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SHAC convictions and animal rights militancy in Christian Science Monitor
DawnWatch: SHAC verdict and animal rights militancy in Christian Science Monitor -- 3/7/06
The Tuesday, March 7, Christian Science Monitor has a piece on the conviction of the SHAC activists and prevalence of militant animal rights activity headed, "Crackdown on animal-rights activists." (Pg 3.)
It tells us:
"The group, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), claims its actions constitute free speech. But federal prosecutors and the jury in a Trenton, N.J., courtroom called it harassment, stalking, and conspiracy - the first such conviction under the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act. The lab, Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), the largest of its kind in the world, is based in Britain and New Jersey."
The article is heavily slanted, with numerous quotes from animal researchers discussing the importance of animal research, and only one opposing view, saying there are much better ways to test drugs, about which the reporter comments "That's a minority view in the medical community, and it is one that many lawmakers oppose."
The issue of the treatment of animals before they are killed is handled with some balance. We read a quote from a vivisectionist who says, "I don't know of a scientist or veterinarian who is not committed to the welfare of the animals."
Then we read, "Members of SHAC, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), strongly disagree. In some cases, they've infiltrated research labs to produce photos and videos that show otherwise."
However the piece provides no details of the horrors that have been documented on the undercover tapes to which it refers. And it never questions the ethics of torturing animals to death in order to test household products and cosmetics -- the main business of HLS.
The article tells us:
"Members of the US House and Senate are sponsoring the 'Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.' It would toughen the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act by imposing penalties for veiled threats to individuals and families, economic disruption or damage, and 'tertiary targeting.'"
One worries about what might be seen as "veiled threats."
You can read the whole article on line at http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0307/p03s01-usju.html
With letters to the editor, please keep the animal testing discussion alive in this well-respected paper. The Christian Science Monitor takes letters at http://tinyurl.com/r2t4a
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. If you forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts, please do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this tag line.)