Science + Technology

Rewards offered in crimes targeting campus researchers

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UCLA, the FBI, the city of Los Angeles and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are offering up to $475,000 in reward money in connection with crimes targeting UCLA researchers who use animals in their work.
 
Six separate incidents dating back to June 2006 are being investigated as acts of domestic terrorism. They include suspected acts of arson and attempted arson on private vehicles and residences and one case of vandalism. In each case, anonymous extremists opposed to the use of animals in research have claimed responsibility.
 
The reward amounts associated with each crime are listed in an FBI news release.
 
Anyone with information about the incidents is encouraged to contact the FBI at 310-477-6565.
 
UCLA researchers and administrators have been subjected to an organized campaign of harassment intended to halt the use of animals in research. Extremists have claimed responsibility for placing incendiary devices on the doorsteps of private residences and under vehicles, torching a UCLA commuter van, and vandalizing property. They also have made numerous physical threats and staged multiple demonstrations at private homes — sometimes banging on doors and windows in the middle of the night and wearing masks to conceal their identities.
 
UCLA is committed to the legal use of laboratory animals in research for the benefit of society. Discontinuing all animal research would diminish hope for millions of people with AIDS, cancer, heart disease and other ailments. Research involving laboratory animals has enhanced our understanding of how the human body functions and has led to the development of lifesaving procedures and medicines. There is overwhelming agreement among physicians and scientists worldwide that most of the major medical discoveries in recent decades would not have been possible without the use of laboratory animals.
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