"Society is ready for animal rights." This was the message of Jim Mason, who spoke at the World Day for Animals rally held Saturday at Boston Common.
Speaking before a crowd of about 300, Mason, co-author of the book "Animal Factories," said concerned individuals should actively participate in preventing cruelty to animals.
The Coalition to End Aminal Suffering in Experiments (CEASE) sponsored the rally, which brought together several lobbying organizations trying to prevent cruelty to animals.
Sylvia Vitale, a spokesman for CEASE, said Saturday the lobby had been fragmented in the past, so CEASE decided to unite the groups.
Nancy Payton, analyst for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals spoke in favor of the repeal of the pound seizure law.
Payton said Massachusetts is one of the few states allowing researchers to requisition animals from a local pound. They pay as little as $1.50 per cet and $3 per dog. Payton added that the lab animals are grossly mistreated.
A spokesman at the Animal Labs of the Medical School said Friday Harvard spends "lots of money" taking care of the animals in the labs. In response to charges that lab animals are neglected, he said workers are at the lab 365 days a year.
Groups represented at the rally yesterday included those in favor of banning the use of leghold traps--a common method of maiming animals used by the fur industry; restricting factory farming--the "cruel" method of breeding animals for the meat industry; and prohibiting cosemetics companies from administering the Draize eye test, used to determine toxicity in cosemetics.
Revlon, a leading cosemetics company used the Draize test on 2692 rabbits last year. Revlon admitted to not using any pain reliever before or after administering the test--which can cause blindness in rabbits, according to a CEASE report.
Jessica Kespohl, a CEASE representative, said "Scientists disagree on the validity (of these test)."
She added that CEASE would like to see stronger regulations enforced within universities and industries, and by the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation, two groups which fund many research projects.