This Day; Rioting Against The Use Of Vivisection
10, 1907: A riot breaks out in Trafalgar Square in London. Medical science
seeking answers to questions of anatomy and bodily function used the technique
of vivisection. This involves surgery on living organisms, usually animals
with a central nervous system. Today the practice has been replaced by less
invasive animal experimentation resulting in non-mortality for the subject.
Only cancer research still uses vivisection as a method of research.
Power Cobbe founded the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) in 1875.
Animals were being studied either with or without the use of anesthesia.
Information was gathered in front of lecture classes via vivisection. This
outraged many Edwardian English folk. Some of the more famous lecturers
who used vivisection as a teaching method were attacked verbally and physically.
The NAVS, with the support of the House of Commons and the House of Lords,
were able to pass the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1876.
of 1902, a stray brown dog weighing about 14 pounds was operated on and
his pancreatic duct was tied off. He then lived in a small cage until February
2, 1903 when he was again brought before medical students and Physiologist
Ernest Starling opened the dog's abdomen. Next, Physiologist William Bayliss
examined the salivary glands after making a second incision in the dog's
neck. Finally, student and future Nobel Laureate Henry Dale removed the
dog's pancreas and then killed the dog. The doctors said the dog was anesthetized
by the use of morphine, chloroform, and ether without the crowd knowing
it. The dog became a cause célèbre.
of the Brown Dog was erected at Battersea in 1906. Medical students were
angered by the wording on the plaque. Bayliss, who discovered hormones by
using vivisection, sued for libel and won. The statue had a 24-hour guard.
On this day, about 1,000 "anti-doggers" marched through the streets
of London and clashed with suffragettes, trade unionists, and about 400
police in Trafalgar Square. The resulting melee is known as the Brown Dog
Riots. The statue was removed in 1910 and finally replaced with a new statue
Memory of the Brown Terrier Dog done to Death in the Laboratories of University
College in February 1903, after having endured Vivisection extending over
more than two months and having been handed from one Vivisector to another
till Death came to his Release. Also in Memory of the 232 dogs vivisected
at the same place during the year 1902. Men and Women of England, how long
shall these things be?" – from the Brown Dog statue "As
we go walking after dark, We turn our steps to Latchmere Park, And there
we see, to our surprise, A little brown dog that stands and lies. Ha, ha,
ha! Hee, hee, hee! Little brown dog how we hate thee." - One of the
songs the rioters sang as they marched "The dog struggled forcibly
during the whole experiment and seemed to suffer extremely during the stimulation.
No anaesthetic had been administered in my presence, and the lecturer said
nothing about any attempts to anaesthetize the animal having previously
been made." – Liouse Lind-af-Hagbey "This monument replaces
the original memorial of the brown dog erected by public subscription in
Latchmere Recreation Ground, Battersea in 1906. The sufferings of the brown
dog at the hands of the vivisectors generated much protest and mass demonstrations."
– inscription on new statue's plaque