Poland Considering Allowing Cosmetics Testing

I could not find any information to corroborate this in Google or Lexis/Nexis, but animal rights activists are circulating a petition and sample letters urging the president of Poland to veto supposed recently approved changes by that country’s Parliament to allow cosmetics testings on animals in that country.

Here’s the full text of the letter circulating on animal rights mailing lists and web sites attributed to Marek Kydra of the Animal Welfare Institute, Poland,

Dear Mr. President,

As you know Polish Parliament accepted amendments to the Animal Welfare Act which will have tremendous impact on situation of animals in Poland in the future.

Our big concern cause readings legalizing testing cosmetics on animals, shooting astray dogs and cats, using hormones in husbandry, limiting voice of humane organizations and ignoring EU Directives requiring creation of staging points for animals transports.

We observe a dangerous process of moving delegalized methods of husbandry (battery cages for hens, mink farms from UK and Netherlands) from EU countries to Poland because of liberal regulations and lack of executing the rights of animals there.

Dear Mr. President, it is hardly to believe that the aim of Polish authorities is to undermine EU countries’ regulations securing humane treatment of farm animals by importing cruel methods of husbandry and compete on the market with higher EU standards.

At the time when Germany included animal rights in their constitution and EU is introducing ban on all cosmetic tests on animals, Poland has chosen an opposite direction. Poland with the second oldest animal welfare society in the World is now swimming against the current of civilized World – why it is possible?

We do hope that your country soon will be situated in the center of Europe not only in geographic but also in moral sense.


Please Help To Defend Polish Animal Welfare Act. Press Release, Animal Welfare Institute, Poland, 2004.

PETA Brings Holocaust Campaign to Europe

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has brought its Holocaust-On-A-Plate campaign to Warsaw, Poland, where so many Jews were slaughtered by Nazi Germany. Needless to say, the campaign isn’t going over well with local Jewish leaders.

PETA is running an advertisement that the Associated Press describes thusly,

The television ads, showing the outside world as seen through the slates of a boxcar, with a voice describing the plight of being transported with no food and water . . .

Organizers say they hope to protest against the brutality of transporting live animals for slaughter by invoking the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Jews carried in inhumane conditions to death camps in Europe and chose Warsaw for their launch because so many Polish Jews perished in the Holocaust.

According to the Associated Press, PETA hopes that MTV Poland will run the ad in order to target the youth market.

The kicker to the entire story, however, was PETA’s Dan Mathews telling the Associated Press,

I know the ad is provocative. But for me, one of the lessons of the Holocaust is to recognize other atrocities.

Mathews forgot to mention the other lesson he learned from the Holocaust — his admiration for serial killers.


Animal rights ad evokes Holocaust. Associated Press, July 15, 2003.

European Commission Surveys Opinions of Animal Research in EU Candidate Countries

The Scientist recently reported on the results of a European Commission survey of public opinions of science in 13 countries that are candidates for European Union membership. The goal of the survey was to compare opinions in candidate countries with those of existing EU countries.

The 13 countries surveyed by Gallup were Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Turkey. A total of 12,274 adults from those countries were surveyed, and asked the following question about research involving animals,

And could you please tell me if you tend to agree or disagree with each of the following statements? Scientists should be allowed to experiment on animals like dogs and monkeys if this can help sort out human health problems.

Here’s how the answers broke down for each country,




Czech Republic

The survey also offered an interesting insight into possible motivations/explanations for support of animal rights. This was just one question in a long series of questions about all aspects of science, including a number of questions designed to test the level of scientific knowledge of the individual being polled. Individuals polled were given a short quiz where they were read sentences such as “The oxygen we breathe comes from plants” or “Electrons are smaller than atoms” and then pronounce each sentence as true or false.

In comparing the answers to those questions with the answers about use of animals, there was a tendency for those with little knowledge of science to oppose animal research,

The analysis showed that this attitude is correlated to the degree of scientific knowledge possessed: people scoring high on the scientific knowledge scale are much more likely to find animal experiments justifiable if they are aimed at resolving human health problems (68%), while those who don’t know much about science are much less likely to agree (52%).

Compared to the current EU countries, the 13 candidate countries are far more supportive of medical research on animals.

A survey of the 15 countries that make up the European Union found that only 45 percent agreed that “Scientists should be allowed to experiment on animals like dogs and monkeys if this can help sort out human health problems,” while 41 percent disagreed. Overall, 63 percent of people in the candidate countries agreed with the animal research question, compared to just 22 percent disagreeing.

As Richard Ley of the British Pharmaceutical Industry told The Scientist, this could lead to medical research firms leaving existing European Union countries for the much more accepting climate in candidate countries,

This is a danger. The violence, harassment and intimidation activities of some animal extremists are bound to make companies look at the wisdom of continuing animal research in an environment where that is permitted.


Opinions on science in wider Europe. The Scientist, April 3, 2003.

Candidate Countries Eurobarometer: Public Opinion in the Countries Applying for European Union Membership. European Commission, January 2003.

”Europeans and Biotechnology” Survey of Public Perception – EU. Animal Biotechnology, April 1, 2003.

Please Excuse Poland’s Farmers for Not Celebrating European Union Milestone

Today marks a milestone for the European Union — the euro became a legal currency in 12 countries across Europe comprising 300 million people. Sometime in February, those 12 countries will phase out their existing currency and the euro will be the sole currency. Do not expect to see farmers in Poland, which is not yet a European Union country, celebrating the EU’s advance, however — if the multi-state confederation has its way, millions of small farmers in Poland will be out of work.

The European Union maintains that Poland’s small landholdings are inefficient. According to a Christian Science Monitor report, of 2 million farms in Poland, 1.6 million are small family farms of only a small number of acres (in southern Poland, the average farm is just 10 acres). If Poland wants to join the European union, it would have to pass laws preventing these small farmers from selling their produce.

Now, countries with poorly functioning property laws that result in many extremely small farms may be inefficient, but the hilarious part of this is that the European Union wants to get rid of the small farms so that it can push heavily subsidized goods from farms in existing EU countries. Will Poland be able to offer its farmers subsidies as well? No — farmers in the new member states such as Poland would not be eligible for such subsidies.

This is not about preventing inefficient farming practices in Poland, but rather protecting the inefficient and heavily subsidized farming practices in existing EU nations. If the EU really wants to promote efficient agriculture, it could start at home by drastically slashing its farming subsidies rather than trying to rig Polish agriculture in its favor.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.


Poland’s small farms stunt EU aspirations. Arie Farnam, The Christian Science Monitor.