Dario Ringach, a neurobiologist at UCLA has decided to stop all primate research in the wake of harrassment and an attempted bombing of his colleague, Lynn Fairbanks. Even more ridiculous is the fact that the terrorists involved placed the explosive next to an elderly neighbor’s house in error. The LA Times has more…
Norman Abrams, who became acting chancellor July 1, said animal rights activists in recent months have mounted what he called an escalating campaign against UCLA professors, researchers and their families.
“These activities have risen to the level of domestic terrorism, and that’s what we should call them,” Abrams said in an interview Friday, as he announced a series of actions, including plans for stepped-up security at faculty homes.
He also announced that UCLA would double – to $60,000 – the size of the reward the FBI has offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the attempted fire-bombing of a Bel-Air home June 30.
In that incident, a crude explosive was left beside a house occupied by a 70-year-old woman and her tenant. The FBI has said the device, which was lighted but failed to ignite, was powerful enough to have killed the occupants.
“On the night of June 30, we paid a visit to Lynn Fairbanks’ home,” read a communique posted to the website of the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, which often acts as a voice for the underground Animal Liberation Front and other extremist animal rights groups.
The FBI and other law enforcement officials, along with national organizations supporting animal research, said the increasing numbers and severity of the local incidents were consistent with a pattern of escalation by both animal rights and environmental extremist groups.
Abrams said the Bel-Air incident, along with the decision this month by neurobiology professor Dario Ringach to stop his primate research after several years of harassment and threats to his family, led to the announcement. Abrams said he was deeply saddened by Ringach’s decision, describing him as a promising young professor, doing significant – and the chancellor emphasized, legal – research.
Ringach, whose work involved studies of the brain and the ways it receives information from the retina, sent an e-mail Aug. 4 to the Animal Liberation Press Office.
Posted on the website, the e-mail reads, in part: “You win. Effective immediately, I am no longer doing animal research.”
Truly infuriating. It’s tragic that important research would be shut down because a group of overzealous, out of touch, unemployed poli-sci graduates can find no more heinous crime on earth to fight than the death of animals for science. Dangerous fools, the lot of them.
Hopefully this increased security will help keep other research moving forward and snag some of the perpetrators in the process.
More from the LA Times, via Slashdot