Public Backlash Against UF Over Animals Begins
Over the past three years, the University of Florida has used every underhanded tactic available to keep their brutalized nonhuman prisoners hidden away from public scrutiny. And irrespective of arrests & incarcerations of activists and long drawn-out lawsuits against the university, everyone involved in this campaign has steadfastly refused to abandon the animals. Tonight we are officially marking a turning point. Re-published below is an editorial that appeared in the Gainesville Sun today that gives us a snapshot into the sentiments of the community. TAXPAYERS WANT TO KNOW WHAT UF IS HIDING!
The lesson for all of us is that when we work together and stand in solidarity, we can and will win liberation for the animals. Eleventh Hour extends its since appreciation to everyone who continues to participate in cyber actions and uses social media to give UF’s prisoners a voice. Our progress and success is a reflection of all of your hard work.
Gainesville Sun Editorial
January 9, 2014
If the University of Florida learns any lesson from its ongoing fight with animal-rights activists, it should be that ignoring them won’t make questions about animal research go away.
Activists have spent years waging a legal battle forcing reluctant UF officials to release public records on animal research. Now Eleventh Hour for Animals is using those records in a federal complaint claiming UF displays a “culture of negligence” toward lab animals.
The group alleges that UF violated the federal Animal Welfare Act in its treatment of a macaque monkey that was euthanized in 2010. It is seeking a full investigation of 25 primates at the university.
Karen Kline, the senior laboratory investigator for Eleventh Hour, told The Sun that UF’s research involving those animals is “useless” and nothing is being gained from it. It’s hard to buy those claims, but the only way to know is for UF to be more transparent.
Backers of animal research say it plays a crucial role in understanding diseases and developing medical treatments. UF officials say federal oversight and private accreditation shows its research is ethical and humane.
Yet it’s safe to say some members of the public would object if they knew the details of that research. In much the same way, people who eat meat might be less enthusiastic about their next burger if they saw firsthand the factory farming that produced it.
But animal research, like so many issues, is a matter of weighing the costs and benefits. For the public to make an informed decision, UF needs to be as open about the ugly side of animal research as it is touting the benefits of discoveries developed through that research.
Perhaps Eleventh Hour’s complaint will lead to an airing of those issues. But it shouldn’t take a federal case to get UF to be transparent about taxpayer-funded work.