For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Contact: Michael Budkie, SAEN, 513-703-9865 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
UCLA Misleads News Media After Watchdog Group Briefing Outlines Lawsuit to Gain Access to University Records; Files Reveal Illegal Activities and Deaths of Sea Lions - Rabbit Set on Fire
LOS ANGELES – UCLA attempted to prevent the public from knowing how badly animals are being treated inside cloaked laboratories, but a national research watchdog group said Tuesday it sued the university and won – documents received since show UCLA has been involved in negligent, horrific and illegal research behavior, including setting a rabbit on fire and killing sea lions.
At a news conference here Tuesday, SAEN, a nonprofit group that monitors the nation's research facilities, charged that UCLA's attempt to hide the truth continued Tuesday when it suggested – wrongly – to media outlets that a recent routine inspection by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture cleared it of charges filed in an official complaint by SAEN a few weeks ago.
"UCLA is incorrect, and continues to mislead, and even lie to the public and news media in an effort to obfuscate its illegal activities. The recent USDA inspection has nothing to do with our complaint. It still stands, and we await the USDA's response," said Michael Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN executive director.
SAEN said it had to sue UCLA in 2013 when the university refused to release
the records despite a California Public Records Act request. Eventually, in
response to the suit, UCLA agreed to release the records in a settlement
with SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation Now).
"Now we know what they were hiding," said Budkie, who released a bevy of documents Tuesday, including that official complaint SAEN has filed with the USDA, charging UCLA broke federal laws, specifically the Animal Welfare Act, during the period that UCLA refused to release relevant records.
Budkie provided information showing that UCLA is not alone in breaking federal laws and negligently killing animals in research. Every year, he will show, nearly 200,000 animals are either killed or injured – or more than 500 per day - during illegal acts by laboratories like those at UCLA.
All UCLA and USDA/government documents, and legal documents involving the winning lawsuit against UCLA provided upon request. The Animal Legal Defense Fund represented SAEN in the lawsuit.
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