Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Protecting our Researchers

Animal testing is no cause for threats

Biomedical researchers in California and across the country face increasing threats of violence, harassment and intimidation from activists opposed to research with animals.

The University of California, Davis, has taken significant steps to increase security and ensure that researchers can continue their work in safety. A bill passed by the state Assembly and currently before the Senate, Assembly Bill 2296, takes some additional steps toward protecting scientists who carry out lawful, well-regulated research from attacks on their homes and families.

Recent months have seen incidents at UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz including attempted fire-bombings, vandalism, harassment and intimidation. In Santa Cruz, six masked intruders tried to break into a biology professor's house during a child's birthday party.

Last month, a spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front – considered a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI – reiterated past statements that the murder of researchers was "acceptable" in order to stop animal research. Read More

Here is more coverage of the efforts in California to protect researchers from threats and harassment. These researchers deserve all of the protections that we can afford them. Someday, the life saved by their medical breakthroughs may be yours.

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