By: Staff  Date: 12/7/2004 Category: | From the Offices of NAIA |

The National Animal Interest Alliance is a nationwide educational organization committed to supporting the human-animal bond and promoting animal welfare. According to their brochure, "NAIA is a moderate organization that works with all legal animal industries, enterprises and recreational interests to improve conditions for animals. NAIA believes in the rule of law and opposes the illegal acts of animal abusers and animal rights extremists."

"The NAIA membership consists of 'thousands of pet owners, dog and cat clubs, obedience clubs and rescue groups, as well as breeders, trainers, veterinarians, research scientists, farmers, fishermen, hunters and wildlife biologists'. 'NAIA is an educational group rather than an activist organization.' 'It is funded exclusively through member contributions; it sponsors national and regional conferences; is active in drafting legislation that affects animals; publishes the NAIA News and hosts an award-winning NAIA website at"

NAIA emphasizes its positive position as a proponent and practitioner of animal welfare by stating: "Animal welfare and animal rights are opposing philosophies. Animal rights advocates believe that humans should not eat meat or dairy products; wear animal skins or fibers; use animals in research; keep animals in zoos; or hunt, fish, trap, or manage wildlife. Animal welfare practitioners believe that man and animals have an intricate relationship that includes use and requires humane care."

NAIA supports animal welfare and the rights of animal owners by fulfilling its mission to "promote a more abundant life for all the people of this planet through a wise and compassionate human relationship with animals and the environment." Some of the accomplishments to carry out the NAIA's mission include: opposing animal rights; providing information to reporters and writers for articles news broadcasts and books; having a speakers bureau and providing experts to media, classrooms and public policy makers and offering a library of information about various animal-related subjects. Another accomplishment listed is hosting conferences to highlight topical issues, expose animal rights and environmental extremism.

I was impressed with NAIA's "The Price We Pay" Conference on the Destructive Impact of Junk Science and Animal and Environmental Extremism held on March 28-29, 2004. As AAW Animal Welfare committee chairman, I decided I should attend even though it meant I would have to leave the AAW MidYear Meeting day early.

What a wonderful experience it was to attend a conference that featured thirty-two professional speakers who represented agriculture, biomedical research, and natural resource management and the government. Also included were congressmen, and educators, authors and executive directors, etc. who represented foundations, alliances, institutions, task forces, trusts, etc. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association; Masters of Foxhounds Association; American Kennel Club; Fur Commission USA; American Physiological Society; US Fish and Wildlife Service; Center for Consumer Freedom; and Boys Town National Research Hospital were also represented by outstanding speakers.

A large number of the 160 attendees of this NAIA Conference represented the pet industry. Many remained in Washington to visit their congressmen on Tuesday, and many legislators said they were impressed with the representation of pet owners who make up a large percent of our population. (Just think of the impact they could have on issues in comparison to the two percent of those involved directly in agriculture.)

An overview of the conference agenda exemplified the intense and valuable information that was presented. Two panels were scheduled with each participant discussing his particular issue and then meeting as a group to answer questions.

The wildlife management panel consisted of leaders of the Wildlife Management Institute, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Internal Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, World Conservation Trust, Masters of Foxhounds Association, US Sportsmen's Alliance and an author/actor/psychologist.

Members of the second panel discussed biomedical research issues. Speakers represented the American Physiological Society, Stanford University School of Medicine, University of Mississippi, and Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.

A few examples of the other excellent presentations were: "Fighting Back: Beating Animal Rights Activists at their Own Game"; "The Protection of Food and Agriculture"; "Family Farm Security Issues in the Age of Eco-Terrorism"; "Targets of Eco-Terrorism" and "The Effect of Radical Agendas, Junk Science and Propaganda on Public Policy Decisions." Congressman George R. Nethercutt, Jr. from Washington State discussed "The Eco-Terrorism Act of 2004."

A brief history reveals that the National Animal Interest Alliance was co-founded in 1991 by Patti Strand, NAIA President, and Adrian Morrison, DVM, PhD, past NAIA President and presently a member of the organization's Board of Directors. Patti is a recognized expert and consultant on contemporary animal issues as well as being a Dalmatian breeder, an approved AKC dog show judge, and a member of the AKC Board of Directors. Dr. Morrison has focused post-doctoral research efforts on the mechanisms of sleep; his work has been targeted by an anti-research campaign.

The NAIA Board of Directors includes an impressive listing of professionals with "a wide-ranging coalition of business, agricultural, scientific and recreational interests and individual pet owners dedicated to promoting animal welfare and strengthening the bond between humans and animals.'

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All Authors Of This Article: | Eleanor Kiner |
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