2017 was an incredibly busy year for Animal Justice Project. Below are just some of our highlights and achievements in pictures.
Animal Justice Project kicked started the year with coverage of the December 2016 stunt we held at University College London (UCL) in the student newspaper, CUB Magazine. With over 202,000 animals used at the university last year alone, meaning UCL is the third largest user of animals in Britain, raising awareness amongst students on the types of experiments carried out there is vital.
In January, we organised a demo at Cardiff University as part of our Campus Without Cruelty campaign with volunteers and we handed out hundreds of our leaflets about the 52,000 animals experimented on each year at Cardiff University.
More images are available in our Flickr album.
(Front page of Animal Justice Project’s leaflet about animal experiments at Cardiff University).
Along with the University of Sheffield vegan student group, we organised a demonstration as part of our Campus Without Cruelty campaign.
More images are available in our Flickr album. The event was attended by around 25 volunteers, who handed out hundreds of leaflets about the university.
The event went on to reach thousands in The Tab.
Just weeks into the Trump administration, the US Department of Agriculture shut down access to their Animal Care Information System (ACIS), which records information about animals in research laboratories. We felt this was an important step backwards so we plugged the following online petition:
Two weeks after, we launched an action in the UK on the same issue of secrecy. We launched our petition to Bristol University to end its secrecy on animal experiments. This petition has gained thousands of signatures and undoubtedly played a bit part in the university publishing their annual figures later in the year.
In 2016, Animal Justice project was contacted by a group in Sweden – Djurrättsalliansen (Animal Rights Alliance) – about the import of 120 macaque monkeys destined for the last primate lab in Scandinavia – Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. In this laboratory, they were to be subjected to malaria experiments. We started a petition urging the university to discontinue research with macaques at the Astrid Fagræus laboratory, which gained over 60,000 signatures. In March 2017, our founder and Science Advisor, Dr Andre Menache, travelled to Sweden to hand in the petition and advocate to researchers that the malaria experiments not only cause the animals suffering, but do not give good results. At the university we met with the head of primate research, the director for Comparative Medicine at Karolinska Institute, and the acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor.
The Karolinska Institute also published their own take on our meeting.
(The campaign got celebrity support in late 2016. We collected quotes and an Open Letter which we handed into the Swedish Embassy).
As a result of our campaign efforts and international condemnation of the experiments, Karolinska Institute announced they would reduce the number of monkeys imported to 24, and change their protocol so the experiments would be less invasive to the monkeys. We are still liaising with Djurrättsalliansen and Karolinska Institute on the possibility of rehoming the monkeys to a sanctuary.
We organised a Thunderclap to University College London as a follow up action to our demonstration, asking them to commit to ending animal experimentation. On 1st May 2017, simultaneous messages appeared on UCL platforms, sending a loud and clear message to the university.
In mid April, we launched our new webpage offering free door dropper packs and other campaign materials for World Week for Animals in Laboratories.
We kicked off a door dropping day of action in Cardiff in the lead up to World Week for Animals in laboratories.
24 APRIL (World Day for Animals in Labs)
Our Science Advisor, Dr Andre Menache, wrote an Open Letter to Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an agency responsible for approving pig-human transplants – highlighting the cruelty and dangers involved. We shared the letter on social media and it had over 100 shares.
Our Open Letter outlined the ethical and public health concerns regarding the use of animals as spare parts and the possible legislative issues.
The Animal Justice Project team attended a march in the city of Birmingham and hosted an info stand prior to and after the event.
In April, our Manchester Coordinator also held a vegan bake sale at Manchester University Student Union (Campus Without Cruelty campaign) and asked students why they are against animal experiments!
In the same month, we organised the UK’s first ‘Light Brigade’ across a busy motorway in Bristol on International Britches Day. Britches was a baby macaque monkey, rescued from a US laboratory in 1985. The stunt achieved widespread media coverage and around 30 activists turned up to take part.
Read more: Bristol 247 and Bristol Post.
Finally, in April, Animal Justice Project was in Wales Online regarding animal experiments at Cardiff University.
We hosted a demonstration outside Bristol’s MAC (cosmetic giants) store in support of a nationwide campaign set up in response to the company’s recent decision to sell makeup in China (and consequently begin animal experimentation). The event was featured in the University Paper.
The UK Government released its annual statistics showing 3.9 million animals were used in 2016. We launched a series of Facebook graphics showing the new figures, which were a reduction from the year before but only by 5%. This level of animal use has become ‘normalised’, which should be worrying to everyone. We called for much more critical assessment of the value of animal ‘models’ of disease, and the faster development and adoption of humane, non-animal methods.
Our Northern Coordinator hosted an info stand in Manchester at a vegan festival.
Our South West Coordinator and Creative Director hosted an info stand at the Brighton Vegan Garden Party and met Australian vegan celebrity, James Aspey.
We launched new T-shirts on our webshop.
At the end of July, our volunteers hosted a LUSH Charity Pot Party in the LUSH store in Essex where we raised around £200.
We joined local animal rights groups in the Midlands for the National Day of Action against British Heart Foundation, to raise awareness of its cruel animal research.
We hosted our first outreach event under a gazebo in Manchester with local campaigners, which enabled us to hand out hundreds of leaflets on Manchester University and our campaigning work to promote veganism and animal rights.
We offered delicious vegan cake for people to try, petitions to sign, badges for sale, and briefings on non-animal methods of research. People were shocked to find out about animal research inside Manchester University, and we look forward to carrying out more educational outreach both in the city centre and on the university campus itself.
Our volunteers organised a street collection in Essex.
We launched our fundraising page on the Animal Justice Project website to help our campaigns, and signed up two vegan runners.
The Railway Hotel in Essex put a collection tin in the pub bar and we thanked them on social media. The Ice Shack in Manchester hosted their first annual Compassion Cup and chose Animal Justice Project as a beneficiary!
Mid-September we launched a major Freshers Week campaign offering free outreach packs to local animal rights and student groups across the country. A total of 31 university campuses were covered in Freshers Week, including Brighton University, Oxford University, Kings College London, Imperial College London, University of Kent and Newcastle University. Almost 100 packs were sent out to individuals.
(Imperial College London)
Our Northern Coordinator hosts another info stand at a Manchester vegan festival.
After sustained pressure on Bristol University for more transparency on animal experiments they finally released their figures (which showed in black and white they were using cats in neuroscience experiments). We immediately contacted the media and the story was widely covered the next day.
Read more: Epigram and Bristol Post.
Our Science Advisor, Dr Andre Menache, presented a petition to the European Commission in Brussels on animal experimentation.
We sent a Freedom of Information request to find out how many monkeys were used last year inside the government warfare research lab, Porton Down (which is also subject of our Secret War campaign). We were shocked to see a huge rise, so we contacted the media and it was featured in the Daily Mirror and Mail Online the next day.
Our Science Advisor, Dr Andre Menache, talks about our campaign against Porton Down on BBC Radio.
We launched a new campaign – Cures Not Cruelty – with a new webpage, two petitions and free leaflets for local groups to highlight the huge spending by charities on cruel animal research.
We hosted stands at Vegfest London and at West Midlands Vegan Festival.
(West Mids Vegan Festival)
We organised our first Cures Not Cruelty outreach event in Birmingham where we handed out leaflets to shoppers and urged them to support non-animal research.
On Remembrance Day, we remembered the animals dying in labs for cruel warfare experiments and asked supporters to once again sign our petition to the Ministry of Defence.
One of our runners completed a 10k run!
Our Northern Coordinator hosted another info stand in Manchester.
Our research into animal experiments at Nottingham University revealed that over 25,000 animals had been used by the university, and this was featured in the Nottingham Post.
Our Senior Researcher responded to the university’s comments.
Our founder, gave an hour long presentation at an art exhibition organised and hosted by Bristol Animal Save.
We launched our clothing range on Etsy.
Bristol-based vegan food truck ‘The Spotless Leopard’ promised to display our leaflets on Bristol University throughout 2018.
Animal Justice Project organised a Cures Not Cruelty outreach event in Bristol where we spoke to shoppers and offered free vegan hot chocolate and tea.
As you can see … we had a very busy year! Together, let’s make 2018 even busier! Thank you for your support, we literally couldn’t do any of this without you.
Animal Justice Project Team.