Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Here Untrustworthy PETA Goes Again; Levels Charges Against Oregon Research Lab


PETA's goal is to end all human use of animals--no matter the benefit. Toward this end, they engage in often funny guerrilla theater tactics--such as the "running of the nudes" in Spain to protest the running of the bulls.

But beneath such edgy public strategies is a constant stream of harassing tactics, such as planting "spies" into animal facilities who later surface with usually out-of-context and hyped allegations--a nasty approach that began with the notorious Silver Springs Monkey action that not only shut down a lab trying to find treatment for stroke-caused paralysis but attempted to destroy the life of a respected researcher.

The master propagandists are apparently at it again in Oregon, where a planted PETA person is making accusations against the Oregon Health and Science University's (OHSU) primate lab. (This is where the monkeys were cloned, as described here at SHS the other day.) From the story in the Salem News:
The animal rights group PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has Portland's Oregon Health Sciences University Primate Research Center listed in position #8 on PETA's '10 Worst Laboratories' List, and they are gearing up to bring more attention to OHSU's continued use of laboratory monkeys.

PETA says, "In contrast to Portland's otherwise progressive image, Oregon Health & Science University's (OHSU) extensive animal testing is a shameful relic. OHSU's Regional Primate Center houses almost 4,000 primates and used more than 900 of them in painful experiments, including tobacco and nicotine research and pregnancy studies."

But past charges of unethical conduct made by animal liberationists proved baseless, an OHSU representative told the News:

"This is the second time in the past seven years that OHSU's primate center has been targeted from by an animal activist group using this tactic. In the previous case, the employee who made claims of abuse was a longtime PETA employee who was charged with taking jobs in research labs with the goal of damaging the reputation of institutions that conduct animal studies." PETA is expected to make claims about the care of animals at the Oregon National Primate Research Center during a press conference, though it isn't clear exactly what PETA has lined up...

"OHSU will respond to all of the specific allegations when they become available, but it is important to know that the claims come on the heels of an outstanding evaluation report by the primate center's accrediting body, AAALAC" (the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International).

The OHSU statement continued, "Just one week ago today, AALAC announced full accreditation for the primate center, which followed an earlier commendation for well-maintained facilities and records, dedicated staff, and effective university animal care oversight. Accreditation involves an exhaustive inspection of animal care spaces and labs over a period of several days. With this latest announcement, the primate center has been accredited continuously by AAALAC for the past 32 years."

If actual problems exist at the lab, they should be remedied, of course. But if the charges prove specious, as I expect they will, PETA should be held financially accountable either via administrative sanctions if their allegations lead to a formal investigation, or a lawsuit. Indeed, every time PETA interferes with proper practices via demonstrably false and maliciously distorted accusations--the hell should be sued out of it.


Subscribe to National Review