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Animal protest groups vandalize University of Iowa laboratories and University of Minnesota

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    Animal protest groups vandalize University of Iowa laboratories and University of Minnesota

    This is from today's NABR newletter. As if we don't have enough to deal with...

    November 15, 2004

    An undetermined number of laboratory mice, rats and pigeons were released, more than 30 computers were damaged, and hazardous materials were dumped sometime over the past weekend in research laboratories and faculty and graduate student offices at the University of Iowa (UI). The extensive damages were discovered early Sunday morning, November 14, and law enforcement authorities - including local and state police and the FBI - continue to investigate the crime for which no one has claimed responsibility. There were no reports of injuries to faculty, staff or students in connection with the incident. University officials are still assessing the damages, but said they expected the monetary value to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

    According to a UI press release, most of the damage was in Spence Labs and in the east wing of Seashore Hall, both of which are home to the UI Department of Psychology. Because of uncertainty about the extent of the damage, including the deliberate dumping of chemicals, UI Police decided Sunday afternoon to evacuate Spence Labs and all of Seashore Hall, which also houses the UI School of Journalism, the Department of Sociology, and UI offices such as the Audiovisual Center, Internal Audit, and the Ombudspersons Office.

    Classes have been cancelled and faculty and staff are not being allowed in the building, except under limited circumstances, until a preliminary criminal investigation is completed and until hazardous materials dumped during the vandalism can be contained and removed.

    The UI Police Department was called to the scene at 8:38 a.m. Sunday in response to a reported break-in. UI police called the Iowa City Fire Department at 9:49 a.m. after discovering a chemical spill. Johnson County Hazardous Materials Team was also called to the scene.

    "Because the investigation is still under way, we are not releasing any additional details about this incident at this time," said Duane Papke, associate director of the UI Police. "We encourage anyone with information about this incident to call our office at (319) 335-5022."

    NABR has also learned that a nearly completed science building under construction at the University of Minnesota-Duluth was also vandalized sometime over the weekend. Details about this incident are somewhat sketchy and law enforcement officials are currently investigating. Police officials said there is no evidence, thus far, linking this incident to the crimes at the UI.

    Although no animal or environmental group has claimed responsibility for either of these attacks, NABR encourages our membership to be on heightened alert, and strongly suggests that institutions review their NABR Crisis Management Manual for tips on preventing and responding to animal rights-related incidents. An electronic version of The NABR Crisis Management Manual can be downloaded here.

    Mouse cruelty!! Whoa, bad bad people.

    Time to ride not roll
    A good friend is someone who will come to bail you out of jail. A TRUE friend is the guy sitting next to you behind the same set of bars saying, "boy we sure f*cked up this time huh?"


      darn liberals... [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]


        DA, where are the conservatives when we need them? Sigh. Wise.


          probably out clearing out the forest.


            Originally posted by Wise Young:

            DA, where are the conservatives when we need them? Sigh. Wise.
            The conservatives are busy banning ESC.

            Seriously..these are our leftwing..EXTREMISTS..Somehow they need to be
            taught how very vital animal research is to not only humans..but animals.

            They are as radical though as their right-wing counterparts..just won't listen
            one damn bit to anything other then what is in their heads.

            "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move foreward with strong active faith." FDR
            Life isn't about getting thru the storm but learning to dance in the rain.


              Doc, is there a need for security at your lab. If so, how much will this cut into your budget. Also, if this were to happen in a lab such as yours how much of a setback would it be relative to research of SCI?


                gettinup, if this were to happen to our experiments, I would be really upset. Months of hard work would be lost. While we do not have armed guards or anything like that, security of our animal facilities is something that is planned for and a subject of much discussion.

                In the past few years, there has been a disturbing confluence of violent activity associated with radical animal and environmental groups. As the following newsletter from NABR indicates, it is a international movement that is getting more and more violent. In England, extremists have beat up scientists and used car bombs. In the last three years, many of the more extremist animal activists have come to the United States. New Jersey is a target.

                In the meantime, they are extremely well funded. For example, PETA apparently has a budget of $40 million. It is a big business. I once saw a listing of the salaries that executives in these organizations, ranging in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Finally, they are very smart. They have effectively lobbied the government to change the rules of animal husbandry, increasing the costs of animal research by several times over the past two decades.


                National Association for Biomedical Research

                November 12, 2004
                Vol. XXV, No. 2

                Trial Begins For Activist Accused Of Torching SUVs In California

                Opening statements in the case against a Caltech graduate student accused of destroying by fire or vandalizing 125 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) at dealerships in California's San Gabriel Valley were presented to federal jurors on November 9. According to the Los Angeles Times, attorneys for William Jensen Cottrell told the court that the defendant suffers from Autism and was manipulated by two other men into participating in the crimes, while the prosecution portrayed Cottrell as "the boastful leader of a gang of three that carried out the attacks in the name of a radical environmental group." Cottrell, who was indicted on nine counts of arson and conspiracy, was arrested in March of this year after he was linked to a series of e-mails he sent under an alias to the Los Angeles Times claiming responsibility for the attacks and stating his connection with the environmental extremist group the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). (NABR UPDATEs Vol. XXV, Nos. 7 and 8.) If convicted, Cottrell would face at least 35 years in prison. The Los Angeles Times also reports that the two other men described by the defense as having "duped" Cottrell into committing the crimes were identified as Tyler Johnson and Michie Oe - both of whom are listed as fugitives, though no charges have been brought against them.

                Oxford University Granted Injunction Against Animal Extremists

                On November 10, Oxford University won its bid for the renewal of an injunction barring animal activists from protests that have disrupted work on a new research facility under construction, and prohibiting them from intimidating its faculty, staff and others. (NABR UPDATE, Vol. XXV, No. 25.) According to the BBC, the injunction granted by the British High Court provides: a 50-yard exclusion zone banning picketing, demonstrating or loitering around the university's buildings and grounds and the property of any of the contractors; a 100-yard "no go" area around the homes of the university's members, employees and their families, shareholders, contractor employees and their families and shareholders, and anyone who visits the research laboratory. Taking photographs of such people, their vehicles, and communicating with them in any way is also prohibited. The injunction was imposed against the extremist groups SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty), the ALF (Animal Liberation Front), the SPEAK or SPEAC Campaigns (Stop Primate Experiments at Cambridge), other animal activist organizations and one named individual. Weekly four-hour demonstrations restricted to 25 protestors in a designated area opposite the construction site will continue to be allowed.

                Oxford University Vice Chancellor Dr. John Hood said "As an academic institution, freedom of speech within the law is highly valued ... Indeed, we are satisfied that this Order strikes a fair balance between the legitimate right to protest and the right of individuals to conduct their lawful business without fear of intimidation or violence." Construction on the £18 million facility was temporarily halted in July when the two main contracting companies terminated the project, citing intimidation and harassment by animal extremists (NABR UPDATE, Vol. XXV, No. 20.) University officials stated they were "confident" that construction would resume and the building would be completed by the end of 2005.

                UK Businesses Have Increased Spending On Security

                British businesses have spent around £1 million per firm to significantly increase security measures amid growing fear of attacks from animal extremists, other terrorist groups and computer hackers. A survey of 100 top firms conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) expressed concern about security, with most having overhauled arrangements and two out of three now employing a chief security officer, sometimes at the board level. Spending on security measures is expected to increase. Despite the extra security measures, most survey respondents said they still had concerns about their firm's level of preparedness for an attack. Business security was discussed at the opening session of the CBI national conference held this week in Birmingham.

                Funding Of Animal Extremist Groups Being Investigated

                According to the London Times, the finances of animal rights extremists in the UK are being targeted by police as a new tactic to combat increasingly dangerous and destructive animal extremist campaigns. The article reports that "detectives are investigating the funding of militant elements of animal welfare groups, signaling a shift in policing strategy from a reactive to an intelligence-led approach." Authorities have determined that more extreme activists are not deterred by the threat of jail. The National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) was formed earlier this year by law enforcement authorities specifically to tackle criminal aspects of the movement. Police are also considering investigating whether an alleged member of the extremist group SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) remortgaged her home to avoid a court order that could confiscate the property. Last month, Lynne Sawyer was notified that her house - the address of which has been identified as SHAC's UK office - could be seized to recoup £200,000 ($370,000 USD) in fees spent by the research firm Huntingdon Life Sciences to obtain legal injunctions against animal extremists. (NABR UPDATE, Vol. XXV, No. 26.)

                UCLA And HSUS Establishing Programs Dedicated To Animal Rights Law
                ABA Tort & Insurance Section Adds Animal Law Committee

                Game show host and long-time animal rights activist Bob Barker has given the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law $1 million to create an endowment fund for the study of animal rights law. According to a November 4, 2004, press release, the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights Law "will support teaching, research, seminars and lectures at the law school in the emerging field of animal rights law." "Animals need all the protection we can give them. We intend to introduce a growing number of law students to this area of the law in hopes that they will ultimately lead a national effort to make it illegal to brutalize and exploit these helpless creatures," said Barker. UCLA animal law professor Taimie Bryant will head this effort and "will focus her scholarship on the theoretical issues of conceptualizing these rights and on legislative and other legal regulation of humane treatment of animals."

                A growing number of prominent law schools across the country have hosted or are planning symposia to discuss animal rights law. NABR recently attended "The Future of Animal Law," a conference sponsored by the Animal Legal Defense Fund held November 5-7 at Yale Law School. "Shaking the Foundations 2004 - An Annual Conference on Progressive Lawyering" will be held at the Stanford Law School November 12-13. Programs on animal law are also scheduled at the New Jersey Law Center and the Harvard Law School in February 2005, and at the George Washington University School of Law in April of next year.

                The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is joining the growing number of animal activist groups that are developing programs to focus on issues related to "legal rights for animals." According to internet postings, the HSUS is seeking "...several conscientious law students for Spring and Summer, 2005 Internships (unpaid) within the newly created Animal Protection Litigation Section in our Washington, DC office." The HSUS, "the nation's leading animal protection organization, has eight million constituents and over 300 employees, including veterinarians, biologists, lobbyists, and attorneys." According to the advertisements, interns "will work closely with the lawyers in the new Animal Protection Litigation Section, and will be integrally involved in the process of researching, preparing, and prosecuting animal protection lawsuits in state and federal court."

                The Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) has announced the creation of an Animal Law Committee. The Chair of the Committee is Barbara J. Gislason, a Minnesota Attorney who is Chair of the Minnesota Bar's Animal Law Committee and a lecturer at the Hamline University School of Law in Saint Paul, MN.

                Recognizing the need for the biomedical research community to understand and consider the possible ramifications from this rising trend in animal activism, NABR launched the "NABR Animal Law Section" on our Web site in September (NABR UPDATE, Vol. XXV, No. 24). This valuable resource is designed to keep the membership, attorneys and others abreast of developments in the animal rights movement's efforts to increase legal protections for and grant legal rights to animals.

                Singapore Adopts Animal Rights Law

                Researchers in Singapore could face a year in jail and fines up to 10,000 Singapore dollars (5,900 US) for violating new regulations set to take effect on November 15. Under the new laws, all institutions that conduct research with animals must obtain a license - which will be granted once the facility adopts new standards including providing training for researchers, caretakers and managers on the proper care, handling and housing of animals under the rules unveiled on Saturday. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) will enforce Singapore's new laboratory animal laws. Institutes that conduct research with animals have a two-month grace period from November 15 to submit their applications for licenses. The new Singapore regulations were adopted from those existing in the United States, Australia, Canada and several international organizations. In Singapore, nearly 90 percent of laboratory animals are rodents, and research involving primates is rare.


                  I wonder what they would even do with a bunch of SCI rats? Poor little things dragging themselves down the hallway only to die of kidney failure. Heck, they would be taking away their only hope to walk again!

                  But seriously...a friend of mine just missed being affected by this when her advisor's lab at Michigan State was hit about ten years ago. She had just finished her work. But her advisor and the other grad students lost years worth of data and most of their animals, which were mink, not just relatively inexpensive rats and mice. Their research was about the effects of PCBs in the food chain, ironically a very important environmentalist issue in the Great Lakes region.

                  I believe strongly that research animals should be treated humanely, but I do not agree with the violent approach to animal 'rights' and I do not agree that animals should not be used for research.

                  Oddly enough, when I worked for the U-Mich lab animal program, we never had an issue with animal 'rights' activists. I don't think there was even an animal 'rights' group at the university until the mid-90's. The animal rooms were locked of course, but there wasn't any extra security back then. Bet there is now!

                  AB wife of T8 complete para
                  AB wife of T8 complete para