Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society

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Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society
Formation1903; 120 years ago (1903)
  • Lizzy Lind af Hageby
  • Nina Douglas-Hamilton, Duchess of Hamilton
Dissolved1971; 52 years ago (1971)

The Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society (ADAVS) was an animal rights advocacy organisation, co-founded in England, in 1903, by the animal rights advocates Lizzy Lind af Hageby, a Swedish-British feminist, and the English peeress Nina Douglas-Hamilton, Duchess of Hamilton.[1]


It was based for many years at Animal Defence House, 15 St James's Place, London, and ran a 237-acre animal sanctuary at Ferne House near Shaftesbury, Dorset, an estate owned by the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton.[2]

The Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society's executive council included Alice Drakoules who was a lifelong campaigner for animal welfare and a keen supporter of the society. She helped the society campaign for licensed slaughterhouses, humane slaughter and for an ended to performing animals.[3]

The society came to widespread attention during the Brown Dog affair (1903–1910), which began when Lind af Hageby infiltrated the vivisection in University College London of a brown terrier dog. The subsequent description of the experiment in her book, The Shambles of Science (1903) – in which she wrote that the dog had been conscious throughout and in pain – led to a protracted scandal and a libel case, which the accused researcher won. The affair continued for several years, making a name both for Lind af Hageby and for the society.[1]

The society was associated with Hageby's International Humanitarian Bureau.[4] It published The Anti-Vivisection and Humanitarian Review in 1929 and Progress Today: The Humanitarian and Anti-Vivisection Review in the 1930s.[4]

Following Lind af Hageby's death in December 1963, the society's assets were transferred to a trust, The Animal Defence Trust, which continues to offer grants for animal-protection projects.[5]

Selected publications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kean, Hilda. "The 'Smooth Cool Men of Science': The Feminist and Socialist Response to Vivisection", History Workshop Journal, 1995, 40: 16–38.
  2. ^ Smith, Andy. "Press dynasty is coming home from exile to a '£6m' mansion", The Observer, 13 June 1999.
  3. ^ Kean, Hilda. (2004-09-23). "Drakoules [née Lambe; other married name Lewis], Alice Marie (c. 1850–1933), humanitarian and campaigner for animal welfare". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 30 Dec. 2017, see link
  4. ^ a b "The International Humanitarian Bureau". Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  5. ^ "History". The Animal Defence Trust. Retrieved 28 February 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Gålmark, Elisabeth Lisa. Shambles of Science, Lizzy Lind af Hageby & Leisa Schartau, anti-vivisektionister 1903-1913/14. Stockholm University, 1996.
  • Gålmark, Elisabeth Lisa. "Women Antivivisectionists, The Story of Lizzy Lind af Hageby and Leisa Schartau," in Animal Issues. 2000, Vol 4, No 2, pp. 1–32.
  • Kean, Hilda. Animal Rights: Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800. Reaktion Books, 1998.
  • Lansbury, Coral. The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England. University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.
  • Mason, Peter. The Brown Dog Affair. Two Sevens Publishing, 1997.