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Davis, California

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Editorial: Bill does not provide enough protection

Scientific researchconducted on animals hasalways been a contentious topic in terms of the transparency and ethics behind it.Unfortunately,animal rights activists sometimes take extreme and violent measures againstthosescientists conductingtheexperiments.In response,a new state bill has been authored that seeks to limit various tactics used by anti-animal research extremist groups.However,the bill does not promise significant change.

Assembly Bill2296allowsUniversity ofCalifornia officials to withhold the names of researchers from public documents in an effort to further guard them.In addition,the billstates that anyone who intimidates,harasses or commits acts of violence against animal research scientists can be subject to punishment ranging from a$25,000fine to a year in prison.

Whilethe goal of protecting animal researchers from acts of vandalism and violence is admirable,the reality is that it does not drastically change things.The bill will not change the pre-existing scientificrequirements of animal researchorchange the varying public positions on it.AB2296is more focused on discouraginganimal rights activistsand hoping that will be enough.The bill seeks to prosecute those who commit crimes against animal researchers,but those acts of unnecessary violence are already illegal and should be prosecuted no matterwhothey are against.

The part that will best protect animal researchers is the withholding of names and information.If people have a problem with the research going on,taking action against an individual is not the solution.It is the institution that should be held liable for whatever research goes on in its laboratories.If people have a strong opinion against animal research,it is important that they express it in an appropriate manner.

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