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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

The Defender
Vol. 3, No. 1 - Spring/Summer 2004

Fighting Primate Experimentation: A Hard-Hitting Week in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC) hosted the annual conference for the American Society of Primatologists (ASP). This situation provided us with the opportunity to target, not only the ASP, but also the Primate Center. This was an opportunity that could not be ignored!

The ASP is an organization which promotes experimentation on non-human primates. While some ASP members focus primarily on field work, many others perform some of the most hideous experiments in existence, including projects that rip infants away from their mothers.

In the months preceding the ASP conference, SAEN contacted the Alliance for Animals, (an organization located in Madison) to join forces in planning for a week of events to confront the ASP members. A “shadow” conference (to reveal the truth about animal experimentation) as well as several news briefings for the local media, and a protest march were all planned to bring regional activists together in opposition to primate experimentation.

Tuesday, June 8th -- As the ASP conference began, we sprang into action, coordinating the first of several electrifying news conferences where SAEN’s Executive Director, Michael Budkie, released to local media SAEN’s report, Primate Health at the University of Wisconsin, Madison/Wisconsin National Primate Research Center: What We Weren’t Told by the UW (available at www.saenonline.org ). The news conference exposing the horrific suffering which the primates within the center experience on a daily basis received substantial coverage from the Wisconsin State Journal and the local ABC television station.

Wednesday, June 9th -- Activists targeted a reception that the WNPRC arranged for the ASP conference participants. As the ASP members arrived at the Primate Center, they were met by activists performing a mock primate experiment. The Center staff quickly hurried the conference attendees to another entrance – the loading dock. Isn’t it a pity that they were inconvenienced. This event was covered by the Capital Times, quoting heavily from the SAEN report.

Thursday, June 10th -- SAEN held another exciting news conference heralding the call for congressional hearings to investigate the Primate Center System. Though this call for legislative action initially came from SAEN, other organizations signed onto the effort by sending letters of support. These organizations include PETA, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Medical Research Modernization Committee, Primate Freedom Project, Animals’ Voice, International Primate Protection League, and Alliance for Animals. The Isthmus, another local newspaper in Madison, wrote a brilliant article covering this media event (all newspaper articles are available at our website in the media coverage section).

Friday, June 11th -- Today’s shadow conference, Primate Vivisection: What the American Society of Primatologists Doesn’t Want You to Know, was a true success. Our conference was well attended, and important presentations were made by Michael Budkie, Matt Rossell, Crystal Miller-Spiegel, and Jeremy Beckham. This conference allowed activists to come together to be educated about primate experimentation and to discuss plans for further action.

Saturday, June 12th -- Over 50 activists from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois rallied at the Wisconsin state capitol and then marched over to the Primate Center. This was an excellent start to mobilizing opposition against the Primate Center. After the march was completed, Michael Budkie conducted an activist training workshop to instruct individuals in the process of investigating laboratories. The workshop was attended by activists from Madison, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.

“I think that this was one of the most effective weeks of activism in which I have ever participated,” said Michael Budkie, SAEN’s Executive Director. “All of the events received substantial attention from the media in Madison. The general public was educated, and activists from across the northern U.S. came together to oppose primate experimentation. I feel very encouraged by this weeks’ work.”

SAEN’s thanks go out to Lori Nitzel and Stacy Taeuber of the Alliance for Animals for all of their hard work in organizing this week’s events. We would also like to thank everyone that attended the conference and the protest on Saturday – your participation made these events a success!!


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