UCLA Wins Permanent Injunction Against Violent Animal-Rights Activists

May 28, 2009

The University of California at Los Angeles has won greater legal protection for its scientists, after a series of violent attacks by opponents of the use of animals in research.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, Terry B. Friedman, yesterday granted UCLA’s request to make permanent an injunction that includes limits on how close the activists can come to the homes of researchers, and that bars the posting of personal information about UCLA workers on activist Web sites.

The university said in a written statement that the defendants in the case did not dispute evidence submitted by UCLA, “in effect admitting that their harassment of UCLA scientists violated the scientists’ rights.”

Recent attacks included an incident in March, when a car was burned outside the home of an associate professor of behavioral neuroscience at UCLA who uses monkeys in finding treatments for schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

Animal-rights activists using nonviolent methods, however, have had some success. Federal inspectors said this month that they had confirmed problems with the treatment of primates at the New Iberia Research Center, at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, two months after the Humane Society of the United States used an undercover video to criticize conditions at the facility. —Paul Basken