In 2013, Queen’s Animal Defence1(QAD) embarked on a campaign to challenge the use of animals for invasive scientific research and education at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) and to pressure the institution to adopt a new governance model for animals under its jurisdiction, recognizing them as rights-bearing members of the community. QAD’s work is congruent with more general animal rights advocacy seeking abolition of invasive animal research.2 But the immediate target was to advocate specifically for the animals at Queen’s, and to pressure the University to take meaningful steps towards the replacement of animals in invasive research and education. Queen’s pays lip service to the goal of replacement, but has taken no meaningful steps in this direction, and indeed continues to expand its animal research labs.
QAD’s primary advocacy activity has been consciousness-raising, and key campaign tools have included poster series that run on campus throughout the academic term, in conjunction with occasional tabling events, petitions, public talks and workshops. The posters, in turn, direct viewers to QAD’s website featuring in-depth information and blog posts. Sample posters are reproduced here, representing three separate series, to provide a sense of the campaign.
Am I a Member of the Queen’s Community?
A 7-poster series drawing parallels between the lives of animals in research labs, and experiences familiar to students – e.g. loneliness, cramped living quarters, fears about the future. The aim was to invite students to identify with these animals, and their ‘Queen’s experience’, in order to prompt recognition that animals are part of the Queen’s community, and trigger a sense of responsibility. Queen’s University regularly refers to the ‘Queen’s Community’ in its public relations and outreach. This campaign invited viewers to recognize that Queen’s is a multi-species community, in which some members are denied their basic rights against confinement, deprivation, harm, torture and killing. In other words, the goal of the posters was to trigger recognition of membership in a shared community first, and follow this up with rights claims. (This strategy is related to Arendt’s insight that we are more likely to respect the fundamental rights of others if we can see them as members of an actual community, not just as members of an abstract category such as ‘human’ – or ‘sentient being’). The campaign culminated with a petition (1500 signatures) and comprehensive proposal for establishing a retirement and adoption program for lab animals.3 Queen’s rejected the proposal.4
Invisible Queen’s Alumni
An 8-poster series describing the experience of animals in actual experiments conducted at Queen’s, raising questions about the ethics, scientific purpose, and lack of public oversight of this research. The posters parodied existing Queen’s posters that profile human alumni. Just as Queen’s regularly invokes “the Queen’s Community”, so too it regularly celebrates “Queen’s Alumni”. Presenting the animals as alumni underlined their entitlement to be recognized as members of the Queen’s community, and to be treated justly by the institution. As with the first poster series, viewers were prompted to recognize the university as a ‘more-than-human’ socio-political community, in which human and animal members are involved in political relationships, and institutional governance structures. In the case of animal members of the community, however, these structures treat animals as disposable resources.
Hidden Costs / Hidden Potential
A 9-poster series introducing inspirational scientists and science students who have rejected the idea that science is advanced by harming animals, and have found ways to ‘put the life back in life sciences’. This series challenged the idea that being pro-animal-rights means being anti-science. It also drew attention to the culture of science, specifically, the hyper-masculinist idea that not everyone is ‘cut out’ to be a scientist – especially if they aren’t prepared to treat animals as objects, harming and killing them for the (alleged) greater good. This isn’t a neutral conception of science; it is a distorted and exclusionary one.
In addition to the message content, the tone and style of QAD’s posters is distinctive. For example, QAD rejects the use of graphic pictures of experiments on animals, recognizing that representations of animals in a condition of abject victimhood can distance viewers, rather than eliciting recognition and empathetic connection. Instead, QAD has used the work of photographers like Jo-Anne McArthur, who represent animals as responsive subjects, not simply objects/targets of human violence. QAD also tends to avoid the language of ‘animal cruelty’, using instead the language of injustice, or ethical failure. Because of the nature of anti-cruelty legislation, the term ‘cruel’ typically isolates a small subset of practices falling outside of community norms, rather than being applied to the vast majority of normalized, everyday forms of violence against animals. In the context of biomedical research, for example, this can lead to an emphasis on bad apples, and non-compliance with animal welfare regulations, rather than questioning the fundamental premises of the system. A focus on ‘animal cruelty’ can also lead to demonization of minority group practices, while leaving dominant group practices uncriticised.5
That’s a brief description of QAD’s activities. But why did QAD undertake this campaign? And why now? Some background is in order. Advocacy for animals at Queen’s goes back more than 25 years, to the days when two spider monkeys were kept on display in a glass case at the entrance to the biology building. That display case was the monkeys’ ‘home’ for 20 years. A group called Voice for Animals protested, and the monkey display was condemned by animal care authorities. Queen’s moved the monkeys – out of sight.
In the early ‘90s, Voice for Animals brought visitors like Neil Barnard and Gary Francione to campus, and hundreds of people turned out to hear them speak out against animal testing and research. Around that time philosophy department member Michael Fox, who had recently written a book in support of animal experimentation, experienced a change of heart (and mind) which received substantial attention. Professor Fox realized that the human supremacist assumption he used in justifying animal research (that is, the idea that superior human intelligence made it okay to harm animals for our benefit) had the disturbing implication that if super-smart aliens were to arrive on Earth, they would be justified in consigning humans to the horrific deprivations and harms of ‘life’ as experimental animals. Professor Fox became an outspoken writer and advocate for animals.
Did this advocacy of the 1990s result in meaningful change for the animals in Queen’s laboratories? Unfortunately, not. There have been some modest upgrades to the animal ‘care’ facilities over the years, and Queen’s, like other medical schools across North America, has ended the use of live animals in physician training. But thousands of animals still live out their lives in barren cages in the windowless basement of Botterell Hall, subject to horrific procedures in the name of science, deprived of all that makes life worthwhile, and hidden from public view by a high security apparatus. Queen’s continues to offer researchers, in its own words, “a full spectrum of experimental animals” (including rodents, monkeys, dogs, cats, pigs, birds, fish), and the total numbers continue to increase. For example, the recent construction of a transgenic mouse facility expanded research space to enable housing of more than 20,000 mice at any given time (an increase from 4,000 in 2005).
So why did QAD decide, in 2013, that it was time to once again tackle the Queen’s research establishment? There are multiple reasons. The immediate impetus was the emergence of a critical mass of faculty, postdocs and students with an interest in raising ‘the animal question’ at Queen’s, both in terms of scholarship (promoting academic teaching and research in the field of human animal studies, or HAS) and advocacy (encouraging greater public awareness and debate about animal rights on campus).6 To take advantage of this critical mass, two groups were formed: APPLE (Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics) to connect scholars whose academic research focuses on HAS, and QAD to connect individuals interested in engaging in campus advocacy. These two entities are organizationally distinct, although they have some overlap in membership.
Both groups had reasons to focus on the issue of animals in biomedical research. For APPLE, the issue constituted a paradigmatic example of how human-animal relations are (illegitimately) governed, a key emerging issue of the ‘political turn’ in animal studies, and part of APPLE’s core mandate to focus “on the moral, legal and political dimensions of how human-animal relations are governed”. One goal of the political turn is to extend beyond studying the ethics of specific uses of animals (e.g., “is it ethical to test drugs on animals?”), to exploring the institutional structures by which these decisions are made, often in quite undemocratic ways (e.g., “who decides what research is conducted?”, “who speaks for the animals when these decisions are made?”, “who ensures these decisions respect public values?”).7 APPLE therefore initiated an academic conference on governing animal research, entitled “Thinking Outside the Cage: towards a nonspeciesist paradigm for scientific research”.8 The biomedical research community at Queen’s was invited to be part of this conference, and were also requested to provide information about the use of animals at Queen’s in order to inform the discussion. Both requests were denied.
QAD’s primary concern, meanwhile, was to acknowledge and recognize that lab animals are part of the Queen’s community, and that building inter-species justice requires attending to those whose rights are being violated by the very institutions to which we belong. QAD launched its advocacy campaigns focused on lab animals’ membership in the Queen’s community (as per the poster campaigns discussed above) and its calls for transparency from researchers and the institution.
Both the academic conference on governing animal research and the advocacy poster campaigns have indicated a high level of interest on the part of many students, staff and faculty about the animal research issue. However, the University administration showed no interest in participating in this conversation, and stubbornly refused to disclose any information that would enable members of the Queen’s community to judge how the interests of animals were being considered, or whether the University was living up to its commitment to replace the use of animals.
At this point APPLE and QAD members submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Ontario government to compel Queen’s to release some of the data required (the numbers of animals used, for what purposes, over multiple years) to enable a public discussion of animal research at the University. The request was denied, and failed on appeal to the Ontario Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner which, in a decision in line with precedent, accepted Queen’s argument that releasing any information about animal use could make the University the target of security threats from extremists.9 This argument is without basis, given the fact that universities in the US, the UK and continental Europe regularly release this information without incident. There is not a single recorded incidence, of which I am aware, of release of information resulting in an extremist attack.
These were the immediate triggering events for QAD, but the rationale for addressing animal research went deeper. For starters, many of us involved in establishing animal ethics as a field of academic teaching and scholarship at Queen’s felt it would be unconscionable to ignore the fact that just across campus, thousands of animals were being harmed and killed without any kind of independent institutional oversight or accountability. We recognized those animals in labs as fellow members of the Queen’s community, subject to its structures of governance. So if we weren’t prepared to advocate for them, who would? Thus QAD, with its mandate to advocate “for social justice for all animals, starting with those at Queen’s”, was born.
A further rationale was that, due to major scientific advances since the 1990s, biomedical research is much more vulnerable to criticism than it was 25 years ago, in large part because of the research and policy efforts of that earlier generation of critics of animal research. (So, for example, while Neal Barnard may not have changed anything at Queen’s back in the early ‘90s, his work with The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has laid critical scientific groundwork for a new generation of political advocacy.) Devastating evidence has emerged concerning problems of validity/reliability of animal experiments, and the translational inefficacy of ‘animal models’ of human disease. (For example, according to the National Institutes of Health, the failure rate in humans of treatments deemed to ‘work’ in animals is 95%.10) At the same time, new technologies using computer imaging and modelling, cell research, and lab-grown tissues and organs are fuelling a dramatic shift towards ‘human models’ for basic research as well as drug and product testing. These developments mean that it is possible to build a political coalition that extends beyond individuals with ethical concerns to also include individuals who believe that animal research is scientifically misguided, outdated, and a colossal waste of resources — a system trapped in an ideology of animal use which has become impervious to evidence.11
Note that the claim here is not that animal research never leads to biomedical advances. Rather, the claim is that animal models have been horrendously wasteful of resources that could have been deployed more effectively, as well as more humanely. As Lynda Birke says, “We cannot know what biomedical science might have been like had it developed differently, with a greater respect for other organisms”.12 And as Dagg and Seidle note, ending animal-based research wouldn’t result in a loss of knowledge, but in a transfer of urgently needed funds to more effective human-based research and clinical trials.13 Many of the experiments done at Queen’s (e.g. in neuroscience, degenerative disease, cardiovascular and cancer research) are vulnerable to these recent critiques of purpose, study design, replicability, and translatability in animal-based research. In addition, while Queen’s was just ‘one of the pack’ back in the 1990s, it now stands out as a particularly secretive and unprogressive institution in comparison to other Canadian universities, and especially on the international stage. For example, the Netherlands Parliament recently voted to ban all non-human primate research, and has committed to becoming “world leader in innovation without laboratory animals by 2025.”14
Compare this to the mentality at Queen’s, which leads the fight for continued access to monkeys for research purposes15, doesn’t bother even to subscribe to leading journals in alternatives, and recently turned down a major donation to establish a centre for the development of alternatives to animal models. (Centres for alternatives exist in the US, the UK and continental Europe, but none so far exists in Canada.)
While the scientific ground has shifted dramatically, the ethical case against animal research hasn’t changed in the last 25 years. At its foundation, it rests on challenging the hypocrisy, to paraphrase Robert Nozick, of an ethics of rights for humans, and utilitarianism for animals. This double standard is morally untenable, despite its hold within research culture, and must continue to be challenged because it serves as a keystone supporting speciesism (human-animal hierarchies) in other domains, like food and clothing, where people justify torturing, maiming and killing animals because of alleged ‘benefits’ to humans.
The mentality underlying all of these forms of animal use is that ‘it’s them or us’. But humans and animals are no more in irresolvable conflict than humans are with other humans. Biomedical science could be rapidly advanced by conducting invasive research on healthy humans, but we recognize that this would be immoral. There is some knowledge to which we are simply not entitled (i.e., knowledge achieved through immoral means, like experimenting on non-consenting subjects). This ethic has become established concerning human subjects, after a long and tragic history of violations. And subsequent history has proven that science can continue to advance by working within such constraints. We don’t spend time worrying about the discoveries that haven’t been made because we don’t sacrifice enough humans for biomedical research, but rather, get on with the business of advancing medicine in ways that are consistent with our ethical concern for the inviolability of individuals. QAD’s position is that the same ethic should apply to animals in research.
A distinctive feature of QAD’s work has been to advance this basic anti-speciesist ethical claim within a political framework. In other words, the claim being advanced is not simply that it’s wrong to sacrifice one for the many, and that individual researchers are engaged in unethical studies. The bigger claim is that institutions are obligated to structure human-animal relations on non-hierarchical terms. So, for example, animals in science should be protected by the same kind of ethical review process that protects humans under the age of consent involved in research: animals mustn’t be subject to any procedures without consent by a (non-conflicted) guardian, and harms can only be justified if they provide therapeutic benefit to the individual being harmed. Moreover, any research using animals must be held to the same scientific standards as human clinical trials. These are all matters of institutional justice.
QAD consistently makes the case that research, far from being compromised by doing so, would be enhanced by working within a just institutional framework. QAD has avoided using language such as ‘stop animal research’ or ‘no more labs’ because this can play into the hands of those who paint animal rights advocates as anti-science, or anti-medicine. (These attacks are particularly damaging because of the authority and power invested in science/scientists in modern society.) Instead, our messaging is about ethical science; learning with animals not on them, and inclusive science which supports scientists who want to advance knowledge and health without harming animals. This latter point offers a connection point with other social justice advocates concerned about the exclusion of women, indigenous peoples, and others who disproportionately drop out of science education and research due to discomfort with the reigning utilitarian ethics and culture of callousness.
A further dimension of this political approach is to emphasize the public and democratic interest in assessing the claims of researchers, and overseeing their work. The strategies used by the research industry (extreme secrecy and PR instead of transparency; self-regulation to block democratic oversight; and framing of all critics as radicals, terrorists, and science luddites) are parallel to strategies used by the animal agriculture industry (as well as resource industries that kill animals and destroy their habitats). The parallels are particularly close in the Canadian context. The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is a quasi-regulatory body intended to give the appearance of government regulation, and democratic accountability, over the use of animals in university-based research. In fact, it is a self-regulating body controlled by researchers which functions as an impediment to genuine scrutiny or oversight. For example, every time that Queen’s is criticized for its animal use practices, its failures of transparency, and the absence of meaningful regulation, it refuses to engage in any substantive exchange, and instead simply repeats the mantra that its operations are ‘in compliance’ with the requirements of the CCAC. Animal agriculture organizations have taken note, and a similar governance model is emerging in that industry. The Canadian National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) is a quasi-regulatory body, dominated by industry interests, which functions in a way very similar to the CCAC. Incremental advances in narrowly defined dimensions of animal welfare operate as a screen to deflect genuine scrutiny, access to information, and open debate about industry practices.
QAD has repeatedly highlighted the lack of transparency at Queen’s (and how this fundamentally inhibits democratic discussion and oversight) through leafletting, and tabling on “Freedom of Information Day”. The University has taken note of these activities, and in 2015 the Office of the University Veterinarian organized a closed workshop of university research administrators from across Canada, and PR experts from Oxford University and other institutions whose research practices have been placed under scrutiny. This workshop, judging from available evidence,16 was devoted to strategies for appeasing members of the public by providing an illusion of openness, in conjunction with a propaganda exercise devoted to a one-sided discussion of the ethics and (alleged) scientific value of animal research.
QAD works to educate the public about the structure of these CCAC, and University animal care committees, and how they allow animal-use industries to continue business as usual in a democratic black hole. Emphasis on this profound democratic deficit opens up another connection point with social justice and democracy activists, creating the potential for a broader movement coalition around industry subversion (or capture) of democratic processes.
Universities have the potential to be places of knowledge creation and innovation, of open discussion and debate. Progressive social movements aren’t dependent on universities, but can certainly benefit from the intellectual innovation and credibility available through academic leadership. It is hard to garner support for political and legal reform without involvement and support from acknowledged scholars/experts. Despite this potential, when it comes to advancing the interests of animals, universities have been devastatingly silent. This is undoubtedly influenced by the fact that so many universities have a direct, vested interest in exploiting animals. The largest and most influential institutions have billions of dollars invested in the use of animals for basic research, biomedical research, and indeed animal industry research (e.g. agriculture). This funding comes from governments, and also from pharmaceutical companies, medical charities and private donors. It funds countless labs, careers, and industry spin-offs.17 Until universities disentangle from this animal-industrial complex, it is very unlikely that they will take a leadership position in advancing social justice for animals.
Should universities be challenged individually, or collectively through provincial and federal governing and financing bodies? Both, presumably. Universities are powerful, significantly self-governing institutions with a great deal of discretion in terms of defining their own ethos, policies and practices, and thus represent a meaningful entry point for pressing political change. Queen’s university representatives often argue that their hands are tied with respect to conducting animal research, because preclinical testing in animals is required by law as part of the regulatory approval process for new drugs and treatments. But most of the research using animals at Queen’s is basic research, not preclinical testing. It is completely within the discretionary remit of the institution to decide that it will no longer support certain kinds of research, and that it will implement its own standards for ethical compliance and scientific rigour. And indeed other universities in Canada have decided to stop certain kinds of research (e.g., on primates) and/or to provide more public information (e.g., on the numbers of animals used). Queen’s membership in the CCAC, and compliance with its guidelines, is mandatory in order for university researchers to qualify for federal grants. But CCAC guidelines establish an animal welfare threshold below which institutions must not fall. The CCAC doesn’t restrict universities from raising that bar, and establishing their own much more demanding standards for research ethics and transparent governance.
So, where do we stand?
One could look at QAD’s activities to date, and see a string of failures. Queen’s has flatly refused our requests for information, dismissed our proposal of a retirement and adoption program for lab animals, declined invitations to participate in workshops and conferences devoted to change, and spurned donor overtures to advance the use of alternatives to animals in research.
On the other hand, QAD has undoubtedly raised awareness on Queen’s campus (and in the larger Kingston and university communities) about the use of animals in research and education. Many people rely on our website, blog and social media for information. The University has been sufficiently alarmed by our efforts to have brought in PR experts to manage the situation, and to ensure there is no threat to the Queen’s ‘brand’. Individual biomedical researchers have attempted to intimidate our members and colleagues through the Faculty Association, and individual contacts. Queen’s official submission to the Privacy Commissioner specifically slurs QAD by association with terrorist organizations. Does this overreaction suggest that the institution is vulnerable? Or just that it is sufficiently powerful and protected that it can behave irresponsibly without fear of repercussions?
I think it’s too early to tell. QAD has undertaken a complex campaign, and raising awareness is only the first step. On the one hand, the string of denials and rejections from Queen’s might look like failure. But as part of a longer game, these actions provide mounting evidence of fundamental institutional intransigence, and illegitimacy. In my view, the next step for QAD is to figure out how to use this situation as a catalyst for a focused organizing campaign at Queen’s.18 This would mean appealing to broad-based concerns highlighted by QAD campaigns (e.g. the democratic deficit, damage to Queen’s’ reputation as an ethical leader and forward-looking research organization, the exclusion of women and indigenous voices from science), and using these concerns to generate a critical mass of support for reform amongst stakeholders with power in the institution (faculty, staff, administrators, students). It means organizing public protest and media attention in order to put pressure on Queen’s’ reputation. And it means strengthening QAD’s coordination with other university-based campaigns concerned with animal research in order to exert pressure on the national CCAC system.19 Any one of these activities would represent a major intensification of QAD’s advocacy work, and this raises serious questions about whether the group (with about 15 active members) has the resources to take this next step. One obvious resource is the larger Kingston animal advocacy community which is active and growing. There is a significant town/gown barrier in Kingston, and community activists are hesitant (and face some barriers) to engaging in activism on campus. QAD needs to co-ordinate with this broader community, and to act as a conduit for them to contribute their energy and numbers to the struggle for animals at Queen’s.
Rethinking Strategic Choices
In its approach to advocacy, QAD offers an interesting contrast to the strategy of groups like No More Labs, which targets the financial interests of private companies engaged in co-development of animal research labs with universities. Companies are vulnerable to consumer and shareholder pressure, and so if activists can sufficiently raise ‘the cost of doing business’, they can halt the construction of new labs, which, over time, may divert incentives for researchers towards non-animal alternatives. QAD, by contrast, is trying to directly pressure the university administration through challenges to Queen’s reputation, and by galvanizing the self-governing membership of the university through appeals to conscience, pride, and commitment to democratic and social justice principles. Thus QAD has made certain key strategic choices: 1) to appeal to ideas of interspecies community/membership; 2) to target hard cases as the core underpinning of ideologies of species hierarchy; 3) to link to democratic values of open and accountable governance, and inclusive and ethical science; and 4) and to target the university’s self-governing structure. All of these are contested strategies, and many advocates think that targeting business interests, and ‘easy’ cases of animal cruelty offers more promise for galvanizing support. QAD, in contrast, has focused its efforts on what it perceives as untapped resources linked to ideas of multi-species community, democracy, self-government, and social justice.
Time will tell, and meanwhile, the animal rights / animal liberation movement undoubtedly benefits from multiple approaches, offering critical comparisons.
- QAD consists of Queen’s students and faculty, as well as members of the larger Kingston community. I am a member of QAD, but in this essay I speak for myself, not as a spokesperson for the group. I am focusing on only one of QAD’s campaigns (covering the period fall 2013 to spring 2016), although the group also engages in activities around vegan outreach and the need to incorporate animal ethics into sustainability discourse. Moreover, the group hopes at some point to direct advocacy to other animals at Queen’s, including urban wildlife who call the campus home, companion and working animals on campus, and others. I express my thanks to Janet Burgess for help with some archival research for this article. I also express my deep appreciation to all the members of QAD for their ongoing work, and for their helpful feedback on this article.
- QAD recognizes that many kinds of research which involve animals without violating their rights may be possible, and indeed desirable. These include non-invasive observational research in the wild, benign by-product research (such as conducting research using blood collected from animals during therapeutic veterinary care), participation of animals in clinical trials which will be to the individual’s own direct therapeutic benefit (as determined by their guardian), or non-invasive studies in which animals are willing participants. This is why QAD doesn’t call for a ‘ban’ on all animal research, but rather for an end to harmful and invasive research. Queen’s university operates a remote biological station which conducts some invasive research, but also conducts observational and non-invasive ecological research which does not harm animals, and indeed may help them. QAD calls for a new governance model which would eliminate the former, while bringing the latter under a new model that extends to potential animal research subjects the same protections enjoyed by human research subjects.
- See QAD’s retirement and adoption proposal here.
- See Queen’s reply to the adoption proposal here.
- For discussion see Will Kymlicka and Sue Donaldson, “Animal Rights, Multiculturalism, and the Left” (2014), Journal of Social Philosophy 45/1: 116-135.
- A generous gift from an anonymous donor funded a postdoctoral fellowship in animal ethics which helped to establish this critical mass.
- See, for example, Laura Janara (2015) “Human-Animal Governance and University Practice in Canada”, Canadian Journal of Political Science 48/3: 647-673.
- The conference report for Thinking Outside the Cage is available here.
- Three documents relating to the FIPPA process are available here. They include the representation submitted by Queen’s university to the adjudicator of the appeal, our (appellant’s) representation, and the final decision order by the adjudicator.
- For example, a recent meta-review of neuroscience research studies using primates states: “their human relevance and essential contribution are wholly overstated,” “the contribution and capacity of non-animal investigative methods are greatly understated”, and “confounding issues, such as species differences and effects of stress and anaesthesia, are usually overlooked”. Jarrod Bailey and Katy Taylor, “Non-human Primates in Neuroscience Research: The Case Against its Scientific Necessity”, in ALTA 44 (2016), p. 43.
- Lynda Birke, “Animal Bodies in the Production of Scientific Knowledge”, in Body & Society (2012). Available at http://www.academia.edu/2897851/Animal_bodies_and_medicine
- Anne Innis Dagg and Troy Seidle (2004) “Levels of Citation of Nonhuman Animal Studies Conducted at a Canadian Research Hospital.” Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 7 (3): 205–13.
- https://english.ncadierproevenbeleid.nl/advice/contents/draft-advisory-reports ; https://www.erasmusmagazine.nl/en/2016/03/29/tweede-kamer-wil-einde-aan-dierproeven-op-apen/
- http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/air-canada-s-refusal-to-carry-research-primates-ok-d-1.1233061 Use of monkeys for research rose in Canada from a total of 875 in 1998, to 4,600 in 2012. (http://www.universityaffairs.ca/news/news-article/research-using-animals-is-a-sensitive-issue/). In general terms, use of animals in research from 2009-2014 (latest statistics available), decreased in the Netherlands by 6%, while increasing in Canada by 11%.
- Professor Stephen Archer, Head of the Department of Medicine at Queen’s, wrote about the conference in this blog: http://deptmed.queensu.ca/blog/?p=1016 QAD’s detailed response is available here: https://queensanimaldefence.org/2016/10/26/transparency-or-spin-a-reply-to-stephen/#more-1202
- “Many otherwise seemingly independent, university-based studies may be conducted for no other reason than to give physicians and researchers qualifications for promotion or tenure” states John Ioannidis: “Why Most Published Research Findings are False” (2005) PLOS Medicine http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124 . Concerning commercial interests in the perpetuation of animal research, see Kay Peggs, (2015) “An Insufferable Business: Ethics, Nonhuman Animals and Biomedical Experiments”, in Animals. Special issue Ethical and Social Dimensions of Animal Experimentation 5 (3): 624-642.
- The group has not yet taken any decisions regarding next steps.
- QAD has already benefitted from the support of many other advocacy groups, including STOP animal research (UBC, Toronto, York), the Animals and Science Policy Institute, PCRM, Kingston Animal Rescue, Fauna Foundation, Kingston Vegetarian Network, and Animal Justice Canada. In addition to advocacy groups, QAD has benefitted from the work and participation of a network of scholars from Canada, the US and the UK; from graphic artists and photographers who have helped with our posters; and from individual financial donors.
This is a terrific and inspiring essay and campaign. The messaging is original and impressive. I have been involved in a similar effort on my campus, but have not been able to get the broad support you have — it is a very tough environment. Please see my: http://www.altex.ch/resources/altex_2016_1_003_012_FFTEisenman2.pdf. Let me know if I can help you in any way.
Thanks for your response, Stephen, and for alerting me to your article in Altex which provides an extremely helpful comparison case for QAD to consider. (It also demonstrates the value of a forum like ALC to enable advocates to make these connections, and share strategic knowledge.)
Let me know if you are planning any major events or meetings on this subject. I’d love to attend and join in any discussion.