NATIONAL ANIMAL INTEREST ALLIANCE PRESS RELEASE, JUNE 1, 2001
NAIA Calls on President Bush to Act Against Animal Rights’ Extremists
Tax-exempt Status Shields Guerilla Fundraising and Terror Tactics
PORTLAND, OREGON: The National Animal Interest Alliance, an organization of animal professionals and enthusiasts, today called on the Bush Administration to investigate the exploitation of IRS charitable tax-exempt status by certain “animal rights” groups that use intimidation, harassment and deception to raise money.
In a letter to President Bush, NAIA President Patti Strand writes: “We believe that the Administration’s goal to increase the flow of money to legitimate charities through new tax deductions is both admirable and necessary. However, we also believe that organizations that benefit from tax-exempt status and misuse constitutionally protected speech to threaten businesses and private citizens should not benefit from federal help.
“Some of these organizations fail to condemn the growing use of vandalism, arson, and other serious crimes that benefit their agenda,” the letter continues. “They disseminate half-truths to stir opposition to legitimate animal-based enterprises and threaten boycotts and public smear campaigns in order to exact money from corporations, force capitulation to radical demands and raise money from the general public. These campaigns and others have raised millions of dollars based on unproven allegations of animal cruelty and abuse.”
The letter asks President Bush to instruct Attorney General Ashcroft to initiate an official investigation to determine if the activities of some animal rights groups violate the U.S. tax code governing charitable organizations. In a separate statement, Strand said the NAIA believes such groups are not true charities but rather “action organizations” that use misinformation and intimidation to create fundraising opportunities.
“Instead of serving charitable purposes they advocate radical positions, vilify the people and organizations they oppose and use methods similar to those of the hate groups that Americans abhor,” she added. “These are not charitable activities that promote the public good. These are activities that incite divisiveness and hatred.”
She reported that the NAIA’s website at http://www.naiaonline.org documents the activities of animal rights supporters who:
- assault private citizens and company and government officials who symbolize issues and values they oppose
- ambush biomedical researchers, veterinarians, farmers, animal trainers and others who work with animals using media campaigns that mischaracterize their work
- deceive, indoctrinate and recruit youngsters to join in anti-business crusades aimed at getting companies to capitulate to their demands or make donations
- threaten the jobs of people who work in legitimate businesses that involve animals
- engage in trespass and disorderly conduct to disrupt the activities of individuals and companies they have targeted
- conduct fundraising campaigns that discredit businesses unless or until they change policies or donate large sums of money
- damage the image of animal-related industries with publicity stunts, harassment, and moral support of crimes such as vandalism, arson, and theft
- conduct economic sabotage that by their own admission is focused on destroying legitimate businesses
- conduct misinformation campaigns that disparage and harm people, industries and practices as part of their exempted educational purpose
- go directly to the public with unsubstantiated allegations of abuse that do not withstand legal scrutiny
Strand invites animal businesses, professionals and concerned citizens everywhere to join with NAIA in urging the US government to investigate not-for-profit groups whose activities appear to violate the IRS tax code. NAIA strongly supports free speech, but does not believe that intimidation and misinformation campaigns should be sanctioned by the US government and subsidized by American taxpayers as legitimate tax-exempt purposes. Interested parties can support this effort by contacting NAIA through the website and addresses listed below.
The National Animal Interest Alliance is an educational organization of business, agricultural, scientific and recreational interests dedicated to promoting animal welfare and strengthening the bond between humans and animals. Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1993, the NAIA includes 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. The NAIA can be contacted at PO Box 66579, Portland, Oregon 97290-6579. http://www.naiaonline.org; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone 503-761-1139; fax 503-761-1289.
Please read and sign on to the following petition:
Petition to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States
We, the undersigned organizations, businesses and private citizens of this petition, share some or all of the concerns expressed in the June 1, 2001 press release of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), “NAIA Calls on President Bush to Act Against Animal Rights’ Extremists: Tax-exempt Status Shields Guerilla Fundraising and Terror Tactics.”
Accordingly we join the NAIA campaign and respectfully ask that you initiate an official investigation of tax-exempt, not-for-profit organizations whose activities appear to place them outside the scope of conduct outlined in the tax code.
Just as tax-paying businesses that provide goods and services for profit are regulated and held to certain standards of behavior, we ask that non-profit, tax-exempt organizations that are supposed to provide a public benefit, be held accountable for their actions and be required to comply with all provisions of the US tax code.
NAIA will add the names of signers to the petition once a week and mail it to the White House September 30th.
For signers who prefer anonymity, we’ll record your name on the petition and submit it to the White House with the others but we will not post it publicly.
Let us know your preference at the time you sign on.