AR-News: (US) Standing up to animal terrorists
info at animalconcerns.org
Sun Oct 5 09:16:34 EDT 2003
[opinion from Seattle Times]
In the mid-1980s, a vaccine was developed to prevent feline leukemia
virus, an infection deadly to cats. I was employed in a small-animal
veterinary practice, where too often I had seen the virus claim the lives
of my patients.
The new vaccine inspired a change in my career direction. I wanted to
learn about and participate in efforts to create and test the treatments
we rely on for the health of our pets and ourselves. Today, I am a
laboratory animal veterinarian: a part of the profession dedicated to
humane, proper and safe care and use of laboratory animals.
I work with caring people whose daily actions reflect compassion for
animals. These are not individuals who show their concern for animals by
carrying placards in public demonstrations. Nor do they engage in acts of
terrorism in the name of animal liberation. Rather, they come to work each
day and go about the important business of caring for laboratory animals.
Who really cares about laboratory animals? If actions speak louder than
words, it's not the animal-rights advocates. The compassionate people are
the ones inside the biomedical research facilities.
In contrast, consider how the actions of animal-rights activists affect
the well-being of animals such as 151L. Outside research facilities and
scientific meetings, activists carry signs and chant slogans. Or worse,
they scream obscenities, spit on, and attempt to provoke and intimidate
people entering and leaving the buildings. Some groups, such as the Animal
Liberation Front (ALF), proudly claim credit for acts of arson, bombings
and sabotage at research facilities violence that is dangerous to
research animals as well as humans.
Groups such as Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) engage in acts of
intimidation and threats. In Seattle, smoke bombs were set off during
business hours in two downtown high-rises, ostensibly because insurance
offices there did business with research labs. Locally based animal-rights
groups regularly picket the homes of researchers in the Seattle area.
Slurs and graffiti have been painted on scientists' cars and property.
Across the U.S. and here in Washington state, research facilities have
been broken into and vandalized, and animals have been stolen in some
cases "liberated" to die, hit by cars or killed by predators.
Cynthia Pekow is certified as a specialist in laboratory animal medicine
and is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Comparative
Medicine at the University of Washington. She is a member of the Northwest
Association for Biomedical Research and president of the American
Association for Laboratory Animal Science. She is a doctor of veterinary
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