Animal Protection > AR Interviews

Michael Budkie
, Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN)
Don Elroy

I first came into contact with Michael Budkie 10-plus years ago through phone contact. I was impressed by his knowledge and his ability to search out necessary information to work on a level playing field with the research community. I decided that this was the route to take for this movement, or at least for me personally.

Michael was holding seminars around the country teaching activists how to research information through FOIA requests from the National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The closest seminar to me was approximately a ten-hour drive to Alabama. I decided I had to go there. And I am forever grateful that I did.

The tools I learned from Michael set me on a path that gave me a better understanding of dealing with the issues that faced us here and a way to solve the problems on a different level.

We brought Michael to Knoxville, TN, in the early 1990s to speak on vivisection issues. The forum was open to the public and as such, Michael dealt with questions from many researchers. He dealt with their questions and confrontations in a calm and knowledgeable manner.

Michael began his interest in animal research issues working as an AHT (Animal Health Technician) and refused to accept the practices he witnessed. He began working with a group in Cincinnati, OH, and was spearheading a campaign to stop "head injury" research on cats at the University of Cincinnati. The gruesome experiments were ended in 1988, and ave way to a tissue culture model. He worked for In Defense of Animals for several years in research and on the campaign against Procter & Gamble's animal testing. He has also worked for Last Chance for Animals, and was co-founder of the National Activists Network.

Currently, Michael spearheads Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN), which he also founded, focusing on animal research issues. Michael has had articles commissioned by the National Anti-Vivisection Society, the American Anti-Vivisection Society, the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, Animals Agenda Magazine, and Animals Voice Online. He has also one consulting work for the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, The Humane Society of the United States, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

In the late 1990s, I contacted Michael again regarding experimentation being conducted on cats from the Nashville Metro Pound at Vanderbilt University. The research involved cats used in brain-mapping/vision experiments. Together we were able to bring about the end of pound seizure in Nashville, TN. Michael also brought about the end of pound seizure in Dayton, OH, working with local activists.

Michael exposed a research project at the University of Toledo through news conferences showing numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act. He launched a campaign in Dayton conjunctively with the People/Animals Network against Wright-Patterson Air Force Base using primates in endotracheal intubation (Wright-Patterson currently lists no usage of primates). The work he did on exposing problems at Wright-Patterson was included in bringing about congressional hearings into the use of animals by the military.

Michael's work, combined with the work of others for In Defense of Animals (IDA), brought about two federal hearings into animal experimentation by the U.S. military. He also coordinates World Laboratory Animal Week for IDA, and directed its campaign against Procter & Gamble for three years.

Michael has participated in protests at primate centers, and was a part of the Coalition to End Primate Experimentation. He has worked on both Primate Freedom Tours.

In short: get to know Michael Budkie. He is a valuable resource in our movement. He has always been willing to share knowledge with activists and assist in any way he can with local issues. One of the most important things he has done is to teach other activists the ways to find and use their own information.

Michael wants to help you end animal research projects in your area. You may email him directly.

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