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AAAS Board Deplores Intimidation of Scientists Who Use Animals in Research
Responding to "repeated attacks" by animal rights extremists, the AAAS Board of Directors has issued a new statement in defense of scientists' right to responsibly use animals in research, testing, and education.
"The use of animals in research continues to make critical contributions to understanding basic life processes and to the treatment of human disease," the statement says. "...AAAS recognizes and supports the right of all citizens to protest and dissent from policies with which they disagree. On the other hand, unlawful and dangerous actions should not be tolerated."
Biomedical research is regulated by strict standards, both at the research institutions and in state and federal law. "If intimidation drives scientists from their valuable efforts and discourages young scientists from pursuing fields of inquiry that require the use of animals, medical progress will be seriously impeded," the board says.
AAAS has long supported scientific research that involves the responsible use of animal subjects. In 1990 it passed a resolution supporting such work, noting that the research could provide benefits to both human and animal health.
The new statement comes after recent incidents of vandalism, threats of violence, and other intimidation targeting researchers, including several cases at the University of California-Los Angeles.
29 November 2007