Setting the Record Straight – Fighting for the Truth at the University of Iowa
In November of 2004 the Animal Liberation Front (ALF)
broke into laboratories at the University of Iowa (UI). Four hundred
rats and mice were liberated and lab equipment was damaged. In the wake
of this incident, officials with UI were working very hard to make the
public believe that all claims of animal abuse arising from the raid
were false and that nothing was wrong in UI labs. SAEN felt it was
necessary to return the focus to animal experimentation and the waste of
federal funding. We could not allow the UI smokescreen to continue.
“Half-truths have been perpetuated by UI in recent media coverage. UI
animal experiments are not about science, but more about attracting
federal funding to the university,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
SAEN’s Executive Director.
On February 11th, with the help of a local activist,
Leana Stormont (who is our Midwest Program Coordinator), SAEN held a
dramatic news conference to reveal the truth to the public.
“The careers of these scientists reveal a tragic
irony: under the guise of alleviating mental suffering in humans, they
induce distress, injure, and kill animals who are intentionally bred to
be docile,” said Leana Stormont.
Amy Poremba, a UI researcher, was singled out during
the news conference, because she is performing invasive research that
studies the brains of conscious primates.
The news conference received excellent media coverage
from the Associated Press, Iowa City Press-Citizen, Daily Iowan, The
Iowa City Gazette, and several local TV stations. Additionally, the
Associated Press story spread across the Midwest appearing in
publications like the Chicago Tribune and The Waterloo Cedar-Falls
Courier (see SAEN’s website).
We have continued to work with Leana to organize other
news conferences and events targeting UI. An April news conference
garnered a similarly high level of media attention.
We want to thank Leana --- congrats on graduating from
law school and good luck on your upcoming bar exam.