Thursday, December 12, 2019 
A weekly newsletter from Americans for Medical Progress highlighting the latest
animal activism developments and significant science news for communicators and security professionals.

-- For internal use only, not for distribution--

PETA Launches New TV Ad Criticizing the NIMH
Earlier today, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced a new TV ad targeting the National Institute of Mental Health and more specifically, certain rodent studies that are funded by the NIH component. The commercial shows mice and rats taking part in the forced swim test and other tests as a voice urges viewers to contact the NIMH and ask that the studies be halted. 

PETA claims the ad is airing during the 6 pm news this week on Washington. D.C.’s local ABC TV affiliate. The commercial is part of PETA’s multi-month campaign criticizing the forced swim test and other tests. The group has approached several pharmaceutical companies to urge them to pledge they will no longer use the method. Some have refused but others have told PETA they have not used the test for many years and have no plans to do so in the future. 

It is expected the new ad will also likely appear in several other news markets in the future, specifically in locations where companies and universities that currently use the test are located.  
Two New Animal Rights Documentaries Surface Within the Same Month 
Two new documentaries are being heavily promoted by animal rights groups throughout the month of December. 
Test Subjects 
One film named “Test Subjects” features three scientists: Amy, Emily and Frances, who say they conducted animal studies during their training and as a result, are now opposed. All of the participants are now PETA employees: 
  • Amy Clippinger, director of PETA’s Regulatory Testing Department 
  • Emily Trunnell, a research associate for the animal rights group
  • and Frances Cheng, a senior science adviser for PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department.

The 16-minute film was posted online this past weekend for a free 72-hour viewing period. However, PETA , which produced the short movie, recently announced they have extended the free viewing period. 
The Animal People 
A second, much longer documentary is expected to receive even more attention, partially because actor Joaquin Phoenix served as its executive producer. “The Animal People” chronicles the experiences of the SHAC 6, activists who led an intense and menacing campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences approximately a decade ago. The campaign featured direct action targeting of the lab’s employees but also investors and other vendors that provided services for HLS. The six activists were eventually indicted as terrorists and several, including their leader Kevin Kjonaas, faced significant time behind bars. 

Earlier today, an online outlet named The Intercept, which tends to report favorably on animal rights issues, published an article on the documentary. It included several chilling passages such as the following quote from animal activist Josh Harper, a member of the SHAC 6 who spent time in prison. 
Speaking of Research Launches New Fact Check Campaign 
Americans for Medical Progress would like to applaud the advocacy group Speaking of Research for an innovative new campaign they recently unveiled. The effort seeks to improve news coverage of science and counter the growing problem of highly biased and/or false reporting. Speaking of Research pointed to a recent story in the Washington Examiner as an example where readers were recently given a one-sided view of science. 
In response to this story and others, SR is urging readers to tag news stories on social media when they suspect bias or misrepresentation of science. The tags they are using are #FactCheckNeeded and #AskScientists

We encourage readers to learn more about this campaign in this Speaking of Research blog post
EPA Hosting Conference Next Week on Non-Animal Alternatives
Earlier this fall, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, surprised toxicology experts across the country when he held a press conference surrounded by representatives from several animal rights groups and announced a newly-signed memorandum. The initiative seeks to significantly reduce and eventually eliminate the use of animals in chemical safety testing. Several researchers and science organizations have denounced the move, stating that it places humans, animals and the environment at risk. 

The EPA has not responded to those concerns but instead announced a gathering next week to discuss the topic. The first annual conference on the State of the Science on Development and Use of New Approach Methods for Chemical Safety Testing is scheduled to take place next week on Tuesday, December 17th.

The agenda for the event is posted here . Those interested can attend online. Registration is free and can be found here
Update on Efforts by Wisconsin Activists to Hamper Biomedical Research
Here’s a brief update on the situation in Spring Green, Wisconsin. There, an animal activist-authored ordinance has been proposed. It seeks to shutdown a family owned business that breeds dogs for biomedical research. As we explained last week , that ordinance was a topic of discussion at a local Town Board meeting on Thursday. 

After extensive discussion, the Spring Green Town Board decided to table the ordinance. Lawyers for the business and the town both shared their belief that the current legislation will not likely hold up in courts. It was estimated that “repairs” will take many hours of legal work costing tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, the very high costs of a likely lawsuit filed by the business were discussed by the board.

The measure is one of two local laws proposed by animal rights activists to try and close the breeding business. The second is a village ordinance, which will appear on local ballots in Spring Green in April 2020. 
Help Us Continue Important Services Like AMPNews and Urgent Alerts
We hope that AMPNews is a publication that your institution appreciates and values. In addition to this newsletter, many
of your organizations also hear from AMP when urgent news emerges including newly announced protests and campaigns where your business or university will likely be targeted. In 2019 alone, we’ve sent out more than 1,400 alerts to various organizations. Our goal is to help ensure that you have the time and resources in order to respond effectively.

If this newsletter and our daily alerts are things that you value, please help support them with a financial gift to Americans for Medical Progress. Our fall fundraising campaign comes to a close at the end of the month (just 19 days away!) and we hope you will consider giving. It’s easy. You can give online via our ongoing Facebook campaign or simply click here. Another option is to send a check to the address below or call us at 202-624-8810 to contribute. 
Thank you!
Upcoming Animal Activism Events 
We have included Facebook links, when possible, with additional information. 
December 13
College Station, Texas 
Organized by PETA. 

December 21
Kingston, New York 
Organized by NY Farm Animal Save

December 28  
Series of protests nationwide to “denormalize violence towards animals. ”
Organized by Direct Action Everywhere. 

May 29, 2020
Berkley, California

July 24 - 27, 2020
Taking Action for Animals
Washington, DC 
A conference organized by the Humane Society of the United States.  

August 22, 2020  
Miami, Florida
Ten Research Stories Worth Sharing
Americans for Medical Progress closely monitors the news media and other sources on a daily basis for breakthroughs involving animals. Please feel free to share these stories on your organizations' social media channels:










Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, National Human Genome Research Institute

Americans for Medical Progress