Philosophy of AR > Animal Testing - Index > Anti-Vivisection Index

September 30, 2002
Contact: Elliot M. Katz, DVM
More information: 415.388.9641 x 25

San Francisco, CA - The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Public Works and Public Protection Committee will address animal experimentation at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) at a hearing on Tuesday, October 1, 2002 at 10 a.m. in Room 263 of City Hall.   

At issue is the university’s failure to adhere to the directives of Resolution 789-98, passed by the Board of Supervisors in November 1998 and signed by the mayor a month later, which called upon UCSF to correct all violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act in its labs. It also directed the university to eliminate unnecessary uses of animals and utilize alternatives to animal experiments whenever possible.

“UCSF has been in almost continual violation of federal animal welfare law for over four years, and continues to inflict great suffering on animals in studies of questionable necessity and clinical value,” said Elliot M. Katz, DVM, president of In Defense of Animals (IDA). Katz’s group acts as a watchdog over UCSF animal experimentation and last year successfully sued the university under the California Public Records Act to obtain uncensored animal care records.

Katz said that since 1998, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited UCSF eight times for scores of violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including failure to maintain an “adequate program for the humane care and use of animals,” and operating a system in which employees have a “fear of reprisal” for reporting animal welfare violations.

On twice-yearly visits to UCSF labs, the USDA inspector has witnessed appalling animal cruelty, including a lamb frothing at the mouth and gasping for breath after being left alone, unmonitored, after surgery; and another lamb who was left untreated and without painkillers for at least ten days after the animal’s surgical wound had opened and become infected.

“If this extreme animal abuse happens under the under the eyes of the USDA inspector on his infrequent visits to the lab, what is going on at UCSF when outside oversight is not present?” Katz questioned. “The need for independent oversight is clear. We commend Supervisors Gonzalez, Maxwell, Daly and Peskin for sponsoring this item on the Committee agenda in an attempt to hold UCSF accountable for the promises it made to improve conditions for the more than 200,000 animals held in its labs.”

Testifying at the hearing on behalf of IDA will be a panel of experts including a neuroscientist, a veterinarian, and a former USDA inspector. IDA will ask the Board to create an independent expert panel to oversee UCSF animal care and use. IDA will also request that the Board pass a resolution calling for an end to the highly invasive and cruel monkey brain experiments conducted at UCSF by researcher Stephen Lisberger for more than 20 years.

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Lydia Nichols
In Defense of Animals
131 Camino Alto
Mill Valley, CA 94941
415.388.9641 p
415.388.0388 f

It is the policy of In Defense of Animals to no longer use language that accepts the current concept of animals as property, commodities and/or things. Rather than referring to ourselves and others as "owners" of animals we share our lives with, we now refer to ourselves and others as "guardians" of our animal friends and to animals as "he" or "she" rather than "it." Guardians do not buy or sell animals; instead they rescue and adopt. We urge you to do the same.