Grassroots Spotlight: The Northwest Animal Rights Network
The Rise for Animals Team, August 10, 2023
The Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN) is a Washington State-based animal protection group championing “the rights of all sentient beings—the right to choose, to be free from oppression and exploitation—by pursuing campaigns, facilitating education, and connecting Pacific Northwest organizations.” Among their work, NARN campaigns against animal experimentation at the University of Washington (UW).
Earlier this year, we at Rise for Animals exposed internal photos and emails detailing what is being done to the monkeys and dogs in UW’s labs. We are proud to ally and collaborate with NARN and other grassroots advocates to end animal experimentation at UW and beyond.
Below, you can hear directly from NARN about their life-saving work in the Pacific Northwest—plus, learn the many ways you can get involved to throw the cage doors open.
Would you please tell us a bit about NARN’s Animals in Labs campaign?
NARN’s Animals in Labs (AIL) campaign targets the vast testing-on-animals industrial complex, working to educate the public on the negative behind-the-scenes repercussions to nonhuman animals who are experimented on, human health and equity, wild animal populations, and the environment. Our AIL Committee works to specifically target the University of Washington’s Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) and its affiliated primate breeding facility in Arizona.
The AIL Committee is also responsible for organizing the Justice for Ricky Bobby! campaign, which commissions local artists to illustrate the true story of one pig-tailed macaque, dubbed “Ricky Bobby” by the lab, who was experimented on and killed by the WaNPRC.
What are some other anti-vivisection initiatives that NARN is pursuing?
Some other anti-testing initiatives at NARN include:
Advocating for local and federal laws and policies preventing animals from being used as test subjects.
Educating the public on the availability of alternative testing methods.
Shining light on rampant abuse often overlooked in facilities that tests on animals.
Offering support to researchers who experiment on nonhuman animals and to the caregivers of these animals; humans caught up in this complex often experience harmful mental health repercussions from trauma developed during their time working at a lab.
Researching the extent of the harm caused by faulty scientific data as a result of compromised animals who are test subjects.
Highlighting inequities in the U.S. healthcare system due to faulty scientific nonhuman animal models.
With regard to your Animals in Labs campaign, what achievements or milestones are you most proud of so far?
We’ve worked hard to cultivate a sense of community among our members and advocates who work to end the testing-on-animals industrial complex. Our AIL Committee has passionate and dedicated volunteers from a wide-range of backgrounds and disciplines who all can target different issues within the complex. Together, we’ve launched monthly demos at the University of Washington that reach thousands of people a year. We expect our reach to become even more broad once the full Justice for Ricky Bobby! illustrated story is published. We also pressure WaNPRC directly by commenting and spreading the word about its monthly Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) meeting, which is open to public comment. IACUC is supposed to be the oversight committee that protects animals who are experimented on, however, it operates as a rubber stamp for research experiments, opting to approve all studies regardless of any Animal Welfare Act violations or the extent of pain a nonhuman animal will receive while being experimented on. We’ve compiled a list documenting the extent of abuse allowed by IACUC in 2022.
We are also working on developing a tool with Rise for Animals that works to educate the public on how to look up experiments conducted on nonhuman animals, determine where the funding is coming from, and to what extent animals were harmed so that people can conduct their own advocacy, armed with facts.
How can people who live locally best support NARN’s Animals in Labs campaign?
How can people who do not live locally best support NARN’s Animals in Labs campaign?
Anyone can get involved with our work. Our AIL Committee is conducted via Zoom, and remote participation is encouraged! We want to work with anyone interested in engaging with this issue. Remote volunteering on our education initiatives, writing blog posts on this topic for our website, following and sharing our socials (Facebook and Instagram), signing up for our newsletter, and launching initiatives in their local areas are excellent ways to get involved with us.
Please reach out to us at email@example.com to get involved!
Rise for Animals is proud to work alongside NARN in the quest to end the use of animals exploited in research and testing. Right now, will you take one minute to raise your voice in opposition to animal experiments at UW? The more people who take action, the louder our collective voice becomes. Widespread action—including yours—is imperative in order to end animal experimentation in our lifetime. Thank you.