Organizations Unite Against AR Violence
AALAS - The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science - has issued a position statement condemning threats and harassment of those who work with animals in research.
AALAS's stance comes in the wake of the latest of numerous incidents - a razor-laden death threat being sent to UCLA neuroscientist, Pro-Test for Science founder and AMP director J. David Jentsch, and the targeting by militants of one of his graduate students.
The statement from AALAS reads in part:
"Acts of terrorism do not result in improvements in animal welfare. Progress comes only from thoughtful discussion and scientific assessment of alternative methods that refine the animal research process-efforts that AALAS itself fosters through educational and scientific programs. Terrorism in the name of "animal rights" jeopardizes the lives of people and animals-in the present by the violence itself, and in the future by hindering the progress of ethical animal-based research designed to find cures and treatments for diseases that affect humans and animals. The AALAS membership extends heartfelt support to our scientific colleagues and their families who have been affected by threats and acts of violence."
This most welcome comment is the latest by a large membership professional association. The 80,000 member AVMA - American Veterinary Medical Association - issued a condemnation of violence, as has the American Society of Primatologists, and Society for Neuroscience. We understand other associations' statements will be issued in coming days.
Visit the Speaking of Research website to read a letter of appreciation by Dr. Jentsch in which he also talks about some of the personal comments of support he and his fellow scientists have received. Be sure not to miss the comments section: In reply to an activist, he states:
"Both in the UK and in the US, researchers are finding the confidence they need to confront the terror face forwards. The days of people being forced into giving up biomedical research are nearly (if not already) over. We may move; we may have extra security concerns; but that's only because of our determination to continue our struggle against human suffering through responsible research. "I am only one person; there are tens of thousands like me that are just as committed. The violence and hate of animal rights extremists will not prevail."
Full article; http://www.aalas.org/headlines/detail.aspx?id=191