Animal Rights

After recent gains, activists are now under attack


The 1980s saw a new kind of activism in the animal rights movement. Groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals borrowed tactics from other protest movements to publicize their concerns, including the use of animals in research and product testing. The number of animals used in cosmetics testing has been reduced significantly and the conditions of animals used in biomedical research have improved. But now the scientific community is mounting an aggressive counterattack against the animal rights movement. The AMA, the National Academy of Sciences and federal officials have condemned the over zealousness of animal rights activists and accused them of hindering much-needed medical research. If current trends continue, they warn, advances in fighting cancer and AIDS could be hindered.

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