Brown Dog affair
The Brown Dog affair was a political controversy about vivisection that raged in Edwardian England from 1903 until 1910. It involved the infiltration of University of London medical lectures by Swedish women activists, pitched battles between medical students and the police, police protection for the statue of a dog, a libel trial at the Royal Courts of Justice, and the establishment of a Royal Commission to investigate the use of animals in experiments. The affair became a cause célèbre that reportedly divided the country.1
The controversy was triggered by allegations that, in February 1903, William Bayliss of the Department of Physiology at University College London had performed an illegal dissection before an audience of 60 medical students on a brown terrier dog – adequately anaesthetized, according to Bayliss and his team; conscious and struggling, according to the Swedish activists. The procedure was condemned as cruel and unlawful by the National Anti-Vivisection Society. Bayliss, whose research on dogs led to the discovery of hormones, was outraged by the assault on his reputation. He sued for libel and won.2
Anti-vivisectionists commissioned a bronze statue of the dog as a memorial, unveiled in Battersea in 1906, but medical students were angered by its provocative plaque – "Men and women of England, how long shall these Things be?" – leading to frequent vandalism of the memorial and the need for a 24-hour police guard against the so-called "anti-doggers." On 10 December 1907, 1,000 anti-doggers marched through central London waving effigies of the brown dog on sticks, clashing with suffragettes, trade unionists and 400 police officers, one of a series of battles known as the Brown Dog riots.3
In March 1910, tired of the constant controversy, Battersea Council sent four workers accompanied by 120 police officers to remove the statue under cover of darkness, after which it was reportedly melted down by the council's blacksmith, despite a 20,000-strong petition in its favour. A new statue of the brown dog was commissioned by anti-vivisection groups over 70 years later, and was erected in Battersea Park in 1985. Peter Mason wrote in 1997 that all that was left of the old statue was a hump in the pavement, the sign on a nearby fence reading, "No Dogs."4
- 1 Background
- 2 The brown dog
- 3 Bayliss v. Coleridge
- 4 Second Royal Commission on Vivisection
- 5 Brown Dog memorial
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
Walter Gratzer wrote in 2004 that a powerful opposition to vivisection arose in England during the 1837–1901 reign of Queen Victoria (1819–1901), represented in both the House of Commons and House of Lords; the Queen herself was strongly opposed to it. The word vivisection referred to the dissection of live animals, with or without anaesthesia, often in front of audiences of medical students.5
Physiologists were frequently pilloried for their work, including, Gratzer wrote, French physiologists Claude Bernard (1813–1878) and Charles Richet (1850–1935), and in England Burdon Sanderson (1828–1905) and Michael Foster (1836–1907). Bernard appears to have shared the distaste of his critics, which included members of his own family, referring to "the science of life" as a "superb and dazzlingly lighted hall which may be reached only by passing through a long and ghastly kitchen." Gratzer reported that British anti-vivisectionists infiltrated the lectures in Paris of Bernard's teacher, François Magendie (1783–1855), where dogs were strapped down on boards to be dissected, with Magendie allegedly shouting as they struggled, "Tais-toi, pauvre bête!" ("Shut up, you poor beast!").6
The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) was founded in England in 1875 and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection in 1898, both by Irish feminist Frances Power Cobbe (1822–1904). The former sought to restrict vivisection and the latter to abolish it. There were around 300 experiments on animals in the UK in 1875, and by the time the brown dog was vivisected in 1903 the figure had risen to 19,084 (by 2012 it was 4.11 million, 4,643 of them on dogs).7 The opposition to vivisection led the British government, in July 1875, to set up the first Royal Commission on "The Practice of Subjecting Live Animals to Experiments for Scientific Purposes." After hearing, inter alia, that researchers did not use anaesthetics regularly, the Commission recommended a series of measures to control the practice, including a ban on experiments on dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and mules. The General Medical Council and British Medical Journal objected, so additional protection was introduced instead.8 The result was the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876, criticized by NAVS as "infamous but well-named."9
The Act stipulated that researchers could not be prosecuted for cruelty, but that the animal must be anaesthetized, unless the anaesthesia would interfere with the point of the experiment. Each animal could be used only once, though several procedures regarded as part of the same experiment were permitted, and the animal had to be killed when the study was over, unless doing so would frustrate the object of the experiment.10 Prosecutions could take place only with the approval of the Home Secretary. At the time of the Brown Dog affair this was Aretas Akers-Douglas (1851–1926), who was unsympathetic to the anti-vivisectionist cause.11
In the early twentieth century, Ernest Starling (1866–1927), Professor of Physiology at University College London, and his brother-in-law William Bayliss (1860–1924), were using vivisection on dogs to determine whether the nervous system controls pancreatic secretions, as postulated by Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936).12 Starling's biographer, John Henderson, wrote that Starling's lab was the busiest in London, and that Starling and Bayliss were "compulsive experimenters."13 Bayliss had held a licence to practice vivisection since 1890 and had taught physiology since 1900.14
The men knew that the pancreas produces digestive juices in response to increased acidity in the duodenum and jejunum, because of the arrival of chyme there. By severing the duodenal and jejunal nerves in anaesthetized dogs, while leaving the blood vessels intact, then introducing acid into the duodenum and jejunum, they discovered that the process is not mediated by a nervous response, but by a new type of chemical reflex. They named the chemical messenger secretin, because it is secreted by the intestinal lining into the bloodstream, stimulating the pancreas on circulation.12
In 1905 Starling coined the term hormone – from the Greek hormao ὁρµάω meaning "I arouse" or "I excite" – to describe chemicals such as secretin that are capable, in extremely small quantities, of stimulating organs from a distance. Bayliss and Starling had also used vivisection on anaesthetized dogs to discover peristalsis in 1899. They went on to discover a variety of other important physiological phenomena and principles, many of which were based on their experimental work involving animal vivisection.15
Unknown to Starling and Bayliss, their lectures had been infiltrated by two Swedish feminists and anti-vivisection activists, Lizzy Lind af Hageby (1878–1963) and Leisa Katherine Schartau. The women had known each other since childhood and came from distinguished families. Lind af Hageby was the granddaughter of a chamberlain to the King of Sweden, the daughter of a former chief justice of Sweden, and had attended Cheltenham Ladies College in England. Schartau's father was a Swedish army captain.16
In 1900 the women visited the Pasteur Institute in Paris, a centre of animal experimentation, and were shocked by the rooms full of caged animals given diseases by the researchers. They founded the Anti-Vivisection Society of Sweden when they returned home.16 In 1902 they decided to enroll as students at the London School of Medicine for Women, a vivisection-free college that had visiting arrangements with other London colleges, to gain medical training to further their anti-vivisectionism.16
They attended 100 lectures and demonstrations at King's and University College, including 50 experiments on live animals, of which 20 were what Mason called "full-scale vivisection."16 They kept a diary, calling it Eye-Witnesses, and later The Shambles of Science: Extracts from the Diary of Two Students of Physiology. The women were present when the brown dog was vivisected and added a chapter about it; they called the chapter "Fun," referring to the laughter they said they had heard in the lecture room during the procedure.17
The brown dog was a mongrel terrier with short rough hair, a former stray or pet, weighing 14–15 lb (around 6 kg). He was first used in a vivisection in December 1902 by Starling, who cut open his abdomen and ligated the pancreatic duct. He lived in a cage for the next two months, until Starling and Bayliss used him again for two procedures on 2 February 1903, the day the Swedish women were present.19
Outside the lecture room, before the students arrived – according to testimony Starling and others gave in court – Starling first cut the dog open again to inspect the results of the previous surgery, which took about 45 minutes, after which he clamped the wound with forceps and handed the dog over to Bayliss.20
Bayliss cut a new opening in the dog's neck to expose the lingual nerves of the salivary glands, which he attached to electrodes. The intention was to stimulate the nerves with electricity to demonstrate that salivary pressure was independent of blood pressure. The dog was then carried to the lecture theatre, stretched on his back on an operating board, with his legs tied to the board, his head clamped into position, and his mouth muzzled to keep him quiet.20
According to Bayliss, the dog had been given a morphine injection earlier in the day, then was anaesthetized during the procedure with six fluid ounces of alcohol, chloroform and ether (ACE), delivered from an ante-room to a tube in his trachea via a pipe hidden behind the bench the men were working on. The Swedish students disputed that the dog had been adequately anaesthetized. They said the dog had appeared conscious during the procedure, had tried to lift himself off the board, and that there was no smell of anaesthesia or the usual hissing sound of the apparatus. Other students said the dog had not struggled, but had merely twitched.21
In front of around 60 students, Bayliss stimulated the nerves with electricity for half an hour, but was unable to demonstrate his point.18 The dog was then handed to a student, Henry Dale (1875–1968), a future Nobel laureate, who removed the dog's pancreas, then killed him with a knife through the heart. This became a point of embarrassment during the libel trial, when Bayliss's laboratory assistant, Charles Scuttle, testified that the dog had been killed with chloroform or the ACE mixture, but after Scuttle's testimony Dale told the court that he had, in fact, used a knife.20
On 14 April 1903 Lind af Hageby and Schartau showed their unpublished, 200-page diary to Stephen Coleridge (1854–1936), secretary of the National Anti-Vivisection Society. Coleridge was a barrister, the great-grandson of the poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834), and son of John Duke Coleridge (1820–1894), a former Lord Chief Justice of England. His attention was drawn to the account of the brown dog, because the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act forbade the use of an animal in more than one experiment. Yet it appeared that the brown dog had been used by Starling to perform surgery on the pancreas, used again by him when he opened the dog to inspect the results of the previous surgery, and used for a third time by Bayliss to study the salivary glands.22 The diary said of the procedures on the brown dog:
Today's lecture will include a repetition of a demonstration which failed last time. A large dog, stretched on its back on an operation board, is carried into the lecture-room by the demonstrator and the laboratory attendant. Its legs are fixed to the board, its head is firmly held in the usual manner, and it is tightly muzzled.
There is a large incision in the side of the neck, exposing the gland. The animal exhibits all signs of intense suffering; in his struggles, he again and again lifts his body from the board, and makes powerful attempts to get free.17
The allegation of repeated use and the claim that the dog had not been properly anaesthetized both represented prima facie violations of the Act. In addition the diary said the dog had been killed by Henry Dale, an unlicensed research student, and that the students had laughed during the procedure; there were "jokes and laughter everywhere" in the lecture hall, it said.23
According to Mason, Coleridge decided there was no point in relying on a prosecution under the Act, which he regarded as deliberately obstructive. Instead he gave an angry speech about it to the annual meeting of the National Anti-Vivisection Society at St James's Hall on 1 May 1903, attended by 2,000–3,000 people; according to Mason, support and apologies for absence were sent by writers Jerome K. Jerome (1859–1927), Thomas Hardy (1840–1928) and Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936).24 Coleridge's speech included a statement from Lind af Hageby: "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." Coleridge accused the scientists of having tortured the animal. "If this is not torture, let Mr. Bayliss and his friends ... tell us in Heaven's name what torture is."25
Details of the speech were published the next day by the radical Daily News – founded in 1846 by Charles Dickens (1812–1870) – and republished elsewhere over the next three days. Questions were raised in the House of Commons, particularly by Sir Frederick Banbury (1850–1936), a Conservative MP and sponsor of a bill aimed at ending demonstrations of the kind conducted by Starling and Bayliss. On 8 May Coleridge challenged Bayliss in a letter to the Daily News: "As soon as Dr. Bayliss likes to test the bona fides and accuracy of my public declaration ... he shall be confronted from the witness box by eyewitnesses I rely upon."26
Bayliss demanded a public apology, and when by 12 May it had failed to materialize he issued a writ for libel.26 Starling decided not to sue; The Lancet, a medical journal that was no supporter of Coleridge, wrote that "it may be contended that Professor Starling ... committed a technical infringement of the Act."27 Coleridge tried to persuade the women not to publish their diary before the trial began, but they went ahead anyway, and it was published by Ernest Bell of Covent Garden in July 1903.28
The trial opened at the Old Bailey on 11 November 1903 before Lord Chief Justice Lord Alverstone (1842–1915), and lasted four days, closing on 18 November. There were queues 30 yards long outside the courthouse. The British Medical Journal called it "a test case of the utmost gravity."29
Bayliss's counsel, Rufus Isaacs (1860–1935), called Starling as his first witness. Starling admitted that he had broken the law by using the dog twice, but said that he had done so to avoid sacrificing two dogs. Bayliss testified that the dog had been given one-and-a-half grains of morphia earlier in the day, then six ounces of alcohol, chloroform and ether were delivered from an ante room to a tube connected to the dog's trachea. Bayliss said the tubes were fragile, and that had the dog been struggling they would have broken.14
A veterinarian, Alfred Sewell, said the system Bayliss was using was unlikely to be adequate, but other witnesses, including Frederick Hobday (1870–1939) of the Royal Veterinary College, disagreed; there was even a claim that Bayliss had used too much anaesthesia, which is why the dog had failed to respond to the electrical stimulation. Bayliss said the dog had been suffering from chorea, a disease causing involuntary spasm, and that any movement Lind af Hageby and Schartau had seen was not purposive.14 Four students, three women and a man, were called by Bayliss's counsel and testified that the dog had appeared to be unconsciousness.30
Coleridge's barrister, John Lawson Walton (1852–1908), called Lind af Hageby and Schartau. They said that they were the first students to arrive at the lecture hall, and that they had seen the dog being brought in. They were left alone with the dog for about two minutes and examined him themselves. They observed scars from the previous operations and saw an incision in the neck where two tubes had been placed. They did not smell any anaesthetic, and said they could not see any apparatus delivering anaesthesia or any tubing in the dog's trachea. They said, Mason wrote, that the dog was arching his back and jerking his legs in what they regarded as an effort to escape. When the experiment began the dog continued to "upheave its abdomen" and tremble, they said, movements they regarded as "violent and purposeful."14
Bayliss's lawyer criticized Coleridge for having accepted the women's statements without seeking corroboration, and for speaking about the issue publicly without first approaching Bayliss, despite knowing that doing so could lead to litigation. Coleridge replied that he had not sought verification because he knew the claims would be denied, and that he continued to regard the women's statement as true.14 The Times reported that: "The Defendant, when placed in the witness box, did as much damage to his own case as the time at his disposal for the purpose would allow."31
Lord Alverstone told the jury the case was an important one of national interest. He called The Shambles of Science "hysterical," but advised the jury not to be swayed by arguments about the validity of vivisection. After retiring for 25 minutes on 18 November 1903, the jury unanimously found that Bayliss had been defamed, to the applause of physicians in the public gallery, and awarded him £2,000 with £3,000 costs (worth around £250,000 in 1997, according to Mason). Coleridge gave him a cheque before lunch the next day. The Daily News asked for donations and raised £5,700 within four months to cover Coleridge's costs.33 Bayliss donated his damages to UCL for use in research. According to Mason, Bayliss ignored the Daily Mail's suggestion that he call it the "Stephen Coleridge Vivisection Fund." Gratzer wrote in 2004 that the fund may still have been in use then to buy animals.34
The Times declared itself satisfied with the verdict, though it criticized the rowdy behaviour of medical students during the trial, accusing them of "medical hooliganism," while the Sun, Star and Daily News backed Coleridge, calling the decision a miscarriage of justice.35 Ernest Bell, publisher and printer of The Shambles of Science, apologized to Bayliss on 25 November, and pledged to withdraw the diary and pass all remaining copies to Bayliss's solicitors.36
The Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, founded by Lind af Hageby in 1903, republished the book, printing a fifth edition by 1913. The chapter "Fun," which had caused such offence, was replaced with one called "The Vivisections of the Brown Dog," describing the experiment and the trial.37 Thomas Hardy kept a copy of it on a table for visitors to dip into. According to historian Hilda Kean, the book's continuing influence was such that the Research Defence Society, a lobby group founded in 1908 to counteract the antivivisectionist campaign, discussed how to have the revised editions withdrawn too.38
In December 1903 Mark Twain (1835–1910), who opposed vivisection, published a short story, A Dog's Tale, in Harper's, written from the point of view of a dog whose puppy is experimented on and killed. Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Professor of English at Stanford, noted that, given the timing and Twain's views, the story may have been inspired by the libel trial. Coleridge ordered 3,000 copies of it, which were specially printed for him by Harper's.39
In the wake of the controversy the government appointed the Second Royal Commission on Vivisection on 17 September 1906.40 It heard evidence from the medical establishment, antivivisection groups and scientists, including Ernest Starling, who addressed the commission for three days in December 1906.41 After much delay (two of the ten commissioners died and several fell ill), it reported its findings in March 1912. Its 139-page report recommended that there be four full-time inspectors, instead of two; that restrictions be placed on the use of curare, a poison that was used to immobilize animals during experiments; that animals in severe pain after an experiment should be killed, even if it meant frustrating the experiment; that the definition and practice of pithing be tightened; that more detailed records be kept; and that a Home Office advisory committee be established to advise the Secretary of State on matters relating to the Cruelty to Animals Act. This body became the Animal Procedures Committee under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.42
After the trial Lind af Hageby was approached by Anna Louisa Woodward, founder of the World League Against Vivisection, who suggested the idea of a public memorial. Woodward raised £120 and commissioned a bronze statue of the dog from sculptor Joseph Whitehead (1868–1951). The statue sat on top of a granite memorial stone, 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) tall, that housed a drinking fountain for human beings and a lower trough for dogs and horses.43
The group turned to the borough of Battersea for a location for the memorial. Lansbury wrote that the area was a hotbed of radicalism – proletarian, socialist, full of belching smoke and slums, and closely associated with the anti-vivisection movement. The National Anti-Vivisection and Battersea General Hospital – which opened in 1896 on the corner of Albert Bridge Road and Prince of Wales Drive, and closed in 1972 – refused until 1935 to perform vivisection or employ doctors who engaged in it, and was known locally as the "antiviv" or the "old anti." The chairman of the Battersea Dogs Home, the Duke of Portland (1857–1943), rejected a request in 1907 that its lost dogs be sold to vivisectors as "not only horrible, but absurd."45
Battersea council agreed to provide space for the statue on its Latchmere Recreation Ground, a park situated between Reform Street and Burns Road. The park was part of the council's newly completed Latchmere Estate, which offered terraced homes to rent for seven and sixpence a week.46 The statue was unveiled on 15 September 1906 in front of a large crowd – speakers included George Bernard Shaw (1856–195) and the Irish feminist Charlotte Despard (1844–1939) – bearing an inscription (right) described by The New York Times as the "hysterical language customary of anti-vivisectionists" and "a slander on the whole medical profession."47
Medical students at London's teaching hospitals were enraged by the plaque. The first year of the statue's existence was a quiet one, while University College explored whether they could take legal action over it, but from November 1907 the students turned Battersea into the scene of frequent disruption. The first action took place on 20 November, when undergraduate William Howard Lister led a group of students across the Thames from the north over to Battersea to attack the statue with a crowbar and sledgehammer. Ten of them were arrested by just two police officers. A local doctor told the South Western Star that this was a sign of the "utter degeneration" of junior doctors: "I can remember the time when it was more than 10 policemen could do to take one student. The Anglo-Saxon race is played out."48
Several students were fined ₤5 by the magistrate, Paul Taylor, at South-West London Police Court in Battersea. This triggered another protest two days later, when 1,000 medical students from UCL, King's, Guy's and the West Middlesex hospitals marched along the Strand toward King's College, waving miniature brown dogs on sticks and a life-sized effigy of the magistrate, and singing, "Let's hang Paul Taylor on a sour apple tree / As we go marching on."50 The Times reported that they tried to burn the effigy but, unable to light it, threw it in the Thames instead.51
Women's suffrage meetings were invaded, though the students knew that not all suffragettes were anti-vivisectionists. A meeting organized by Millicent Fawcett (1847–1929) was violently disrupted on 5 December 1907, leaving chairs and tables smashed and one steward with a torn ear. The Daily Express reported it as "Medical Students Gallant Fight with Women."52
The rioting reached its height five days later, on Tuesday, 10 December, when 100 medical students tried to pull the memorial down. The previous protests had been spontaneous, but this one was organized to coincide with the annual Oxford-Cambridge rugby match at Queen's Club, West Kensington. The protesters hoped (in vain, as it turned out) that some of the thousands of Oxbridge students due to attend would swell their numbers. The intention was that, after toppling the statue and throwing it in the Thames, 2,000–3,000 students would meet at 11:30 pm in Trafalgar Square. Street vendors sold handkerchiefs stamped with the date of the protest and the words, "Brown Dog's inscription is a lie, and the statuette an insult to the London University."53
In the afternoon protesters headed for the statue in Latchmere Recreation Ground, but were driven off by locals. The students proceeded down Battersea Park Road instead, intending to attack the Anti-Vivisection Hospital, but were again forced back. The Daily Chronicle reported that, when one student fell from the top of a tram, the workers shouted that it was "the brown dog's revenge" and refused him passage to hospital.54 The British Medical Journal responded that, given that it was the Anti-Vivisection Hospital, the crowd may have been motivated by benevolence.55
A second group of students headed for central London, waving effigies of the brown dog, joined by a police escort and, briefly, a busker with bagpipes.56 As the marchers reached Trafalgar Square, they were 1,000 strong, facing 400 police officers, 15 of them on horseback. The students gathered around Nelson's Column, where the ringleaders climbed onto its base to make speeches. As students fought with police on the ground, mounted police charged the crowd, scattering them into smaller groups and arresting the stragglers, including one Cambridge undergraduate, Alexander Bowley, who was arrested for "barking like a dog." The fighting continued for hours before the police gained control. Several students appeared the next day at Bow Street magistrate's court; 10 of them were bound over to keep the peace or fined 40 shillings, or £3 if they had fought with police.57
Rioting broke out elsewhere over the following days and months, with medical and veterinary students uniting. When Lizzy Lind af Hageby arranged a meeting of the Ealing and Acton Anti-Vivisection Society at Acton Central Hall on 11 December 1906, over 100 students threw chairs, fists and stink bombs when she tried to speak. The Daily Chronicle reported: "The rest of Miss Lind-af-Hageby's indignation was lost in a beautiful 'eggy' atmosphere that was now rolling heavily across the hall. 'Change your socks!' shouted one of the students." Furniture was smashed and clothing torn.58
For Susan McHugh of the University of New England, the dog's mongrel status reflected the extraordinary political coalition that rallied to the statue's defence. The riots saw socialists, trade unionists, Marxists, liberals and suffragettes descend on Battersea to fight the medical students, even though the suffragettes, identified with the bourgeoisie, were not a group toward whom organized male workers felt any warmth; working-class men did not want to encourage the cheaper labour of women. But the "Brown Terrier Dog Done to Death" by the male scientific establishment united them all.59
Lizzy Lind af-Hageby and Charlotte Despard saw the affair as a battle between feminism and machismo.60 Coral Lansbury (1929–1991) wrote that the fight for women's suffrage became closely linked with the anti-vivisection movement. Three of the four vice-presidents of the National Anti-Vivisection Hospital were women. She argued that the Brown Dog affair became a matter of opposing symbols, the iconography of vivisection striking a chord with women. The vivisected dog muzzled and strapped to the operating board blurred into images of suffragettes on hunger strike restrained and force-fed in Brixton Prison, or women strapped down for childbirth, or into the gynaecologist's chair by an all-powerful male medical establishment, forced to have their ovaries and uteruses removed as a cure for "mania."61
Both sides saw themselves as heirs to the future. Hilda Kean wrote that the Swedish activists were young and female, anti-establishment and progressive, while the scientists, older and male, were viewed as remnants of a previous age.38 It was the Swedish women's hard-won access to higher education that had made the case possible in the first place, creating a "new form of witnessing," according to Susan Hamilton of the University of Alberta.62 Against this, Lansbury wrote, the students saw the women and the trade unionists as representative of superstition and sentimentality, anti-science, anti-progress – "women of both sexes" defending a brutal, insanitary past – while the students and their teachers were the "New Priesthood."63
Questions were asked in the House of Commons about the cost of the 24-hour policing the statue, which required six constables a day and was costing £700 a year. London's police commissioner wrote to Battersea Council to ask that they contribute to it. Councillor John Archer (1863–1932) – later Mayor of Battersea and one of the first black people to be elected to public office in the UK – told the Daily Mail that he was amazed by the request, considering Battersea was already paying £22,000 a year in police rates. The Canine Defence League wondered whether, if Battersea were to organize raids on laboratories, the laboratories would be required to pay the policing costs themselves. Other councillors suggested the statue be encased in a steel cage and surrounded by a barbed wire fence.65
Suggestions were made through the letters pages of the Times and elsewhere that the statue be moved, perhaps to the grounds of the Anti-Vivisection Hospital. The British Medical Journal suggested that "the most appropriate resting place for the rejected work of art is the Home for Lost Dogs at Battersea, where it could be 'done to death,' as the inscription says, with a hammer in the presence of Miss Woodword, the Rev. Lionel S. Lewis, and other friends; if their feelings were too much for them, doubtless an anaesthetic could be administered."66
Battersea Council grew tired of the controversy. A new Conservative council was elected in November 1909 amid talk of removing the statue. There were protests in support of it, and the 500-strong Brown Dog memorial defence committee was established. Twenty thousand people signed a petition, and 1,500 attended a rally in February 1910 addressed by Lind af Hageby, Charlotte Despard and Liberal MP George Greenwood (1850–1928). There were more demonstrations in central London and speeches in Hyde Park, with supporters wearing masks of dogs.67
The protests were to no avail. The statue was quietly removed before dawn on 10 March 1910 by four council workmen accompanied by 120 police officers. Nine days later 3,000 anti-vivisectionists gathered in Trafalgar Square to demand its return, but it was clear by then that Battersea Council had turned its back on the whole affair. The statue was at first kept hidden in the borough surveyor's bicycle shed, according to a letter his daughter wrote in 1956 to the British Medical Journal, and thereafter it was believed to have been destroyed by a council blacksmith, who reportedly melted it down.68 Anti-vivisectionists filed a High Court petition demanding its return, but the case was dismissed.69
The New York Times wrote in March 1910 that "it is not considered at all probable that the effigy will ever again be exhibited in a public place," but on 12 December 1985, a new memorial to the brown dog was unveiled by actress Geraldine James. It was erected in Battersea Park behind the Pump House, commissioned by the National Anti-Vivisection Society and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection.70
The new statue, by sculptor Nicola Hicks, is mounted on a 5-foot-high (1.5 m) Portland stone plinth, the dog based on Hicks's own terrier, Brock, and described by Peter Mason as "a coquettish contrast to its down-to-earth predecessor."71 It repeats the original inscription, and adds:
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. It represented the revulsion of the people of London to vivisection and animal experimentation. This new monument is dedicated to the continuing struggle to end these practices. After much controversy the former monument was removed in the early hours of 10 March 1910. This was the result of a decision taken by the then Battersea Metropolitan Borough Council, the previous council having supported the erection of the memorial.
Animal experimentation is one of the greatest moral issues of our time and should have no place in a civilized society. In 1903, 19,084 animals suffered and died in British laboratories. During 1984, 3,497,355 animals were burned, blinded, irradiated, poisoned and subjected to countless other horrifyingly cruel experiments in Great Britain.72
Echoing the fate of the previous memorial, the statue was moved into storage in 1992 by Battersea Park's owners, the Conservative Borough of Wandsworth, they said as part of a park renovation scheme. Anti-vivisectionists campaigned for its return, suspicious of the explanation. It was reinstated in the park's Woodland Walk in 1994, near the Old English Garden, a more secluded location than before.73
The new statue was criticized in 2003 by historian Hilda Kean. She saw the old Brown Dog as a radical political statement, upright and defiant, not begging for mercy. The new Brown Dog is a pet, the creator's own terrier, sited in the Old English Garden as "heritage"; quoting David Lowenthal, Kean argued that "what heritage does not highlight, it hides." For Kean, the new statue has been separated from its anti-vivisection message and the iconography of animal rights activism – the balaclavas of activists and the painful eyes of rabbits. The new Brown Dog is too safe, she argued. Unlike its controversial ancestor, it makes no one uncomfortable.74
- Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act 1822
- Cruelty to Animals Act 1835
- Cruelty to Animals Act 1849
- Cruelty to Animals Act 1876
- Wild Animals in Captivity Protection Act 1900
- Protection of Animals Act 1911
- Protection of Animals Act 1934
- Abandonment of Animals Act 1960
- Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986
- Animal Welfare Act 2006
- Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006
- Baron 1956.
- Lansbury 1985, pp. 10–12, 126–127.
- For Bayliss's research, see Henderson 2005a.
- For the riots on 10 December 1907, see Ford 1908, p. 9ff; Mason 1997, pp. 23ff, 37ff, 51–56.
- For the plaque, see Ford 1908, p. 6; Lansbury 1985, p. 14.
- Also see Independent on Sunday, 26 October 2003.
- For the petition and removal of the old statue, see Daily Graphic, 11 March 1910, cited in Kean 2003, pp. 353–373.
- For the new statue, see Kean 1998, p. 153.
- For the location of the statue in Battersea Park, see Sutch 2002.
- For "No Dogs," see Mason 1997, p. 5.
- For the opposition to vivisection, see Gratzer 2004, p. 224.
- For the physiologists being pilloried and for François Magendie, see Gratzer 2004, p. 224.
- For the quotation from Claude Bernard, see Bernard 1957, p. 15.
- For the NAVS seeking to restrict, and the BUAV seeking to abolish, vivisection, see Kean 1995, p. 25.
- For the 1875 figures, see "The history of the NAVS", National Anti-Vivisection Society.
- For 1906, see "Monument to the Little Brown Dog, Battersea Park", Public Monument and Sculpture Association's National Recording Project.
- For 2012, see "Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain, 2012", Home Office, pp. 7, 25.
- Tansey 1998, pp. S20–21.
- "The history of the NAVS", accessed 21 November 2007.
- "An Act to amend the Law relating to Cruelty to Animals (15th August 1876)".
- Kean 2003, pp. 353–373.
- Mason 1997, p. 10.
- Bayliss and Starling 1902.
- Henderson 2005b, p. 62; for "compulsive experimenters," see Henderson 2005a, p. 7.
- Mason 1997, pp. 15–17.
- For hormones, see Bayliss 1924.
- Mason 1997, pp. 7–8.
- Lansbury 1985, pp. 126–127, citing The Shambles of Science, pp. 19–20, 29.
- Henderson 2005b, p. 62.
- Henderson 2005b, p. 63; "The little brown dog", National Anti-Vivisection Society, accessed 12 December 2013.
- Mason 1997, p. 14.
- Lansbury 1985, pp. 126–127; Mason 1997, p. 16; Henderson 2005b, p. 64.
- Kean 1998, p. 142.
- For Samuel Taylor Coleridge, see Kean 1995, p. 20.
- Kean 1998, p. 142; Kean 2003, pp. 353–373.
- Mason 1997, pp. 9–10.
- Kean 2003, pp. 353–373.
- For the date of the meeting, the numbers attending, and the messages of support and apologies for absence, see Mason 1997, pp. 10–11.
- Mason 1997, pp. 11–12.
- Mason 1997, p. 12.
- The Lancet, 12 December 1903.
- Henderson 2005b, p. 65.
- Mason 1997, pp. 12–13.
- Henderson 2005b, p. 64.
- Henderson 2005b, p. 66.
- Mason 1997, pp. 17–18.
- "Vivisectionist exculpated", The New York Times, 19 November 1903.
- Mason 1997, pp. 17–18.
- Mason 1997, pp. 18–20; Gratzer 2004, p. 226.
- Mason 1997, pp. 18–20.
- Lee 1909.
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- Ford 1908, p. 6; Lansbury 1985, p. 14.
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- For more on the National Anti-Vivisection and Battersea General Hospital, which changed its name in 1935 to Battersea General Hospital, see "Alteration Of A Hospital's Objects", British Medical Journal, 2(3908), 30 November 1935, p. 1055.
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- "Latchmere Recreation Ground Park Management Plan 2008", Wandsworth Borough Council, pp. 3, 6.
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- Mason 1997, pp. 41–47; p. 46 for the quote from South Western Star, Battersea's local newspaper: "One well known local doctor had told the paper he saw the affair as proof of the 'utter degeneration' of junior doctors. 'Two policemen took 10 students,' he moaned. 'I can remember the time when it was more than 10 policemen could do to take one student. The Anglo-Saxon race is played out.'"
- Ford 1908, p. 3; Lansbury 1985, p. 179.
- Ford 1908, p. 7; Kean 2003, pp. 353–373.
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- Leneman 1997: Charlotte Despard (1844–1939) wrote that the "awakened instinct which feels the call of the sub-human ... works itself out through food reform on the one hand, and on the other, in a strong protest against the cruel methods of experimental research. Both of these are in close unison with the demands being made by women."
- Lansbury 1985, pp. x, 19, 24.
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- Cain 2013, p. 11: Mr. Justice Neville (1848–1918) dismissed the case in January 1911.
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- Articles and books
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- Harte, Negley, and North, John (1991). The World of UCL, 1828–1990, Routledge (the 1991 edition has an image of the restaged experiment on the brown dog on p. 127).