Why does Animal Rights Extremism.info exist? Who is ARE.info for? See below and if you have any questions that are not answered please contact the editor: AREeditor@uar.org.uk
Why does Animal Rights Extremism.info exist?
Animal rights activists use the internet and social media in their campaigns. These campaigns, whether they are focused on individuals such as MPs, or companies, are frequently generated by only a handful of activists. Extremist websites such as BiteBack will regularly report incidents of extremism which are greatly exaggerated or sometimes never took place.
AnimalRightsExtremism.info is a new global resource from Understanding Animal Research (UAR) dedicated to providing key global audiences such as biomedical organisations, journalists and the wider public with credible, contextual, accurate and balanced information about animal rights extremism (ARE). We wish to provide comprehensive information about ARE without exaggerating the problem.Back to top
Who is ARE.info for?
This new resource is dedicated to providing key global audiences such as biomedical organisations, journalists and the wider public with accurate and balanced information and news about Animal Rights Extremist (ARE) activity. The site also provides reassurance and guidance for any individuals or organisations that are targeted by ARE, including supply chain businesses and other associates as well as researchers and research establishments.Back to top
Why is ARE.info being launched now?
Understanding Animal Research (UAR) frequently finds that the press and the biomedical community have exaggerated and outdated concerns about extremists. UAR also finds that the media sometimes describes extremist activity in terms that hide the real nature of that activity. Animals are said to be 'liberated', when in fact they have been stolen, for example. Whether real or perceived, ARE threats continue to affect organisations and individuals. It is important that such intimidation does not stifle our efforts to be clear and open about the role of animals in medical research. This website will put the activities of ARE into context, giving the press and biomedical community a credible alternative to the extremist websites.Back to top
Haven’t there been fewer incidents of ARE over the past couple of years? Why launch a platform focused on extremism now when it is not such a problem any more?
We are glad to say instances of criminal activity have reduced over the last 10 years across Europe. However, ARE incidents still occur and there is always the possibility of the current situation reversing. If we fail to challenge the way ARE incidents are reported in the press and if the biomedical sector fails to make the case for their good work – perhaps out of a misguided belief that doing so might attract extremists – we are failing to fully challenge ARE.Back to top
Is the UK a particular target of ARE at the moment?
In the last decade actions taken by UK Government and law enforcement have caused a dramatic decline in ARE. However, the UK has a very successful biomedical industry and the potential threat of ARE activity remains an issue for many organisations. AnimalRightsExtremism.info is a global resource intended to support biomedical research and its associates internationally as well as providing information relevant to the UK.Back to top
Won’t this site increase fear about animal rights extremism?
This website exists specifically to address the concerns about ARE and to put these into perspective. Animal rights activists have, for many years, used emerging media channels to make their campaigns appear to be bigger than their numbers suggest. The threat of extremism should not be allowed to coerce organisations, impact on business decisions or prevent open explanation of the important role of animals in medical research.Back to top
How will this site help with the transport of animals for research issue?
There is currently no credible information source that informs and educates on the topic of ARE. AnimalRightsExtremism.info aims to fill this void and be complementary to UAR's other websites: AnimalResearch.info, which provides detailed information on the role of animals in medical research; and our main site www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk which provides more general coverage.
As a lack of understanding about why and how animals are used in research and an underlying fear of ARE are one element of the transport issue, these resources should play a role in educating and reassuring key global audiences. However, this website is just one component of UAR's strategy concerning the transport issue.
How will the platform target global audiences?
Initially the site will be launched in English with a focus on the UK, Europe and North America, expanding to a global platform in its first year, including news and translated content in five languages: French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Swedish.Back to top
What can the media expect from this service?
The aim of the site is to provide journalists, biomedical organisations and the wider public with a credible, contextual, accurate and comprehensive source of objective information on ARE. Journalists can view, download or request briefings, documents, images and videos on the topic of ARE and are invited to contact UAR for more help sourcing information on the topic. In addition, the site provides an up-to-date and credible news-stream about ARE.Back to top
How are you sourcing news and information for the site?
Currently there is a lack of publicly available information about extremist activity provided by law enforcement agencies since the Victims of Animal Rights Extremism (VARE) support group closed. AnimalRightsExtremism.info aims to fill that gap, providing journalists, biomedical organisations and the wider public with a credible, contextual, accurate and comprehensive source of objective information about ARE. It is not intended to be a source of security intelligence for professionals. Using a global network of freelance contributors, ARE.info will publish news confirmed by balanced, credible public sources of information including reputable news outlets and local law enforcement agencies.Back to top
What is ARE.info/UAR’s stance on animal rights?
There are many organisations around the world campaigning for animal rights. Their participation in the wide-ranging debate on the use of animals in research is legitimate and welcomed in civil society. While the majority act within the law, a small but determined minority believe their cause justifies illegal acts that include criminal damage, intimidation and violence. UAR believes that all individuals have a right to voice their opinion on the topic of animal rights. However, we completely condemn the use of violence, intimidation and extreme tactics.Back to top
The site states that it is focused on ARE directed at the biomedical research sector, does that mean you’re not concerned about crimes against the cosmetic, fur or farming industries?
As UAR’s members are primarily those with an interest in biomedical research including academic, pharmaceutical, charities, research funders, professional and learned societies, crimes against the biomedical research sector are our main concern. However UAR strongly condemns the use of violence, intimidation and extreme tactics against any individual or organisation.Back to top