Animal research rallies peaceful; pro-research demonstration much larger
12:45 PM April 22, 2009
Competing rallies at UCLA today over the controversial issue of animal research are peaceful so far, with supporters of the research appearing to outnumber opponents by more than 10 to 1.
About 400 people, including UCLA faculty, staff and students, have joined a pro-research rally on the northwest corner of Westwood Boulevard and Le Conte Avenue, just south of the campus. The demonstrators are carrying signs with such slogans as "Animal research saves lives" and "Campus terrorism is not OK."
The pro-research rally was organized by a new group, UCLA Pro-Test, which supports what it calls the humane use of animals in research aimed at finding cures for human diseases. The group is also protesting a series of unsolved arsons and vandalism at UC faculty homes and vehicles over the past three years.
Among likely speakers at the pro-research event is UCLA neuro-scientist J. David Jentsch, whose car was set ablaze and destroyed last month and who then organized the Pro-Test group. Jentsch uses monkeys in his research on schizophrenia and drug addiction, and although he kills some for postmortem exams, he says the animals do not suffer. Read More
Research scientists, like many other professions, are having to stand up and defend their work. All of us have benefitted from the work that has been done over the years involving animals. Without this important work, we would still be suffering from some of the worst crippling diseases that were so common in the early half of the 20th century. We have a spoiled society. We want all the benefits with none of the work. We have already forgotten what our grand parents and great grand parents had to endure just to survive and how grateful they were when these advances in human health came to be.