APS Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology

Addressing the Increasing Threat of Animal Rights Activism to Research

Symposium — Tuesday, April 27, 2021 — 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM — Virtual Session, Room APS-10
Animal Care and Experimentation Committee — Chair: Eryn Dixon — Co-Chair: Gregory L. Brower

Animal rights activism has evolved over the last decade. Organizations such as PETA are still active, and new groups have emerged. Many of these groups are deploying more sophisticated tactics to undermine the legitimacy of research. They have become more effective in carrying out laboratory infiltrations and are mounting shrewd efforts to pass legislative restrictions on research in Congress and a number of states. The use of social media has also amplified activists’ impact. The first speaker will describe recent developments in animal rights tactics. The second talk will be given by a researcher from an institution that was infiltrated. This individual will share lessons from that experience, including current laboratory infiltration tactics; what can be done to avoid infiltrations; and how to respond if one occurs. The third speaker will discuss new approaches to advocacy that investigators can use both within their institutions and their communities to advance understanding of the benefits and necessity of animal research for human and animal welfare.


  • Introduction
    Eryn Dixon — Nephrology, Washington University in St. Louis
    4:00 PM - 4:05 PM

  • Addressing the Increasing Threat of Animal Rights Activism to Research
    Jim Newman — Director of Strategic Communications, Americans for Medical Progress
    4:05 PM - 4:30 PM

  • Infiltration of an Animal Program by Activists: Lessons Learned
    Bill Yates — Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh
    4:30 PM - 4:55 PM

  • Evolving Animal Rights Extremist Tactics to Halt Biomedical Animal Research
    George W. Lathrop — Office for Research and Development, US Department of Veterans Affairs
    4:55 PM - 5:20 PM

  • Conclusion
    Greg Brower — Medical Education, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
    5:20 PM - 5:30 PM

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