SCI European Advocacy

EU-FlagSCI Government Affairs Director Chip Burkhalter and Director of Litigation Anna Seidman recently attended a meeting in Brussels, Belgium of a new organization composed of a variety of groups representing European-based animal user interests. Members of the group include European hunting organizations, pet trade organizations, circuses, zoos, farming associations, cosmetic/medical laboratories, fur trade companies, and others. The group’s purpose is to find effective methods to collaborate in the battle against animal rights groups’ efforts to ban all forms of animal use activities.

During the day-long meeting, attendees shared personal experiences in confronting animal rights groups and the propaganda designed to demonize animal use activities. Members expressed frustration with the access animal rights groups are gaining to policy makers and the techniques they employ to delude the public into rejecting animal-use based activities.

At the November 10, 2015 meeting, the group focused on a case study concerning the campaign, starting in the 1970’s, to ban the harvest of seals. That campaign, much like recent attacks on trophy hunting, focused on emotion, rather than scientific fact, to persuade policy makers and the general public to oppose this legitimate and sustainable practice. The group studied the lessons learned from the seal campaign for use in their ongoing fight against those who oppose activities that involve animal use.

SCI’s representatives engaged in group discussions and offered suggestions, from their experiences in the United States, as to how the group could work together to strengthen their individual voices in Europe. At the close of the meeting, the attendees agreed to share information and to seek each other’s input and participation on advocacy efforts throughout Europe. SCI will continue to participate in this group, through our Government Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. This is one of many efforts SCI is currently employing to strengthen our role in international hunting advocacy.



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