Animal rights group demands suspension of researchers with violations

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Please contact UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and insist on the termination of the protocols that SAEN focused on with the news media and the suspension of researchers with violations.

Gene Block
UCLA Chancellor's Office Box 951405
2147 Murphy Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405
Phone: 310-825-2151
Fax: 310-206-6030
chancellor@ucla.edu  

http://dailybruin.com/2014/07/17/animal-rights-group-demands-suspension-of-researchers-with-violations/

Animal rights group demands suspension of researchers with violations

By Jeong Park, DailyBruin.com, Thursday, July 17, 2014

Animal rights protesters gathered on Monday at Meyerhoff Park to call for the suspension of several UCLA researchers who did not comply with federal guidelines on animal research.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, which organized the protest, said in a press release that it wrote a letter last week to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block urging him to suspend nine researchers for their misconduct. There have been at least 19 reports of noncompliance from UCLA researchers from December 2012 to June 2013, the organization said.

The organization acquired reports of noncompliance that UCLA submitted to the National Institutes of Health by filing records requests under the Freedom of Information Act, said Michael Budkie, co-founder and executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now!

UCLA’s self-reported violations include depriving animals of food and water without approval and injecting tumors into mice after the protocol had expired, according to the organization’s documents.

In a statement on Tuesday, UCLA said its officials identified all of those violations and proactively reported them to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare.

Dr. James S. Economou, the vice chancellor for research at UCLA, wrote to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare when reporting these violations that UCLA has taken actions against noncompliance, such as stopping the unapproved work and in some cases retraining researchers, according to documents sent from Stop Animal Exploitation Now! to the Daily Bruin.

The university said that none of the reports resulted in fines or penalties from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health’s parent agency, and that UCLA takes all noncompliance issues seriously.

Julia Orr, the spokeswoman for Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, said the organization is targeting UCLA in its protests because it believes the university has shown a pattern of noncompliance. In December 2010, UCLA’s animal research laboratory received a warning for animal rights violations for acts such as not providing enough supervision over those in charge of handling animals. UCLA said it promptly corrected those violations.

The organization has held multiple protests on campus in past years to protest animal research at UCLA, saying that it is ineffective and inhumane. The group also filed a lawsuit in December against the UC Board of Regents, demanding that UCLA release documents regarding its animal use in research.

In December, UCLA declined to release the requested documents, saying that releasing such information has endangered researchers in the past.

The lawsuit is ongoing, Budkie said.

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