(ANIMAL TESTING/ANIMAL WELFARE) An animal rights organization has filed a lawsuit against the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) over the failure to produce records regarding their primate testing. The group Stop Animal Exploitation Now believes these records should be public according to the California Public Records Act because UCLA is a public university.
UCLA denied SAEN’s request to review records from January 2012 until now. SAEN contends UCLA’s drug experiments conducted on primates have resulted in deaths and that UCLA has violated the Animal Welfare Act in the past. Read on for more about the lawsuit and sign a petition asking UCLA to stop their primate testing. — Global Animal
Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN)
The University of California, Los Angles (UCLA) is violating California state law by failing to produce public records regarding primate testing – including drug tests which have resulted in the deaths of non-human primates, according to a lawsuit filed late Wednesday by animal protection groups.
The lawsuit was filed against UCLA and the UC Regents on behalf of Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN), a national animal research watchdog non-profit, in Superior Court of Los Angeles County by Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).
Although SAEN has requested public records from UCLA going back to January 1, 2012, UCLA has summarily denied SAEN’s request. According to today’s lawsuit, that refusal to disclose information violates the California Public Records Act (CPRA).
According to SAEN, primates held in UCLA testing facilities have been forcefully injected with drugs. The test subjects often died before the experiments were completed, or were killed afterwards.
UCLA conducts substantial animal-based research, including research on nonhuman primates, in the areas of medicine, neuroscience, and addiction. Approximately a quarter of the grant money UCLA receives, amounting to a minimum of $200 million annually, is used for studies involving animals.
“UCLA is a public institution using public money, therefore the people of California have a right to know what happens inside its labs,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN. “This is especially important because UCLA has a history of violating the Animal Welfare Act as well as attempting to prevent federal regulators from inspecting their facilities.”
“Californians count on our public universities to disclose records without resorting to a culture of secrecy, possibly hiding illegal animal cruelty,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “It is crucial for the safety of primates, our closest living relatives, and for Californians, that UCLA maintain a reasonable transparency about its research facilities.”