About 50 people from animal rights groups across the Los Angeles area demonstrated at UCLA earlier today as part of an annual protest against animal research at UCLA.
The event was part of the World Week For Animals in Laboratories.
During the protest, participants gathered in front of Kerckhoff Hall and marched to the corner of Le Conte Avenue and Westwood Boulevard. They stopped in front of the Ahmanson Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, the Jules Stein Eye Institute and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior along the way, chanting phrases like “You are murderers, you are torturers.”
UCLA maintains that it engages in legal methods of animal research and plans to continue conducting animal research in the future, according to a university statement.
“Research involving laboratory animals at UCLA is heavily monitored and subject to stringent and multiple federal laws and university regulations,” the press release stated.
The animal rights protest takes place every year and has usually been centered around the argument that animal testing is unethical, according to Daily Bruin archives.
The protesters’ argument this year, however, relates to funding for animal research, said Dr. Richard McLellan, director of the California chapter of the League of Humane Voters who participated in the protest.
McLellan said the protesters do not think animal research is necessary for improvements in human health, which is why they are opposed to animal research.
“We want students to start questioning why the university is spending so much money (on animal research),” said Julia MacKenzie, West Coast coordinator of Stop Animal Exploitation Now who organized the protest.
Animal research has led to the development of lifesaving procedures and medicines and discontinuing it would diminish the hope for millions of people with AIDS, cancer, heart disease and other ailments, according to the university statement.
Compiled by Chandini Soni and Alex Baklajian, Bruin contributors.