Talk:Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

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March 10, 2010


I have reverted the deletion of sourced material. Please do not delete sourced material. If you wish to add additional material that is properly sourced to address a counter-claim then please propose such additions.

Thank you! lisa AT prwatch.org


Having examined the back and forth about this article, I think it appropriate to focus this page about domestic legislation on the U.S. experience.

Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, publisher of SourceWatch lisa AT prwatch.org

Edit note

I have put a lot of work into this article. It was basically a cut and paste job with no critical analysis, taken from a government website. I removed the following addition by Scotty:

"However a U.K. animal rights group has attempted to murder 80 people with rat poison covered razor blades. Southern Poverty Law Center [1] Fall 2002 Also in the UK, a member of the ALF, Donald Currie had planted bombs at the doorsteps of people involved with animal research Esther Addley [2] December 8, 2006

I reverted the above because it was ridiculously and incorrectly referred to as an "attempted murder". It was also inaccurately described (razor blades were sent through the mail). There is no question that this incident was not life threatening. (Aside from the obvious fact that this it was not an "attempted murder", no person or group was charged with "attempted murder".) The second incident referred to an incendiary device designed to cause property damage. There were no injuries in either incident. It's been pretty well established that there has been property damage and other types of incidents associated with animal rights extremism. However, there has not been serious injury, death or a serious murder attempt associated with it, which was the point being made. I don't think this is the article to go tit for tat. There has actually been fatal violence against activists, which was not included in the article. There is of course, massive, systemic violence in all animal industries, which was not included in the article either. It is far more graphic, tragic and upsetting than the chance of cutting your finger. Most violence against activists goes under reported and under prosecuted or even non-prosecuted. See also animal activists who have been injured or killed. Virtually all animal abuse goes unreported and non-prosecuted. At this time, activists are serving prison sentences for posting information on a website, as mentioned in the article.

On further examination, I also have to wonder about the credibility of these articles, especially the Southern Poverty Law Center article. They both heavily reference Huntingdon Life Sciences, without giving a single clue as to why it has inspired 3 decades of sustained contempt. The SPLC even quotes Washington lobbyist Frankie Trull, who runs three industry funded groups that profit off animal testing and other animal industries. Ms. Trull has done more to heap misery upon their already miserable lives than any one, single person. She was instrumental in blocking reforms to the AWA, as mentioned in the AETA article. See also NABR & the Animal Welfare Act. However, she is described by SPLC as:

"president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, which promotes "humane and responsible" animal testing."

The SPLC "report" completely ignores violence directed at activists or animals. Huntingdon Life Sciences is a notoriously abusive and sadistic laboratory with a long history of gross animal welfare violations on two continents. It should have been shut down decades ago. The article is filled with inaccurate information and slanted speculation. The assassination of Pim Fortuyn is described as "an apparent 'eco-assassination'".

"Less than two weeks before voters in the Netherlands would choose a new government, animal-rights activist Volkert van der Graaf allegedly pumped six bullets into Pim Fortuyn, a right-wing anti-immigration candidate for prime minister. Van der Graaf may have been enraged by Fortuyn's support of pig farmers in a debate with animal rights activists. "[3]

This is completely false information.

"Pim Fortuyn had reasonable views on the bio-industry," Pigs in Need, an animal rights group, said in a statement. "Fortuyn believed that new agricultural policy needed to be animal friendly." In a recent book, Fortuyn wrote: "Animal welfare must be a priority and we need to switch to less industrial production methods." [4]

The assassination was attributed to Fortuyn's views on religion and immigration. [5], [6]

According to the article:

"The use of animals in research has decreased in the last few decades, according to government estimates — and the use of cats has dropped a whopping 66 percent since 1967. But scientists say that some research, like Podell's, cannot be done with computer modeling or with human subjects. ...'It's a small number of animals to get information to potentially help millions of people,' Podell told The New York Times."[7]

Dr. Michael Podell was apparently looking forward to a 1.7 million dollar grant for "using cats to study why drug users seem to succumb more quickly to AIDS." What would you expect to hear from a "scientist" who has just been given a 1.7 million dollars to torture cats? However, "that argument did not hold water with PETA", according to the SPLC. Perhaps because "government estimates" of animal testing numbers are at an all time high. The "small number of animals" comes to roughly 150 million a year, worldwide. [8] Drug testing cats or any animal is also useless and dangerous. However, it is well funded by the NIH and pharmaceutical companies, as it perpetuates a steady flow of "safe" animal tested drugs onto the market (until they injure or kill enough people). 92% of all drugs that pass animal tests, fail human trials, according to the FDA. It is debatable whether they "save millions". There's some pretty compelling evidence that they kill millions. See also animal testing.

The SPLC article contains repeated attempts to associate the AR/eco movements with unrelated crimes. This includes a bizarre connection to "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski because he once read an Earth First! journal. "Eco-terrorism" is a term coined by anti-gun control advocate Ron Arnold. It is applied to the Stop Hungtingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), even though they aren't even an eco group. ELF's policy on disassociating itself from violent actions are described as a "crucial escape clause" and "refusing to take responsibility for any actions that harm humans." It reads more like a propaganda piece than an investigative "report".

Lisa L. March 10