Animal Protection >
A Real-Life ALF case with questions.
What would you have supported?
92 votes by animal rights activists (they don't all agree).
Diversity of opinion within the animal rights movement
A lab technician (from a billion-dollar company that makes household products)
contacted an ALF member for help.
As this company always did in when it made changes to
products, they went to a local pound
and took 100 small dogs (the 'pound law' requires animal shelters do this). The dogs
were then force-fed the product in accordance with the test procedure
LD-50, its purpose being to measure the time it took for the product to
kill 50% of the dogs. Then compare results with those of the previous
tests. A large database of test results makes comparison straightforward.
Fifty percent of the dogs died after 20 days, 2 days
longer than it took the previous test of this product. The test was deemed a success, and the
lab technician defended the tests as good for public safety. But now he had a
problem. The remaining 50 dogs, already near death, were starving. He was caught
feeding them an reprimanded. His boss told him that no further
expense should be made on them, and he shouldn't prolong their life by feeding
them. And, or course, he couldn't return the dogs to the shelter. The lab technician wanted
to know of a painless way to kill them. When asked, he replied that he was uncertain how many of the 50 dogs
could survive, or if they did, what their quality of life would be.
Not all animal rights activists agree on what should have been done.
What do you think?
Percentage of animal rights members who believe*:
0%. These experiments protect people, and therefore are worth the
dogs lives. Nothing
should be done.
3%. Euthanasia techniques should be shared with the
lab technician. Nothing else should be done. These dying dogs are not worth the
100%. Laws should require labs to treat dogs better, they
shouldn't be able to let them starve.
100%. Government subsidy of testing for public safety
should not allow use of the LD-50 test.
3%. A campaign to LD-50 should be organized, but
nothing should be done that endangers property.
83%. There should be organized demonstrations against
this company's testing (keeping the secret of how the details were learned, to
protect the lab technician).
63%. Dogs should be rescued if you can protect the
identity of the lab technician. Minimize property damage.
16%. Dogs should be rescued and property relating to
LD-50 testing should be damaged.
*Not all questions were answered. Some answers had complicated
What was actually done:
The next day the lab technician called the ALF member
again and said sadly that he was sorry, but he had waited too long. All the dogs had died. This time
he also mentioned there was very tight security around the test lab, including
cameras that might have caught him if he'd tried putting the dogs to sleep.
Protests against this company continue, lobbying to
change the law continues, and we hope to hear from this lab technician again.