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Logo of Advocates for Animals.
Animal rights
Olive baboon1.jpg

Notable activists
Greg Avery · David Barbarash
Mel Broughton · Rod Coronado
Barry Horne · Ronnie Lee
Keith Mann · Ingrid Newkirk
Heather Nicholson · Jill Phipps
Henry Spira · Andrew Tyler
Jerry Vlasak · Paul Watson · Robin Webb

Notable writers
Carol Adams · Jeremy Bentham
Steven Best · Stephen Clark
Gary Francione · Gill Langley
Mary Midgley · Tom Regan
Bernard Rollin · Richard Ryder
Henry Salt · Peter Singer ·
Steven Wise · Roger Yates

Notable groups/campaigns
List of animal rights groups
Animal Aid · ALDF · ALF · BUAV
GAP · Hunt Saboteurs · PETA · PCRM
Sea Shepherd · SPEAK · SHAC

Animal liberation movement
Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act
Animal law · Animal testing
Bile bear · Blood sport
Covance · Draize test
Factory farming · Fur trade
Great Ape research ban · HLS
Lab animal sources · LD50
Meat · Nafovanny · Open rescue
Operation Backfire · Primate trade
Seal hunting · Speciesism

Britches · Brown Dog affair
Cambridge · Pit of despair
Silver Spring monkeys
Unnecessary Fuss

Animal rights films
Behind the Mask · Earthlings
The Animals Film
Peaceable Kingdom · Unnecessary Fuss

Books and magazines
Animal rights books
Animal rights magazines
Animal Liberation
Arkangel · Bite Back
No Compromise

Related categories
ALF · Animal testing
Animal law · Animal rights
AR movement
Livestock · Meat

Related templates
Agriculture · Animal testing

Advocates for Animals is an Edinburgh based animal protection organization, that campaigns against all animal use including farming, the fur trade, bloodsports, captive and performing animals, and the use of animals in research.[1][2] Advocates for Animals in its current form was established in 1990. The organisation was previously known as the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Vivisection, which was founded in 1911 by Nina Douglas-Hamilton, wife of the 13th Duke of Hamilton. The current, 15th Duke and Duchess remain active in the organisation.[3] The group is currently run by Chief Executive Officer, Fiona Ogg.[2]



Advocates for Animals "promotes the protection of animals through investigations, high profile [news media] campaigns, political lobbying and public education."[2] They maintain a large media database of animal-related images and videos, provide spokespeople for comments and quotes on animal-related issues, aim to be a research hub for issues surrounding animal welfare, and promote animal-friendly lifestyle choices, such as vegetarianism.[4]

In 2006 the group criticised the Scottish Executive for "putting out a mixed message" on livestock management techniques. A spokesperson for Advocates for Animals described techniques such as castration, branding and declawing as "painful mutilations" and urged the Executive to review whether these should be permitted.[5] Earlier that month, Advocates for Animals had called for the Duke of Argyll and Chivas Regal to end their involvement with the annual World Elephant Polo Tournament, a sport they described as "exploiting animals." Chivas defended their sponsorship of the event, arguing the elephants "are well treated and have responsible owners." [6]

Moderate stance

Advocates for Animals adopts a pragmatic stance on animal welfare issues, choosing to engage with legislators and those involved in animal experimentation to further their cause. They were one of a few anti-vivisection groups to contribute to the formation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Former director, Lew Ward described it as "one of the better laws" in comparison to other countries' legislation, while acknowledging that "most scientists in the UK, were they not to have the protection of the 1986 Act, would find themselves in a court of law for cruelty to animals." [7] Ward also served on the Animal Procedures Committee, a statutory requirement of the act.

In 1991 the group released a critique of primate experiments in the UK, leading to the laboratories mentioned in the report being firebombed by extreme animal liberationists. In response the group restricted the release of a follow up report in 1992, urging editors to use "discretion by not identifying the laboratories or scientists concerned." [8]

In 1992, after a television debate, Advocates for Animals' director Les Ward and Colin Blakemore, a strong advocate of animal experimentation, formed the Boyd Group a bipartisan forum to discuss issues relating to animal experimentation.[9] Advocates for Animals claims this approach led to a joint effort by the scientific and animal welfare communities to ban the testing of cosmetics of animals.[7]

The group's moderate stance has drawn criticism from within the animal rights community. The National Anti-Vivisection Society described the Boyd Group as a "public relations exercise" [10] and British Anti-Vivisection Association described Ward's engagement with Blakemore as "trading the very premise by which the genuine [anti-vivisection] movement exists, in return for an end to cosmetic testing." [11] Ward justified his position, telling Nature, "I want to see the total end of animal experimentation, but I am not stupid enough to think that it is going to happen overnight." [12]

Ward has since withdrawn from the Boyd Group, believing it had become "stalemated", but in 2006 continued to defend its usefulness, calling it "one of the few places where moderate activists and moderate scientists sat down and talked things over." [12]

Jane Goodall

The primatologist, Jane Goodall was the president of Advocates for Animals from 1998 until 2008.[13] In May of that year, she described Edinburgh Zoo's new primate enclosure as a "wonderful facility" where monkeys are "are probably better off [than] living in the wild in an area like Budongo, where one in six gets caught in a wire snare, and countries like Congo, where chimpanzees, monkeys and gorillas are shot for food commercially." [14] This is in conflict with Advocates for Animals' position on captive animals, who stated "She's entitled to her opinion, but our position isn't going to change. We oppose the keeping of animals in captivity for entertainment." [15] In June 2008 Goodall confirmed that she had resigned the presidency of the organisation, citing her busy schedule and explaining, "I just don't have time for them." [13]


In October 2009, Advocates for Animals launched its OneKind campaign. They commissioned research which revealed that 91% of people believe that animals are capable of feeling, so the new campaign asks that in recognition of this, humans change the way they live alongside other animals. Celebrities such as Alesha Dixon, Paul O Grady and Johnny Vegas have supported the campaign and adverts showing their faces alongside those of animals featured in the Scottish press during October and November 2009.


Advocates for Animals have published papers on a wide variety of animal-related topics,[16] including:

  • Seal shooting in Scotland (2009)
  • Sheep welfare in Scotland (2004)
  • An inquiry into the welfare of ducks and geese kept for the production of foie gras (2000)
  • A report on the use of electric shock collars for dogs (2006)
  • A report examining pedigree breeding (2006)
  • A report which summarises the scientific evidence on the tail docking of dogs and supports Advocates for Animals' call for legislation to end this practice in Scotland (2005)
  • An investigation into Glasgow Zoo (2002)
  • A report that looks at a wide range of scientific research about cephalopods and decapod crustaceans' potential to experience pain and suffering (2005)


  1. ^ Intute Health and Life Sciences. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  2. ^ a b c Advocates for Animals:About Us. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  3. ^ Catherine Lyst. A noble fight for animal rights. BBC News, 23 January 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  4. ^ Advocates for Animals:Press Office. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  5. ^ Fordyce Maxwell. Mutilation or just management? The Scotsman, 7 December 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  6. ^ Call to end elephant polo links. BBC News, 2 December 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2006.
  7. ^ a b Minutes of Evidence, Question 1384. Select Committee on Animals In Scientific Procedures, March 12, 2002. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
  8. ^ Animal campaigners pinpoint 'trivial experiments'. New Scientist, Issue 1807, February 8, 1992. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
  9. ^ Kenneth Boyd. Bringing both sides together. Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 1999; 8:43-5. PMID 9924617
  10. ^ Minutes of Evidence, Question 1362. Select Committee on Animals In Scientific Procedures, March 12, 2002. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
  11. ^ The Enemy Within. The New Abolitionist, Summer 1997, No. 11. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
  12. ^ a b Emma Marris. Animal research: Grey Matters. Nature, 13 December 2006. Retrieved December 23, 2006.
  13. ^ a b Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, Defending captivity. Science, Vol. 320. no. 5881, p. 1269, June 6, 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  14. ^ Mike Wade, Zoos are best hope, says Jane Goodall. The Times, May 20, 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  15. ^ Tim Walker, Is Jane Goodall about to lose her post?, The Daily Telegraph, May 23, 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
  16. ^ Articles Database. Retrieved 14 December 2006.

External links



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