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Animal Rights Activists Plan to Leaflet School of UCLA Scientist's Kid

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Photo by neonspecs via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by neonspecs via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
From protests and pipe bombs comes the latest in the escalating drama between animal activists and UCLA researchers that use animals in their experiments: protesting at the schools of researcher's children. "Activists plan on legally leafleting the school in order to educate fellow students what their classmate’s father does for a living," warns a posting on the blog Negotiation is Over about UCLA neurobiologist Dario Ringac.This has the science community fuming, or at least the ones willing to speak out. "Is that what we've come to? Is this really the society we want to live in? If it's not, we need to stand up and say so, in no uncertain terms," writes Janet D. Stemwedel, an associate professor of philosophy at San Jose State University, at Science Blogs.

"Nobody's kids should be targeted for harassment because you disagree with their parents. We need to call this behavior out, no matter who does it, no matter what cause they hope to further with it," Stemwedel continues. "Each time these tactics are the ones that are used, we die a little as a pluralistic society, no matter which side we support. Any member of the public paying attention to such shenanigans should be outraged, and should say so."

On Valentine's Day, protestors against primate vivisection rallied at Ringac's home over the "mutilation, torture and murder of non-human primates." Another posting on Negotiation is Over says Ringac has never "treated a single patient in [his life] and [his] torture of animals has NEVER helped a human patient."

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The Society for Neuroscience, which monitors the issues between researchers and activists, disagrees, generally speaking, in a report (.pdf) on animal research. "The use of animal models has guided the successful development of treatments [of a stroke] including a drug which relieves clots blocking blood flow to the brain, cooling the brain, and drugs to reduce damage once a stroke has occurred."

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