BROWN DOG STATUE

Smith Journal - - Opinion -

Found in Lon­don’s Bat­tersea dis­trict, the Brown Dog Statue com­mem­o­rates an un­named ter­rier that was sub­jected to a se­ries of nasty ex­per­i­ments at Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don in 1903. Some Swedish ac­tivists un­cov­ered the go­ings-on at the med­i­cal school and, incensed, sparked the kind of PR night­mare most in­sti­tu­tions dread. Af­ter three years of protest, a statue of the dog sit­ting upright and look­ing quite perky went up. A plaque was at­tached, nam­ing the univer­sity as the per­pe­tra­tor of crimes against the an­i­mal. This incensed some UCL stu­dents, and led to the so-called ‘Brown Dog Ri­ots’, in which med­i­cal stu­dents from around the coun­try clashed with an­ti­vivi­sec­tion­ists. The statue was at­tacked so of­ten with crow­bars that round-the-clock guards were sent in to pro­tect it. The lo­cal coun­cil even­tu­ally got so sick of spend­ing money on polic­ing the statue that, in 1910, they re­moved it in the mid­dle of the night. Seventy-five years later, a new Brown Dog Statue was com­mis­sioned by still-irate anti-vivi­sec­tion­ists. Un­like its docile pre­de­ces­sor, this one ac­tu­ally looks as if it’s about to un­dergo some­thing un­pleas­ant.

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