Activists holding diametrically opposed viewpoints on the use of animal testing in research laboratories will come close to crossing each other's paths this morning. At 10:30 a.m., the Marin County-based In Defense of Animals will hold a press conference and rally outside UCLA on Westwood Boulevard and LeConte Avenue; the event is part of World Week for Animals in Laboratories.
One hour later at the same spot, UCLA Pro-Test, formed by neurology researcher David Jentsch, will hold its own demonstration. The group, which is comprised of animal-testing advocates who oppose violence against researchers, will meet at 11:30 a.m., prior to a noon march to the campus' Court of Sciences, where speeches will be given. Tom Holder, a spokesman for Pro-Test says there will be no confrontational overlap of the two sides' rallies. (In Defense of Animals did not return a call by the time of this post.)
The events come against a backdrop of this week's arrest of two
animal-rights activists on charges of criminal intimidation. The
charges were filed by the District Attorney's office. Earlier this
month KPCC FM had invited Dr. Jerry Vlasak, a media spokesman for the
North American Animal Liberation Press Office, and Jentsch to an on-air
debate on their positions. Jentsch, an associate professor of
psychology and psychiatry who conducts research into addiction,
declined to appear.