Created by on 6/19/2012 12:00:00 AM

On June 11th-12th, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) hosted an international summit to explore ways to prevent and mitigate acts of animal rights extremism against the biomedical community. Researchers, university officials, laboratory veterinarians, media relations and communications experts, security and law enforcement specialists, industry representatives, and government officials came together with the goal of improving the climate for animal research by sharing experiences and best practices for addressing the threat of animal rights extremism directed at the scientific community.
On day one of the summit, attendees from the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, India, and the Netherlands discussed personal experiences with acts of extremism, received an update on current tactics of animal rights groups, gained perspective on the threat imposed by extremists internationally, and learned of ways groups are currently engaging the public about the importance of animal research. Panel discussions on how to use legal and regulatory outlets to protect against extremism and what individuals and organizations can do to prepare against extremism followed on day two. These presentations and discussions set the stage for the culminating event: three breakout sessions in which participants were asked to identify recommendations to prevent, prepare for, and mitigate animal rights extremism. The breakouts focused on ways to better engage the public on the benefits of animal research, how to optimize internal and external communication strategies, and actions individuals and organizations can take to prepare for threats and/or acts of animal rights extremism.
FASEB is now focused on developing a guidance document describing the major recommendations that emerged from the meeting. The summit was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Covance Research Products, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International.