Under attack by animal rights campaigners, federal health agencies counter with a vigorous drive yo gain public support
WASHINGTON - Top health officials in the Bush administration have begun an offensive on behalf of the use of animals in research. Their campaign is meant to counter the continuing efforts by animal rights activists to disrupt and condemn animal research as part of the movement's broader attack on the treatment of animals.

This new, more aggressive attempt to preserve a scientific tradition of animal experimentation marks a dramatic change from the "bunker mentality" of years past, in which government officials kept mum and most scientists tried to shrug off the periodic raids on their laboratories. Health agency officials now believe that approach only emboldened the animal rights movement by leaving the impression that scientists were embarrassed by their use of animals. Those officials have decided that a vigorous defense of animal...

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