A little less understandable is the group's subtle undermining of the taxpayer dollar gravy train's regular stops at places like Rutgers and Seton Hall. Surely they strongly support -- without question or consideration -- taxpayer support of the cocaine and alcohol addiction research on animals at those institutions. Surely they would say this is important research because of the effects on the people who are addicted. Surely.
But they use such people as bugaboos; who else would break into an empty building and squat there, turn it into a garbage dump, and then burn it down? Odd. Surely they think such people ought to be helped? Or maybe they just want the vivisectors hurting and killing rats in the name of helping such people to keep getting their millions of dollars. Who knows, but it reminds me of some scam being run by the Mob.
Anyway, read the document below, part of their Animal Research at a Crossroads fear campaign. It's reproduced here in more or less the same form as it appears on the group's website. Clearly, they are freaked out, and believe that everyone else in the industry will be too after hearing that wild-eyed animal rights activists have had the gall to ask law enforcement officials to intervene to stop criminal animal cruelty. What's next, limits on what they can do to animals?
You pass a building with a broken window Do you notice? Probably not.
The window is not repaired and a few more are broken. Do you notice? Possibly.
Squatters break into the abandoned building. Garbage collects. Decay sets in. Maybe a fire breaks out, and soon the entire neighborhood is threatened.
Everyone starts to pay attention, but is it too late?
For far too long animal rights activists have been throwing rocks at our windows. As a community, we cannot afford to wait for the building to burn down before we begin to pay attention. As a united community, we need to craft a national strategy to confront the many threats to our future research capabilities.
Here are a few of the legal challenges we must pay attention to:
• In July, four employees of now-defunct Professional Laboratory and Research Services Inc. in North Carolina were indicted on felony animal-cruelty indictments by a grand jury in Gates County, N.C. The charges follow the release of a videotape provided by an undercover worker from Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that showed animals being hit, kicked and thrown. PETA lab investigator Kathy Guillermo called it a groundbreaking case for animal rights and the first she is aware of where research lab workers have been charged with felony animal cruelty.
• In a legal complaint sent to a Hinds County prosecutor, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) requested that authorities investigate the University of Mississippi Medical Center for alleged violations of the state animal cruelty statute and “take steps to prevent further violations of Mississippi law.” PCRM has previously filed similar complaints against Johns Hopkins University, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Massachusetts General Hospital and Baystate Medical Center.
• PETA and Alliance for Animals (AFA) recently sent a letter to Dane County Wisconsin's district attorney requesting University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers be charged with criminal animal cruelty for allegedly violating a state law against "instigating fights between animals." At issue are experiments by a team of UW-Madison scientists involving aggression in mice.
What can we learn from these cases?
First, we all need to pay attention. Second, we are all in this together and need to be aware of attacks and tactics that have potential to affect any part of our community. Remember: collaboration and improved communication are essential components of a strong biomedical research community.
The New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research (NJABR) is your window on the world of animal activism. We monitor the media; we analyze the trends; we connect the dots. We are here for you. Let us know what you need.Jayne Mackta, President Tel. 908.228-2203; E-mail: Mackta@njabr.org