Friday, June 19, 2009

Animal Rights Terrorism Drives Research Lab Underground

This is what it is coming to; having to build an animal research lab underground as a security measure: From the story:
The University of Iowa has gotten the green light to build a subterranean vivarium that will house experimental animals to be used in biomedical research and offer an extra measure of protection from animal rights extremists.

The Iowa Board of Regents approved $11.2 million for the roughly 35,000 square foot facility -- which will lie under a grassy courtyard bordered by three research buildings -- last week. "Security is a huge issue with regard to biomedical research," the university's vice president for research, Jordan Cohen, told the regents, according to the Des Moines Register.

Paul Cooper, director of the university's Office of Animal Resources, told The Scientist that while protecting the facility against attacks from animal rights groups wasn't the primary impetus for putting the lab underground, its underground location "is an extra measure of security." In 2004, animal rights activists broke into animal research laboratories on the University of Iowa campus, destroying computers and laboratory equipment and stealing experimental animals. Damages
sustained during the attack, for which the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility, cost the university about $425,000.
This should be a bigger story. We still don't take the threat to the scientific enterprise from animal rights terrorists with sufficient seriousness.

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