Argument: Animal rights groups have misled public about animal testing
- "Rights group misled public over animal testing, watchdog says ",By Alok Jha, science correspondent, The Guardian, Wednesday March 22 2006 "The world's largest animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for misrepresenting the science behind animal experiments and unfairly denigrating scientists who use animals in their work.
- The ASA upheld five complaints by a pro-vivisection group, the Research Defence Society, about a leaflet issued by Peta, which featured "facts" on animal experiments and invited readers to fill in a questionnaire and donate money to the organisation.
- The RDS challenged claims that "nearly 3 million sensitive animals - monkeys, rabbits, mice and others - are killed in the UK each year in painful experiments" and that "animal experiments are crude and unreliable".
- The ASA noted that laboratory animals might suffer from stress during experiments and that, while Peta had demonstrated that nearly 3 million animals had died last year in experiments, "they had not submitted evidence to demonstrate that nearly 3 million animals died as a result of painful experiments". It instructed Peta not to repeat the claims and now requires Peta to rewrite its leaflets.
- On the issue of science, the ASA said that although Peta had shown evidence of a difference between human and animal physiologies, "the implication that physiological differences rendered the results of animal experiments crude or inapplicable to humans was misleading".
- Simon Festing, director of the RDS, said: "This ruling demonstrates how animal rights activists attempt to raise funds through deceiving the public about the medical benefits of animal research. With a budget of over $28m [about £16m], we would have thought Peta could afford to check their facts from time to time."