Vivisectionists are to promote their 'special relationship' with
animals in an attempt to gain better coverage of their work.
The Institute of Animal Technology, which represents animal technicians,
has created a media communications office, the 37-year-old body's first
foray into PR.
The office is tasked with driving through a campaign that will promote
human interest stories of the relationship between vivisectionists and
This is the first time this focus has been attempted. Previous campaigns
by the pro-vivisection lobby have focused on medical benefits. The
office will also rebut accusations of cruelty.
The PR initiative was set up following consultation with its 2,000
members, who felt technicians are the best placed people to promote
The office is staffed by two PROs Karen Gardner and Nicky Erskine and
five technicians on hand to give comment and interviews.
Gardner said: 'Our members care about animals and have a special
relationship with them, that's why they do their work. Issues such as
the medical benefits have been well publicised and done well. What we
want to do is something different.'
The media office is initially targeting health and science
professionals, which the IAT says are sectors still with unease towards
animal technicians work.
The service will then roll out to the mainstream media. Gardner says
talks are taking place with two as yet unnamed broadsheet newspapers, to
run features over the next month.
Tim Phillips, director of the National Anti Vivisection Society,
condemned the IAT PR strategy: 'I don't think people will believe it, in
the same way that no-one would believe that a slaughter man has a loving
bond with animals.'
Last month pro-vivisection lobbyists The Research Defence Society
launched its campaign to highlight cases of seriously ill people whose
lives have been helped by experiments on animals.