Fishery Scientists Speak out on the Issue of Animal Rights

By Mueller, Gene | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 13, 1996 | Go to article overview

Fishery Scientists Speak out on the Issue of Animal Rights


Mueller, Gene, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The fisheries side of the scientific community is weighing in on the touchy subject of animal rights and, wonder of wonders, it doesn't mince words. I say that because biologists occasionally speak in a long, drawn-out style that can be compared with asking someone for the time of day only to be told in 10,000 words or more how to build a clock.

Yet here is the Bethesda-based American Fisheries Society (AFS) - an international non-profit organization of fishing professionals (70 percent of the membership consists of state and federal government biologists) - with a draft policy statement concerning the animal rights movement and how it might affect the orderly work performance of fisheries biologists. It wastes little time scoring a point or two.

In the February issue of Fisheries, the official monthly journal of the AFS, Joseph F. Webb and Donald C. Jackson provide an "Issue Definition" that begins, "Individual animal `rights' advocates and organizations have objectives that differ greatly from, and are at odds with, the objectives of the American Fisheries Society. [Our objectives] are to promote the conservation, development and wise use of fisheries. Philosophies holding that animals are not to be used by humans and that wildlife (including fish) should not be managed, are increasingly affecting fish and wildlife population management . . .

"When public policy issues affecting fish management arise, animal rights advocates oppose the consumptive uses of fish as well as the management of fishery resources and their habitats. Opposition to consumptive use of fish and wildlife has been blocked both by lawful and unlawful interference. Sophisticated tactics are used to delay management of fish and wildlife populations."

What the American Fisheries Society refers to here is the various methods used by the animal religionists, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Humane Society of the U.S., the Friends of Animals, and other far-out groups that are tiny in number but gargantuan in the vocal department. These animal worshippers would dictate to the scientific community what it should and should not do, but happily they haven't gotten very far in that regard. …

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