believe there must be an immediate,
internationally co-ordinated effort to define a strategy to bring all non-human
primate experiments to an end.

In a press release announcing the resolution, the Humane Society of the United States noted its objections to the continued use of non-primate species in medical research as well,

At the occasion of the World Congress, the Vice-President of the German Animal Welfare Federation (Deutscher Tierschutzbund), Dr Brigitte Rusche, the Director of Eurogroup, Sonja van Tichelen, and the Vice President for Animal Research Issues of the Humane Society of the United States, Dr Martin Stephens, also expressed concern about the continuous use of other animals in research and the slow progress in the development, validation and acceptance of non-animal alternatives. As a result in the EU alone, over 10 million animals continue to be used in experiments every year including mice and rats but also fish, pigs, goats, cats, dogs and primates.

Of course this is the same Martin Stephens who in 1999 conceded that we owe much of our advanced understanding of human biomedical knowledge to animal research.


Worldwide call for primate testing ban. UKPets.Co.UK, August 22, 2005.

Animal Protection Organisations from Around the World Call for an End to the use of Primate Testing. Press Release, Humane Society of the United States, August 22, 2005.

Pamela Anderson On Vivisection: “I Don’t Know Much About That Part”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ celebrity spokeswoman Pamela Anderson was interviewed by Larry King recently, Anderson’s knowledge of and adherence to her animal rights views pretty much speaks for itself (emphasis added),

King: Why are you a vegetarian?

Anderson: I don’t like meat. I don’t like, you know, I don’t like meat. I don’t like the texture of meat. I don’t like where it comes from. I don’t like the cruelty that’s involved. And being involved with PETA so long, you get to know a lot about how meat is prepared and slaughtering and all that stuff. So, I’ve chosen, after I’ve kind of educated myself, you know, through PETA, that I don’t want to eat it.

King: No fur coats?

Anderson: No.

King: Leather soles?

Anderson: Sometimes — I have a lot of leather shoes actually — a lot of — but I’ve tried to actually create a clothing line — a shoe line that is non-leather and I have a lot of great shoes, too, from Stella McCartney that are non-leather as well.

But that’s the hardest thing is the leather part of it. A lot of things are leather. Even your car interior. I just ordered and car, and I’m getting all, you know, pleather interiors. There’s no leather interior in the car that I’m getting, bt the car that I have has a leather interior.

King: Are you against vivisection, the treatment of animals to detect disease?

Anderson: I don’t know much about that part. Sorry.

King: But you’re certainly against the killing and slaughter of the animal?

Anderson: Yes and the slaughtering. You know, PETA is — they really — they just want people to be humane about killing animals, too, when it comes to fast food restaurants like KFC. And it’s just so inhumane, how they handle their animals and that’s the first step.

King: Good luck in all you do, Pam.

Anderson: Thank you.

King; Great seeing you.

Anderson: Thank you. Vivisection. I thought you meant vasectomy.

King : no.

Anderson: I’m against those, too. No.

Not quite sure whether she’s against vasectomies or animal research in that last comment. If it is animal research she is against, she has an easy method of protesting against the alleged horrors and cruelties involved in such researcher — simply stop supporting the pharmaceutical industry by continuing to buy things like the medicine she takes to treat her Hepatitis C.

Given that she cannot even give up leather shoes (while complaining about others’ wearing of fur), don’t expect her to leave the stable of PETA hypocrites anytime soon. Presumably she and Dawn Carr can get together and commiserate at how horrible it is that their lives are prolonged due to the efforts of animal researchers.


CNN Larry King Life, August 22, 2005.

More Than 500 UK Researchers Sign Research Defence Society Statement In Support of Animal Research

In August, the Research Defence Society announced that more than 500 British researchers had signed its Declaration on Animals in Medical Research, including three Nobel laureates and 190 Fellows of the Royal Society.

The Declaration highlights the important contributions made by animal research to benefit humanity and underscores the importance of further research. Fifteen years ago, a similar declaration was circulated by the Research Defence Society which ultimately garnered 1,000 signatures including six Nobel laureates.

Simon Festing, executive director of the Research Defence Society, said in a press release that,

We are delighted to have gathered over 500 signatures from top UK academic scientists and doctors in less than one month. It shows the strength and depth of support for humane animal research in this country. Abolitionist groups often claim that their position has scientific or medical support, but itÂ’s no surprise that they cannot back this up.

Cancer researcher Nick Wright, dean of Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry explained why he signed the Declaration,

I have signed this Declaration because I recognise the enormous contribution made to modern health care and public health by animals in medical research. As the pace of discovery quickens, it becomes even more important if we are to maintain this momentum. This is why I believe that we should all publicly acknowledge our debt to animal experimentation.

The full text of the Declaration reads,

Declaration on Animals in Medical Research

Throughout the world people enjoy a better quality of life because of advances made
possible through medical research, and the development of new medicines and other
treatments. A small but vital part of that work involves the use of animals.

In 1990, top scientists and physicians from the UK, as well as Nobel Laureates,
signed a Declaration that stated, among other things:

“Experiments on animals have made an important contribution to advances in medicine and surgery,
which have brought major improvements in the health of human beings and animals.”

Fifteen years later

We reaffirm our support for the 1990 Declaration, and for the statement from the House of Lords Select Committee
on Animals in Scientific Procedures (2002) that: “there is a continued need for animal experimentation both in applied
research and in research aimed purely at extending knowledge”
and for the statement from the Royal Society report
The Use of Non-Human Animals in Research (2004) that: “humans have benefited immensely from scientific research involving
animals, with virtually every medical achievement in the past century reliant on the use of animals in some way”.

Animal welfare

We acknowledge and respect the sentience of animals. Until we no longer require animals in research, animal
welfare is of paramount importance. We aim to gain the benefits from animal research with minimal suffering
and distress. It is crucial to promote best practice and maintain a culture of care in research establishments.
Every effort must be made to: replace the use of live animals by alternative techniques; reduce the number of
animals used to the minimum required for meaningful results; and refine the procedures and improve housing
to ensure the well-being of the animals.


The UK is widely acknowledged to have the most rigorous controls on animal research in the world. Both
institutions and individuals must adhere to legislation governing the use of animals in research.


We wish to see an open and responsible debate about the use of animals for all purposes. This can be difficult
in the face of animal rights extremism. We encourage institutions to provide clear information about animal
research, and foster rational discussion about the ethical, medical and scientific issues.


All use of animals by society should be considered in an ethical context. Proposals to use animals in science must
be critically evaluated and justified. The validity, usefulness and relevance of the research need to be demonstrated
in every case. Research using animals should be subject to cost / benefit assessment and ethical review.

Signed (as individual)


Animal testing backed by 500 UK scientists. Reuters, August 25, 2005.

15 years on: top scientists and doctors back animal research. Press Release, Research Defence Society, August 24, 2005.

Primate Freedom Project Publicizes University of Wisconsin Documents on Experiments that Lead to Researcher’s Suspension

The Primate Freedom Project recently released internal documents it obtained through an open records request about an experiment at the University of Wisconsin that led to a number of primate deaths and, ultimately, the suspension of the researcher.

Ei Terasawa, a professor or pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin, received approval to do experiments involving primates to study how the animals’ brains developed during menopause.
But Terasawa’s experiment was plagued by a number of problems. In one case, a monkey died because an attendant left a laboratory for lunch during an experiment. That was just one of at least four times when animals involved in experiments were left unattended when the protocols of the experiment required that someone be present at all times.

Other monkeys involved in the research were given drugs that had not been approved by the university’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. In other cases, monkeys were given the correct drugs but at dosage levels that had not been approved.

According to the Associated Press, Terasawa was barred from working with animals for two years and the experiment in question was stopped. Eric Sandgren, chairman of the university’s IACUC, told the Associated Press,

It’s one of the most severe actions that the committee has ever taken.

Which seems, frankly, a mild punishment. If dereliction of duty and ignoring experimental protocols that leads to the unnecessary deaths of experimental animals garners only a two year suspension, what would a researcher have to do to be handed a more severe penalty?

Even more disturbing is that although Terasawa was suspended in 2004, her suspension and the circumstances surrounding it were never made public. The Primate Freedom Project’s distribution of the university’s internal documents on the case were the first opportunity that the public had to learn of this mess.

Not going public in 2004 about the suspension was beyond stupid. How can researchers expect to be taken seriously when they talk about their commitment to the welfare of the animals they use if they cannot even be open and honest about a case like this? Why in the world did the University of Wisconsin put itself in the position where Rick Bogle was the first person to talk to reporters and the public about the suspension of a research that happened last year?

The following University of Wisconsin internal documents are available regarding this case:


U. of Wis. Records Show High Monkey Deaths. Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press, August 16, 2005.

UW monkey deaths during experiments raise questions. Aaron Nathans, The Capital Times, August 16, 2005.

Primate Freedom Project and University of Wisconsin in Fight Over Land Near University’s

Many weeks ago, Rick Bogle abruptly announced the cancellation of yet another Primate Freedom Tour in order to announce some Next Big Thing near the University of Wisconsin. It turned out that The Alliance for Animals and the Primate Freedom Project were in talks to buy land and sheds near the University of Wisconsin to set up an animal rights museum to protest the University’s primate research. Hardly the earth shattering revelation Bogle had promised, but hey it might come to rival the Mutter Museum.

A gentleman named Roger Charley owns a parcel of land that is situated between two University of Wisconsin research labs. Bogle claims that Charly reached a binding agreement to sell his property for $675,000.

But the University Research Park, an entity which is independent of but closely aligned to the University of Wisconsin, has offered Charly $1 million for the property, and Charly has said he does not have a binding agreement with the activists and is leaning toward selling to the University. Charly told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he fears the building might be used to stage attacks against the laboratories,

The money is certainly a part of it. But I’ve heard from various people at various levels, various informal and not-so-informal customers, neighbors, just giving their two cents. If something were to happen a year from now because I sold this building, I would feel pretty terrible. I feel terrible about the whole thing in the first place.

But someone like Bogle would advocate for or excuse violence, would he? Well, Bogle offered this statement to the Wisconsin State Journal on what might happen if the University of Wisconsin prevails and buys the property,

If you don’t allow civil discourse on a public issue to occur, then people become frustrated and they are going to act out. My fear is that more radical elements of the animal-rights movement will react in ways that are going to upset everyone. I think the researchers at the primate center would actually be safeguarded by having us there.

Hmmm, seems Bogle has an offer for the University that they just can’t refuse.

Bogle’s evaluation of the animal rights movement is pretty telling. If they’ll react with violence if they lose out on a simple property transaction, this is a movement that isn’t worth engaging at all until it renounces such nonsense.

Imagine the situation were reversed. Imagine if by chance a building near People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ headquarters went up for sale, and the Consumer Center for Freedom made an offer on said property only to see PETA try to trump that offer with a much larger one. If CCF then said, “If they don’t sell to us I’m afraid more radical elements of the anti-AR movement might react in ways that are going to upset everyone” no one would be fooled into thinking this was anything but a veiled threat. Moreover, PETA and other activists would be justified in denouncing such an obvious appeal and encouragement of violence.

Apparently, if the animal rights movement doesn’t get its way, it will take its ball and go home and then return in the middle of the night to vandalize and destroy the opposition. Yeah, that’s certainly dedication to free speech and civil discourse there, Rick.

That said, Bogle’s quite correct that if he has a binding contract with Charly that predates any offer or contract with the University Research Park, then that should certainly prevail, as it will in court if the contract he had with Charly is as airtight as Bogle claims. Charly, however, told the University of Wisconsin that his lawyer identified unspecified problems with the document he signed with Bogle.


UW wins round on disputed land. Karen Rivedal, Wisconsin State Journal, August 14, 2005.

Land between primate labs in dispute. Associated Press, August 11, 2005.