Cassie King
Published on
February 7, 2018

NEWS OF THE WEEK: Monkeys Used For Diesel Fuel Tests, SHAC Activists Sentenced, Jan. 24, 2018 – Feb. 6, 2018


Monkeys Used For Diesel Fuel Tests, SHAC Activists Sentenced, Jan. 24, 2018 – Feb. 6, 2018

By Leslie Goldberg

  Animal rights activists have been working to shut down Huntingdon Life Sciences for decades.
Animal rights activists have been working to shut down Huntingdon Life Sciences for decades.


German car makers, Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, are contending with a public relations nightmare since the New York Times discovered that the companies hired researchers who used monkeys to test diesel exhaust. The research was designed to show that diesel exhaust was not unhealthy. The companies quickly tried to distance themselves from the animal research and Volkswagen apologized. “The scientific methods used to conduct the study were wrong,” Volkswagen said in a statement. “Animal testing is completely inconsistent with our corporate standards.” Daimler chimed in: “Daimler does neither tolerate nor support unethical treatment of animals. The animal experiments in the study are superfluous and repulsive.” (New York Times, Jan. 28, 2018) 


Late last month two animal rights activists who claimed to be members of the British arm of Stop Huntingdon Cruelty (SHAC) were sentenced in England. Sven Van Hasselt was sentenced to five years; his wife, Natasha Simpkins, got two years. They were convicted of making death threats and setting multiple fire bombs under the cars of Cambridge-based Huntingdon Life Sciences’ employees. Huntingdon is notorious for doing cruel research on animals and has been subjected to numerous protests and direct actions by animal rights advocates, most notably SHAC.

The SHAC 7 were U.S.-based animal rights activists who were alleged to have operated a website that reported on and expressed ideological support for protests against Huntingdon and its business affiliates. For that, six of them were convicted in 2006 of “terrorism” under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act and served an aggregate of more than 18 years in federal prison. (UK Metro, Jan. 24, 2018)


The Humane Society of the United States, the Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biologic Diversity are suing the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect right whales from lobster traps. Since 2017 some 18 right whales have died off the East Coast and Atlantic Canada. An endangered species, there are only an estimated 450 of these whales in the world. “Right whales could disappear forever if they keep getting tangled up and killed in fishing gear,” said Kristen Monsell, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Federal officials have to act now before it’s too late.” (Bangor Daily News, Jan. 27, 2018)


Using the same technology that was initially used to clone Dolly the sheep 20 years ago, researchers from Shanghai’s Academy of Chinese Sciences of Neuroscience have now managed to clone a macaque monkey and have plans to clone more. The idea is to enlist these monkeys for experiments. “Experimenters constantly receive funds to perform monstrous experiments on animals, and cloning monkeys is the latest Frankenscience,” said a PEYA spokesperson. “Cloning is a horror show: a waste of lives, time and money – and the suffering caused by such experiments is unimaginable.” (The Sun, Jan. 24, 2018)


Plant Based News has come up with some recent statistics guaranteed to float your vegan boat: 

·         Dairy sales to drop 11 percent by 2020 in the US.

·         One out of 10 UK adults wants to go vegan in 2018.

·         Plant milk sales have surged 61 percent since 2012; at the same time dairy milk fell by 15 percent in the US.

·         In the last year the demand for meat-free food increased by 987 percent in the UK.

·         One in 12 parents are raising their kids vegan. 

One research group, VoucherCodes, also found that the most common reason people cited for going plant-based was health (61 percent) versus ethical reasons including animal welfare (35 percent). (Plant Based News, Jan. 25, 2018)   

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