demands UBC lift 'veil of secrecy' around animal testing
of 60 animal advocacy groups across Canada, the U.S. and Europe sent a letter
today to the University of British Columbia demanding "its veil of
secrecy surrounding animal research" be lifted.
100,000 animals are subjected to research experimentation at UBC, but the
public has no way of accessing up-to-date information about them, said Brian
Vincent, who is with Stop UBC Animal Research, a group of about 300 volunteers
that began its work in February. "Our ultimate goal is to end animal
research at UBC. We are trying to find out information about the UBC program
now but in Canada much of that information is hidden from the public,"
must lift its veil of secrecy surrounding animal research. Since much of
UBC's animal research is funded by taxpayers, the public has a right to
know what the university is doing to animals with public money."
letter to UBC, the group -- led by Stop UBC Animal Research, People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals, National Anti-Vivisection Society, Animal
Alliance of Canada, Animal Defenders International, Born Free USA, In Defense
of Animals, International Network for Humane Education, Liberation BC and
the Vancouver Humane Society -- urged UBC to provide details about its animal
research program, such as the exact numbers and species of animals used,
research protocols, any reports of UBC noncompliance with animal care guidelines,
and photo and video documentation of animal experiments.
lack of transparency to date has given the impression it does not want the
public to see what researchers are doing to animals privately," the
said the group was able to learn from a 2008 article in the student newspaper
that approximately 100,000 animals were distributed to researchers at UBC
-- a figure provided by UBC officials. Vincent said while the university
claims the information is publicly available, the only information is in
published studies, which are not current and do not always contain information
on research methods used. He
said the U.S. has a far more transparent system.
instance, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
post comprehensive information about animal experiments online, allowing
for public scrutiny of university research.
time for animal experimentation at UBC to come out of the closet,"
said Debra Probert, executive director of the Vancouver Humane Society,
in a news release. "Society has a right and an obligation to make informed
decisions about how far scientists ought to be able to go when using animals
in research. With the limited and cryptic information that is presently
available to the public, this is impossible."
is UBC so defensive about their animal research?" asked Liz White,
director of the Animal Alliance of Canada, in the same release.
have they got to hide?"
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