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Health & Nutrition

Animal Testing Wars in Los Angeles Ramp Up: On Five Billboards, the Foundation for Biomedical Research Urges Support for Rat Research

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Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 3:34 PM
click to enlarge Latest billboard - UCLA
  • UCLA
  • Latest billboard
When it comes to medical research on animals, one thing is certain: lots of folks don't like what's going on at UCLA, and the school doesn't much appreciate the more extreme animal activists.

Over the years, faculty members and researchers have been the target of bombs, letters filled with razor blades, vandalism and verbal threats.

In turn, UCLA has taken an aggressive stance, monitoring protests and protesters, as well as securing an injunction against extremists.

Now, a national research organization is stepping into the ring, putting up five billboards around LA to try to garner public support for medical testing on animals.

"Our new billboards ask people to consider an important ethical dilemma we face as a society," said Frankie Trull, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research in Washington, D.C. "Would you rather do away with animal research or have the new medical cures, treatments and therapies for which so many people desperately wait?"

This is not the first time researchers have tried advertising to sway the masses. In 2009, UCLA took out a full-page ad in the LA Times trying to get folks to sign a petition stating that animal testing is critical to developing new medicine and treatments.

Still, there are many who believe performing scientific tests on animals is just plain wrong.

In January, a group of women sued the UCLA police department in federal court, claiming campus police harassed and intimidated them and denied them the right to free speech by keeping them from demonstrating outside of the off-campus homes of researchers.

The women say they were protesting experiments on monkeys dealing with addiction whereby the animals were injected with doses of PCP and crystal meth.

In addition to LA, the biomedical foundation is also erecting billboards in Portland, Seattle, Chicago and Baltimore.

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