This guide is intended to empower activists with all the necessary tools to penetrate deep inside vivisection labs. There is no magic wand involved and you don’t need to be a scientist. The only thing you need is a desire to do more for the animals, to identify vivisectors, and give their victims a voice. Without you, they will continue to be tortured to death with impunity. If you wish to start a campaign under the Eleventh Hour for Animals banner, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will work with you step-by-step to get the information you need, develop recruiting methods, tactics, and strategies. Our sole objective is to stop vivisectors in their tracks.
FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH YOUR TARGET AND LOCATE THE ANIMALS
1) The NIH Reporter database contains a wealth of information about all vivisectors across the country funded through the National Institutes of Health. Click the hyperlink and type in the name of your local university, business, or breeder at the line for “Organization;” choose “Submit Query” at the bottom of the form. This will tell you how much taxpayer money is flowing into any given institution annually. Please note: these grants cover legitimate research as well as fraudulent vivisection so one needs to be diligent in searching through this data.
2) You can also go straight to the government’s lab inspections database. The Animal Care Information Search Tool prompts you to click “Agree” and then a form will appear that allows you enter the name of your entity. For demonstration purposes, enter “University of Florida” and hit “Search.” (This tool is very slow; it’s not your computer.) This is what will appear:
By clicking the second tab, “Inspection Information,” you can see the date of the latest USDA inspection which, in our example, is July 15, 2014:
and by clicking “Details” in the left-hand margin, you can see how many animals are currently imprisoned inside your lab. Be aware that the federal Animal Welfare Act specifically excludes rats, mice, and birds (which are not considered animals by law when tortured in labs) and are not included in these numbers. It is estimated by lab techs inside UF that there are 10,000 animals enduring unconscionable experiments on any given day; however, only a handful of them are accounted for by the USDA. For this reason, it is critical to use both the NIH database and these figures to get a reasonable sense of what is happening to animals inside their windowless bunkers:
IDENTIFY THE VIVISECTORS & THE VIVISECTION STUDENTS
Armed with your information from the above-referenced government sources, you are ready to file both state-level open records requests as well as federal Freedom of Information Act requests to begin to connect the dots. Federally-funded experiments are considered “public records” and so you are entitled to begin to penetrate the labs legally.
1) It is vital to file open records requests with your targeted university or business. This letter generator provided by Student Press Law Center allows you to fill in the items you seek and other contact information and it will print out a legally-cited letter according to the state in which you are filing. You are entitled to ask for:
- protocol(s) for the experiment(s) you seek (protocols tell you in layman’s terms exactly how they intend to torture the animals, who is funding the experiment, the duration of the experiment and, most importantly, who is responsible for the immediate hands-on mutilation and who is supervising it);
- vet records and daily lab charts for the animals being harmed in the experiment (the vet records will give you a snapshot of the agony the victims endure on a daily basis, but they will also give you the names of breeders, drivers, and other individuals who are the tertiary targets for any comprehensive anti-viv initiative);
- all images and/or video that exist for the experiment.
2) Filing federal FOIAs is not essential, but this is the only way in which to get the full USDA inspection report that may illuminate certain issues in the labs or give pictures and other details about the animals. Eleventh Hour is still waiting for our FOIA for the July 15 inspection at UF to be completed, or we would share it here. iFOIA.org provides a federal letter generator that works in the same manner as the state-level one discussed above. You may register for iFOIA HERE.
PINPOINT YOUR VIVISECTOR’S ADDRESS
Go directly to the property appraisers site for your county. Since UF is in Alachua county, we can almost always identify our vivisectors through the Alachua County Property Search by Owner’s Name. And this information is available throughout the country by county.
This section is provided to encourage home demonstrations, legal creative actions, and aggressive exercising of our First Amendment rights. No vivisector tells their friends, family, and children that they saw off animals’ skull caps or sew their mouths shut for a living. That’s our job.
This guide would be incomplete without a brief discussion of welfare violations. The welfare orgs, possibly more than the vivisectors, do not want you to have access to the information contained in this article. Many would have you think that filing federal complaints with the USDA for welfare violations is an effective form of activism. Well if your objective is raking in donations while the animals die and assisting the vivisection complex in promoting the illusion that, with the exception of these welfare violations, the balance of vivisection is humane, ethical, and responsible, then, yes, this is an “effective” avenue to pursue.
The USDA exists to promote the interests of agri-abusers and vivisectors; the USDA is a client-based agency. It does not exist to ensure animal welfare. Why in the world would anyone go to the commandant to complain about the rank-file Nazis and call this effective??? At best, the USDA will give a vivisector a slap on the wrist to appease us and then they’ll go share a beer together.
In the interest of full disclosure, Eleventh Hour for Animals has filed a number of federal complaints. Our purpose in doing so is to gain access to the inspection reports that must be generated with each complaint, to gain exposure in the media, or, otherwise, disrupt operations. And there is no magic involved in filing welfare complaints either. These are the federal Animal Welfare Act sections that can be cited to file a complaint. And HERE is an example of what a federal complaint looks like. This complaint filed in February got us this headline, among others, in Florida: “UF and Michael J. Fox’s Foundation Are Torturing Monkeys, Activist Says.” While this article was a hatchet job, the title is the only thing people will remember. Shock and publicity are our friends!
And if your goal is to tear down the propaganda machine that vivisectors hide behind — federal regulations, the Animal Welfare Act, humane t0rture — then your only concern needs to be putting a face on their day-to-day atrocities. And this is how you do it. You penetrate their labs, you identify the war criminals, you identify your long-term goal, and implement the tactics that will get you there.