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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. 2 - Winter 2004-2005

Convention of Cruelty – The Neuroscience Convention of 2004

On October 23, 2004, the Society for Neuroscience gathered for its annual convention in San Diego. Assemblies of scientists such as this typically result in positive media coverage which extols the value of animal research. The public is often spoon fed a line of pseudo-scientific propaganda that belies the truly horrific nature of animal experimentation.

This is especially true for neuroscience experiments. Many of the most heinous experiments are published in the Society’s magazine – the Journal of Neuroscience. Horrific experiments which torture animals are carried out on species from rats to primates.

Intelligent primates are confined to restraint chairs, with electrodes implanted in their brains. Then they are deprived of water to coerce them into participating in these frankensteinian experiments.

“Clearly, this kind of brutality could not go unopposed,” said SAEN’s Executive Director, Michael A. Budkie. “Someone must be a voice for these innocent animals.” He traveled to San Diego to be a voice for these innocent victims and to work with local activists from San Diego Animal Advocates (SDAA). Through protests and news conferences, the truth about the barbaric and unscientific nature of vivisection was revealed.

A news conference on October 25th garnered substantial coverage on the local National Public Radio station for San Diego (KPBS):

“Spokesman Michael Budkie says neuroscience research is especially rough on primates. He says some of the practices are barbaric. Rhesus monkeys are confined to restraint chairs. Recording cylinders are literally bolted into their skulls, electrodes are fed into their brain.”

At one point Michael Budkie and local activist Jane Cartmill had the opportunity to go inside the convention to get a feel for the event. “The exhibit hall was shocking. We saw row after row of companies that provided the equipment used to torture animals. It is perfectly clear that animal experimentation is BIG BUSINESS,” said Budkie.

The protest at the convention met with substantial opposition – primarily from the Harbor Police of San Diego. Local activists were threatened with arrest for doing nothing more than attempting to hold picket signs and distribute fact sheets. They were then escorted to a “Free Speech Area” which was clearly designed to silence protesters. The zone was located hundreds of feet away from the flow of pedestrian traffic.

As the conference concluded, local activists learned that an even larger conference of animal experimenters is headed for their city. From March 31 to April 5 of 2005 the 35th Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) will meet at the downtown Convention Center in San Diego. This massive summit of animal researchers includes six member organizations—the American Physiological Society, the Society for Neuroscience, the Microcirculatory Society, the Society of General Physiologists, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology—many of which contribute to the suffering of millions of animals each year in U.S. laboratories.

Again, SAEN and SDAA will be present to be a voice for the voiceless. “We will not be silenced,” said Budkie. “We may have to risk arrest, but we will be heard.”

We want to thank the members of SDAA for all of their hard work and dedication.

Please check the website of San Diego Animal Advocates for details of this upcoming protest: www.animaladvocates.org/#vivisection  

Return to The Defender Vol. 3, No. 2 - Winter 2004-2005
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