UCLA Again Subjected to Vile Tactics by Extremists
Militants opposed to the use of laboratory animals in research recently posted online and distributed a claim that anonymous parties had mailed letters and “dangerous present[s]” to a current UCLA professor and a retired professor who no longer operates a lab. In the claim, the extremists made threats against the professors’ safety and grossly mischaracterized their work and UCLA’s oversight of animal research.
Although the professors report that they did not receive such mailings, I am nevertheless compelled to once again express my contempt for these despicable tactics. Like the past incidents of firebombs placed under cars and on doorsteps, shouting by demonstrators at private homes and razor blades sent in the mail, these threats and false claims are intended to intimidate researchers and UCLA into discontinuing work that helps us to understand the human body and ultimately saves lives. Until these critics renounce violence, criminal threats and mischaracterizations, it is difficult to have a meaningful dialogue about animal research.
At UCLA, we remain committed to the highest standards of care and to continuing animal research, which is funded by reputable organizations such as the National Institutes of Health and closely monitored by several federal agencies. We strive to provide an environment that allows our world-class faculty to make discoveries that directly benefit society. Campus police will continue to work closely with the FBI to investigate the crimes directed against UCLA personnel until the perpetrators are brought to justice.
For more on animal research issues at UCLA, I encourage you to visit this background page.
Gene D. Block
May 6, 2011