David Hancocks, a former director and architect of zoos in the United States and Australia, is skeptical of the conservation benefits often claimed by zoos. While many zoos tout breeding as a success story, Hancocks sees it as "merely basic zoo business: zoos must breed their animals to preserve their collections. Hardly any animals born in zoos are introduced to the wild." Despite this, he wrote in an opinion column, "They nonetheless loudly position themselves as leaders in wildlife conservation.
A private investigation company, Thompson & Clark Investigations, employed agents to infiltrate environmental, peace and animal rights groups in New Zealand, investigative journalist Nicky Hager has revealed.
Global PR firm GolinHarris has unveiled a range of new "practices and products," including one it has dubbed "Engage: Activist Issues Management." The firm explains, "In response to the growing influence of NGOs, GolinHarris has formalized its approach to leverage and deflect the influence of activists on issues ranging from the environment to animal welfare." In
"A remorseless rapist in Hamilton County, Ohio is sentenced to 15 years in prison for beating and raping a 57-year-old woman," writes Kelly Hearn. "An environmental activist in California is sentenced to 22 years and 8 months for burning three SUVs at a car dealership after taking precautions to harm no lives.
Two members of the animal welfare committee of Yum Brands Inc, KFC's parent company, resigned after being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement which would have required them to refer all media inquiries to KFC's corporate headquarters. Over the last three years Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University and Dr. Ian Duncan of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, have advised KFC on improving animal welfare standards. Both objected to the proposed agreement as amounting to censorship.
"Under the draconian conditions of the USA Patriot Act," reports the Guardian, "the FBI can use covert surveillance of 'terrorists' without the necessity of getting a judicial warrant." Last year, the FBI identified "animal rights extremists and eco-terrorism" as "a domestic terrorism investigative priority," concerning even mainstream environmental groups.
"One of the most compelling speakers at the recent Biotechnology Industry Organization conference ... wasn't a researcher or a venture capitalist, but a representative of a special agency with the FBI," Paul Holmes writes for PR Week.