Society

Animal-Rights Activists Protest New Animal-Testing Lab at University of Washington

| by Phyllis M Daugherty
Screen Capture.Screen Capture.

Animal-rights activists organized by the No New Animal Lab campaign carried signs and wore masks to symbolize animals being used in research as they marched across the Seattle campus and on sidewalks surrounding the University of Washington on April 25.

Approximately 500 protesters chanted in opposition to live-animal experiments that will be performed at the $124 million facility where excavation has started, saying, “UW has blood on its hands” and calling the university a “monkey killer.”

“We’re here to support compassion in science,” Amanda Schemkes, one of the leaders of the march, told KING 5.

The protesters also stated they were there to bring attention to the secrecy that surrounded approval of the laboratory, called the Animal Research and Care Facility, pointing out that the multispecies facility is being built underground and will be covered with grass.

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KING 5 reports that a judge just ruled the university violated public meeting rules by discussing plans for it in private.

The UW website states that the “sophisticated” laboratory is scheduled to open in August 2017 and will expand current and future research. University administrators claim it will consolidate animal labs around the campus into one new, state-of-the-art facility, reported Seattle Times.

The protesters are up against UW's top ranking for receiving federal research funding, which includes research on animals.

Organizers plan to keep up the pressure and believe that if the people are fully informed about what Schemkes called an “underground animal torture chamber,” the public will be less supportive of the university for the project and halt the construction.

Speaker Justin Kay told the passionate crowd, “They can maintain their reputation as a prestigious research institution, a public university, without relying on animal models and animal bodies.”

Sources: KING 5, Seattle Times

Photo Source: Screen Capture VIa KING 5