by Nathan Crabbe (Gainesville Sun)
University of Florida Health Science Center employees are being warned to take precautions in light of the actions of animal rights activists.
As I reported last week, the animal rights group Negotiation is Over has been distributing fliers on the UF campus offering cash rewards for personal information about students experimenting on animals. Group member Lisa Grossman may face a criminal charge over UF police allegations that she violated a trespass warning to distribute the fliers.
Dr. David Guzick, UF’s senior vice president of health affairs and president of the Shands system, sent an email to Health Science Center employees condemning the group’s tactics. He reminded them to “be aware of your surroundings and employ appropriate security precautions,” such as not admitting strangers to locked facilities and contacting law enforcement to report suspicious persons.
“Finally, I want to reassure you that we are concerned and involved. We’ll monitor UPD’s findings and activities, and we’ll take all the necessary steps to help safeguard HSC personnel, students and facilities,” he wrote. “With your help, we’ll meet this challenge with vigilance and professionalism.”
Negotiation is Over previously posted personal information of UF faculty on its website over claims that they conduct experiments on animals. Last week, group founder Camille Marino told me that the new tactic involving students is being employed because they represent the “ground floor” of animal research.
“If we eliminate the group floor, the complex implodes on itself,” she said.
She defended information on the group’s website that said students need to aware that animal researchers face “a lifetime of grief” including “car bombs, 24/7 security cameras, embarrassing home demonstrations, threats, injuries, and fear.” She said it was not a threat, but simply information on what has happened to animal researchers.
“If you’re learning about torturing animals now, you might as well be learning about the consequences that face you in the future,” she said.