Rights groups protest animal experimentation at UCLA

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Rights groups protest animal experimentation at UCLA

By Kristen Taketa, DailyBruin.com, Monday, April 28, 2014

About 40 people marched through campus Friday to protest animal experimentation for research.

Members of animal rights organization Stop Animal Exploitation Now! and other groups held the demonstration to commemorate World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week and to protest animal research at UCLA.

Arguing that animal experimentation is inhumane, ineffective and unnecessary, the demonstrators held signs with phrases like “UCLA research gone mad” and “How many mice were tortured today?”

On Friday, they targeted the practice of vivisection, or performing operations on live animals.

“We do not believe (animal experimentation) works and we would like (researchers) to find other was of finding cures for diseases,” said Julia MacKenzie, who led the protest. “We don’t object to science, but we don’t believe animal experimentation works. We don’t have the right to torture animals for some obscure cure.”

MacKenzie said there are other ways of finding research results without using animals, such as growing organs on a chip or using computer technology.

In a statement, UCLA said university animal research is crucial for finding beneficial procedures and medicines for humans.

“There is overwhelming agreement among physicians and scientists worldwide that laboratory animals provide irreplaceable and invaluable models for human systems,” the statement read. “UCLA remains steadfast in its commitment to the legal use of laboratory animals in research for the benefit of society.”

The statement added that animal experimentation at UCLA is “heavily monitored” and held to strict regulations. UCLA said an independent committee of scientists, veterinarians and members of the public looks for alternative ways to minimize animal experimentation before approving requests to use animals in research. 

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