Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

Activists Uniting For The Benefit of Animals

As predicted UBC claims threats to deflect attention from real issue

As predicted, UBC now claims threats have been made to UBC researchers (see article below). This is standard operating procedure used by research facilities to deflect attention away from the real issue – the systematic experimentation on animals.

The university’s claims in the article below, and a recent internal email, clearly show UBC is worried about our efforts. After all, we have managed to generate dozens of media stories about UBC’s animal research in a just a couple of months. We are a highly effective, well organized campaign for which UBC seems utterly unprepared. They simply are not used to being scrutinized so heavily. It is no surprise, then, that UBC is playing the fear card. As you know, our efforts have been professional, open, and entirely legal.

Please know that my quotes in the article below were made to clarify that our campaign does not participate in covert activities. I have no position on actions taken by other organizations or movements. I do, however, strongly condemn any threats of physical violence toward an individual and believe our campaign must quickly denounce any threats to a person if such threats are made. Our mission statement is clear: we employ peaceful, compassionate, and legal approaches.

IMPORTANT: Email is not secure so do not respond with any comments that could in any way be misconstrued. Again, I emphasize our organization employs peaceful, compassionate, and legal approaches.


Researchers become increasingly concerned over animal activists

VP Research claims one scientist has been threatened in her home

By Arshy Mann



A university-wide email—and the removal of rocks around Kenny—are both a part of UBC’s response to the surge of interest around their animal research program.

On Monday, UBC VP Research John Hepburn sent out a broadcast email to all UBC students, faculty and staff, defending the university against “misleading information” that they believe is being spread by STOP UBC Animal Research (STOP).

“A group of activists is campaigning to end animal research at UBC by distributing misleading information in an attempt to recruit people to their cause,” the email said. “They have succeeded in gaining some media attention and we expect to see more.

“Animal activists use shock tactics in an effort to gain public sympathy via news media. In other parts of the world, such sensationalist tactics have escalated to violence against researchers, and in North Vancouver earlier this month a group called the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) resorted to acts of vandalism against an individual in the fur trade.”

Hepburn was referring to Eugene Klein, the operator of Capilano Furs, whose home was vandalized on Thanksgiving Sunday. His house was tarred and his son’s girlfriend’s tires were slashed. The ALF, a self-described ‘animal liberation’ group that uses illegal tactics that include vandalism and arson, took credit for the attack on their website.

Brian Vincent, the spokesperson for STOP, said that it was unfair for the university to associate his group with the ALF.

“Why throw that out there? Clearly it’s to whip up hysteria. He paints a broad brush that all animal advocates are this way,” Vincent said. “And for him to imply that we are associated with those kinds of activities is flat wrong.

“However, I think [the email] shows the effectiveness of our campaign. If UBC didn’t take us seriously and didn’t think we were tarnishing the university’s reputation, they wouldn’t be sending out an email.”

Hepburn told The Ubyssey that the email was sent out in response to “researchers [who] were getting concerned that UBC wasn’t defending them.”

In addition, Hepburn said that he knows of at least one UBC neuroscientist who has been threatened, although he only found out about the incident after the broadcast email had been sent out.

“The context of the call is important: this particular incident was a late-night ‘we know where you live’ call from an unidentifiable harasser, not a professional inquiry during office hours,” said Hepburn.

He went on to say that “It occurred after the STOP campaign was publicly underway,” and that “a concern is that STOP’s activities, while legitimate to date, will incite people capable of illegal activities.”

Vincent, however, did not entirely trust Hepburn’s claim that a professor was threatened.

“I don’t know if that’s true,” he said. “This is a very common tactic that universities use to deflect attention away from the real issue. And the real issue is that UBC is using taxpayer dollars to conduct experiments on animals behind closed doors with little public scrutiny.

“[However] if someone did make such a call, I certainly would condemn that.”

Hepburn’s broadcast email appears to reflect a newfound fear throughout parts of the research community at UBC.

In an internal departmental email obtained by The Ubyssey, Gary MacIsaac, the director of IT services for the psychology department, told faculty and students to keep objects away from the Douglas Kenny Building, for fear they could be used to vandalize it.

“A large rock has been sitting by the NE rear door of the building. With some of the issues around campus it’s been suggested we not leave rocks around where they can be pitched through windows or jam doors open after hours. So this rock will disappear…preferably not to be replaced by another.“

-With files from Fabrizio Stendardo

Stop UBC Animal Research is a community grassroots campaign that employs peaceful, legal, and compassionate approaches to educate the public about the grim realities of research on animals at the University of British Columbia and to ultimately bring about an end to research on animals at UBC. Please visit our website at:



Filed under: Articles, Updates, , , , , , , ,

Shame on Aritzia


They have been fur free for a while now, bragging about how no fuzzy animals are harmed for their clothing, blah, blah, blah…(“Rest assured, none of your favourite animals (or even the ones you don’t like) were harmed to make the faux fur collar on this recycled wool coat.”)
But this winter they have brought in racoon dog fur from China!! (see attached pic)

Please email them and let them know what you think about people who sell fur from animals who were skinned alive on horrible Chinese fur farms!!

Here are their contacts:,

Thank you for your efforts!!


Please note:
This alert is not meant to incite any illegal activities and all the information in this message is for legal use only. We don’t take responsibility for other people’s actions no matter how much they make us smile. Thanks for your support.

Filed under: Blogging, Letters

Stop UBC at Vancouver Art Gallery

Stop UBC Animal Research’s Nearly Naked, Peta Supported Event on October 24th outside the Vancouver Art Gallery

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gathered media from all of Vancouver to cover the theatrical themed demo, bringing attention to the 100 000 animals used in animal research yearly at UBC. (approximately 2 minutes) (approximately 4 minutes)

Filed under: Articles, Demo's, Follow Ups, Radio Show, , , , , , , ,

Listen Today to Stop UBC Animal Research on CBC’s “On The Coast”

Stop UBC Animal Research will be on CBC’s “On the Coast” radio today. “On the Coast” starts at 3PM. I believe we are on at 4:40. You can listen at 690 AM or go the following to listen live online:

Filed under: Radio Show

Nearly Naked Body Painted Activists for Stop UBC


Nearly naked body painted activists to urge UBC to end animal research
Stop UBC Animal Research teams up with PETA to expose UBC

Braving predicted cool temperatures and rain, a menagerie of animal advocates – whose nearly nude bodies will be painted to resemble cats, monkeys, mice, and other animals used in research at the University of British Columbia – will gather Sunday at the Vancouver Art Gallery to expose UBC’s experiments on animals. The Vancouver-based Stop UBC Animal Research teams up with the world’s leading animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), to stage a mock UBC research lab where activists role playing as “researchers” will conduct “experiments” on the activist “animals.”

WHO: Stop UBC Animal Research and PETA

WHEN: Sunday, October 24, 12:30 PM

WHERE: Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street (Georgia Street side)

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Please arrive at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 10:30 to assist with set up. Help will also be needed to pack up after the event. IMPORTANT: We still need someone with a high-quality video camera to tape the event. If you can assist, please contact Brian at 604-551-3324 or email him at

*Respectful, tasteful, hand-made signs with slogans like “UBC, stop using my tax dollars to experiment on animals,” “Research on animals isn’t science. It’s cruelty” “Animal research is bad science,” “Stop UBC Animal Research.”

*Umbrellas since the forecast calls for rain. Remember the slight discomfort we may feel in the rain is nothing compared to what the animals endure at UBC.

*Wear your Stop UBC Animal Research T-shirt. If you don’t have one, you can purchase one from our campaign. Cost: $20.


WHY: UBC has an extensive animal research program. Every year, the university conducts thousands of research projects involving animals, including on cats, mice, monkeys, pigs, rabbits, and other animals. Many of those experiments employ extremely painful and ultimately, lethal procedures. Nearly all of the research is conducted with little public knowledge or scrutiny. One UBC researcher, for example, has experimented on cats for 30 years. In 2008, he received a five-year, federally funded grant for continued animal research. In his papers, the researcher described how he had cut open the backs of cats to expose their vertebrae, inserted titanium screws into the cats’ spinal columns to inhibit movement, and built restraint chambers around the cats’ exposed vertebra to give researchers access to the cats’ spinal columns and to fix the animals in a sitting position for recording sessions. Other UBC researchers have conducted experiments on and off campus in which they have: repeatedly poured saline solution into newborn piglets’ lungs to induce respiratory failure; captured wild songbirds in mist nets; withdrew their blood then decapitated the birds; continuously exposed mice to cigarette smoke in emphysema research; blinded monkeys in vision deprivation studies.

For more information visit

Filed under: Alerts, Demo's, , , , , , , ,

Heartwarming story of rescuing a horse in Richelieu

Listed  below is media coverage of protests held across Canada plus a you tube video of a collection of photos and clips from protests across Canada.

At our protest in Massueville at the Richelieu slaughterhouse, the protesters were met by a man who wanted to bring his horse to slaughter. He had to come talk with us as we were blocking the entrance, and upon learning his intentions we pleaded with him to give us the horse. He was very stubborn and finally called us days later saying he would sell us the horse for more than he would make at slaughter. Funds were raised and the horse was rescued, underwent his necessary surgery, and is now at a foster home waiting for his forever home. His name is now Joe, he is a stallion so his owner kept him in a stall most of his life. Not only will he not have to suffer the horrors of the slaughterhouse, he has freedom. He will get to experience the joys of running, playing and the sun on his coat. Thank you so much to everyone across Canada who worked so hard to pull the demonstrations together. We’ve not only made national headlines that will definitely help stop the slaughter, and we’ve also saved a life! Thank you! I have attached photos of Joe.

Emily Lavender

Short Youtube made of protests:

TV Coverage – click on October 4


Newspaper Coverage:–horse-lovers-demonstrate-across-canada-with-bulletholes-on-their-head–horse-lovers-demonstrate-across-canada-with-bulletholes-painted-into-their-heads—World/Arts/2010-10-04/article-1819715/Horse-lovers-demonstrate-across-Canada-with-bulletholes-painted-into-their-heads/1–horse-lovers-demonstrate-across-canada-with-bulletholes-painted-into-their-heads–horse-lovers-protest-with-bulletholes-in-head

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Filed under: Follow Ups, , , , , , , ,

Victory at Fairmont Hotel on to Banff


So the Snowflake location at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is NOW EMPTY after 17 years of leasing space there!  If you live in the area you may have seen the brown paper lining the windows, VICTORY!  Thank you so much to everyone who attended the demos and sent emails!!!  Emails are a HUGE part of the campaign, and we are so greatful for those of you who followed our email alerts!!!

We are now moving on to the next Snowflake target!  MIRIAM JOY in Banff!!
We know that their lease is up less than 2 years from now, and we want them evicted!!

PLEASE EMAIL THEIR LANDLORDS AND ASK THEM TO EVICT MIRIUM JOY!!  Please forward this to as many activists as possible, the more emails the better!!  Let them know what you think of the fur trade and anyone who supports it!  We all know how easy it would be to fill retail space in a resort town like Banff, plenty of companies would jump at their spot who DON’T support animal cruelty!;

Thank you so much for your efforts!!

Vancouver Animal Defense League

Please note:
This alert is not meant to incite any illegal activities and all the information in this message is for legal use only. We don’t take responsibility for other people’s actions no matter how much they make us smile. Thanks for your support.

Filed under: Letters

Stop UBC For Immediate Release





VANCOUVER (OCTOBER 11, 2010) – Today, sixty animal advocacy groups from across Canada, the US, and Europe called on the University of British Columbia (UBC) to fully disclose information about its animal research programs. In a letter to UBC, the organizations – led by Stop UBC Animal Research and including UBC student groups, People for the Ethical Treatment of AnimalsNational Anti-Vivisection Society, Animal Alliance of CanadaAnimal Defenders International, Born Free USAIn Defense of AnimalsInternational Network for Humane EducationLiberation BC, and Vancouver Humane Society, among others – urged UBC to provide details about its animal research, such as the numbers and species of animals used at UBC, research protocols, research grants, assessments of UBC’s research, any reports of UBC non-compliance of animal care guidelines, and photo and video documentation of animal experiments. The groups wrote “UBC’s lack of transparency to date has given the impression it does not want the public to see what researchers are doing to animals behind closed doors.”


“UBC must lift its veil of secrecy surrounding animal research,” said Brian Vincent, spokesman for Stop UBC Animal Research. “Since much of UBC’s animal research is funded by taxpayers, the public has a right to know what the university is doing to animals with public money.”


In their letter, the organizations expressed frustration that specifics about UBC’s animal research programs are hidden from the public. The groups wrote, “While published studies can be found on sites such as PubMed, information about UBC’s research, such as key data (e.g. numbers and species of animals used), veterinary and necropsy reports, and photos and video, has not been made available. UBC’s website, and both the Animal Care Centre and Animal Care Committee sites, provide little useful or detailed information about animal research. Furthermore, Canadian Council on Animal Care assessments of UBC’s research and reports of non-compliance are confidential, which means the public has no way of knowing if the university has violated animal care standards.” The groups noted that other countries have a far more transparent system. In the US, for instance, the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Agriculture post comprehensive information about animal experiments online, allowing for public scrutiny of university research.


“It’s time for animal experimentation at UBC to come out of the closet,” said Debra Probert, Executive Director of the Vancouver Humane Society. “Society has a right and an obligation to make informed decisions about how far scientists ought to be able to go when using animals in research. With the limited and cryptic information that is presently available to the public, this is impossible.”



“Why is UBC so defensive about their animal research?”asked Liz White, Director of the Animal Alliance of Canada. “What have they got to hide?  And why is the Canadian Council on Animal Care supporting the university’s lack of disclosure? Maybe the university is in compliance with CCAC requirements and maybe it is not,” White continued. “We have no way of knowing. Yet, approximately 100,000 animals are subjected to experimentation with oversight from UBC’s Animal Care Committee comprised of a majority members with interests in animal research and the CCAC, an agency whose governing body is made up of 25 organizations, 24 of which either conduct or fund animal research. The entire system is a closed shop. The University must open up its laboratory doors and its books to allow for full public disclosure. Only then will we really know what happens to the animals at UBC.”



UBC is one of the largest bio-medical campuses in Canada. Each year, UBC conducts thousands of experiments involving animals, including on cats, pigs, mice, rabbits, rats, non-human primates, and other animals.





Brian Vincent, Stop UBC Animal Research, 604-551-3324,






Action for Animals * Action for Animals Network * All Creatures * Animal Advocates Society of BC * Animal Aid * Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada * Animal Alliance of Canada * Animal Concern * Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society of BC * Animal Defenders International * Animal Emancipation of San Luis Obispo County * Animal Liberties * Animal Protection of New Mexico * Animal Protection Voters of New Mexico * Animal Rights Action Network * Animal Switchboard * Animal Voices Vancouver * The Aniplant Project * Animal Rights Coalition (ARC) * ARK II – The Animal Rights Kollective * Born Free USA * C.A.R.E (Calgary Animal Rights Effort) * Campaigns Against the Cruelty to Animals * Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals * Canadian Marine Environment Protection Society * Canadian Voice for Animals Foundation * Canadians For Animal Welfare Reform * Coalition For No Whales In Captivity * CAWES (Coast Animal Welfare & Education Society) * Compassion for Animals * Empty Cages Collective * The Ferret Aid Society * Frogs are Cool * Hearts On Noses Sanctuary * Humane South Asians * In Defense of Animals * International Network for Humane Education * International Year of the Tiger Foundation – Victoria, BC Chapter * Katie’s Place Animal Shelter * Kwantlen Polytechnic University Animal Rights Collective * Last Chance for Animals * Liberation BC * Massachusetts Progressive Animal Watchdog Society * The Missy Foundation * National Anti-Vivisection Society * Northwest Animal Rights Network * Pacific Animal Foundation * People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals * Rabbit Advocacy Group of BC * Second Chances Dog Rescue * Stop Animal Experimentation at University of Toronto * Stop Animal Exploitation NOW * Stop UBC Animal Research * Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at McGill * Student Animal Legal Defence Fund – University of Toronto Chapter  * TRACS (The Responsible Animal Care) * UBC Social Justice Centre * UBC Veggie Club * Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns * Vancouver Humane Society * Vancouver Island Animal Defense League * Win Animal Rights


Filed under: Articles

Stop UBC Animal Research Goes National

As you are aware, yesterday we released a letter to media that was signed by sixty animal advocacy organizations urging UBC to disclose information about its animal research. The letter, which Stop UBC Animal Research coordinated, has received widespread news coverage, some of which I have included below. Special thanks to Vancouver Humane Society and Animal Alliance of Canada for issuing statements about the letter and to all those organizations that signed on.

Our story has gone national.



Group demands UBC lift ‘veil of secrecy’ around animal testing (Vancouver Sun)

UBC animal experimentation questioned in letter (Canadian Press wire service. Story ran widely in newspapers across Canada, on CBC, Macleans on campus, other news outlets)

Animal-advocacy groups call on UBC to disclose animal-research activities. ‘What have they got to hide?’ activists ask (Vancouver Sun wire story. Ran across papers in Canada)

Drop veil of secrecy, UBC. Public has right to know, activists say (The Province)
The story has also been picked up by a number of blogs. including AlbinoMouse, a blog published specifically about animal research at UBC. Very interested read. Today’s blog story: Increased scurtiny, media attention on UBC research

Also, CBC radio national (out of Toronto) just called. They will be doing a story Canada-wide.


Filed under: Articles

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Stop UBC Animal Research Campaign at Vancouver Art Gallery

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