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UCLA researcher receives threatening package; animal activists said to claim responsibility

David JentschA UCLA neuroscientist who conducts animal research received a package with razor blades and a threatening message, a university spokesman said Tuesday afternoon.

David Jentsch, who does research on rodents and primates, received the package earlier this month, spokesman Phil Hampton said.

In  a news release issued Tuesday, the Animal Liberation Front said it had obtained statements from animal activists called “The Justice Department of UCLA,” which claimed responsibility for sending AIDS-tainted razor blades to Jentsch, whom the group alleges has injected the rodents with addictive drugs.

"How would Jentsch like the same thing he does to primates to be done to him?" the statement said.

Hampton said the incident is under investigation by the FBI and UCLA police. Activists claimed to have sent a  similar package to one of Jentsch's researchers, but there is no evidence that package was received, UCLA said.

For several years, UCLA researchers have been harassed by groups seeking to halt animal research.

In March 2009, Jentsch's vehicle was blown up outside his home, an incident for which extremists also claimed responsibility, UCLA said in a statement.

Jentsch's work, much of it funded by the National Institutes of Health, has provided key information on biochemical processes that contribute to methamphetamine addiction affecting teens and disabilities affecting speech and behavior of schizophrenia patients, UCLA said.

"Responsible use of animals in research aimed at improving the health and welfare of the mentally ill is the right thing to do," Jentsch said in  a statement. "We will continue to do so because we have a moral responsibility to society to use our skills for the betterment of the world."

[For the record 6:26 p.m: An earlier version of this post said the Animal Liberation Front had claimed responsibility for sending the razor blades.]

RELATED:

Animal activists charged with violence against UCLA researchers

Animal research rallies peaceful; pro-research demonstration much larger

Judge issues permanent injunction to protect UCLA researchers from activists

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: UCLA professor David Jentsch at a pro-animal research rally in 2009. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (49)

The morons fail to realize that they live longer due the type of research this scientist does.

Humans are animals, too. I wonder how these people feel about killing insects.

So not only are they nutbar violent extremists but they are ignorant nutbar violent extremists. HIV/AIDS cannot live more than a few minutes outside the human body. No one to date has been infected via contact with an environmental surface, according to the CDC. In laboratory studies by the CDC they have found that even super-concentrated amounts of HIV die within hours on a surface even if kept at optimal temperatures.

And to think that this collection of human trash, and animal supporters are allowed to vote. This is what happens when mindless females and their wimp companions get together for fun and childish acts of terrorism. Since they have admitted to such criminal acts, all members should be immediately arrested and tried on terrorist acts. I have yet to find one environmental, or animals rights protection group that is of sound mind and body. Some of their members are quite intelligent, although they lack dearly in common sense and practical thought. Most of these people are dupes for Communist organizations who wish to destroy the United States, and put us under United Nations control. The UN should be banned from our shores, and we should remove ourselves from this Communist organization. Perhaps the public should remove the animals rights people when they discovered; I promise not tell.

The car explosion explains those eyebrows.

Wow...I guess there is a possible justification to charge the group with attempted murder.

"Animal Research"? Is that what the North Koreans and North Vietnamese did to U.S. Servicemen?

Is that what Dr. Mengele did?

When you adopt the language of the oppressors, you become one with the oppressors. Shame on you, LA Times!

I don't understand why more hasn't been done to catch the scumbags that continue to terrorize and threaten UCLA researchers.

I can guarantee you that the PETArds who do this have little to no understanding of the research that's being done, or the compassion (yes, compassion) shown to these animals by the people working with them.

Actions like this discredit those of us who believe in animal rights but do not believe in harming humans in order to get them. The ALF needs to be put out of its misery.

There ain't no such "AIDS tainted" anything. AIDS is the name given to a list of symptoms a person has when said person has contracted the virus known as HIV.

The HIV (virus) dies when exposed to oxygen.

So as long as we experiment on Jentsch and his family in a responsible way and for the betterment of society then its OK, right?
I do not condone terrorism or violence against people, however, I also do not condone violence against helpless, innocent animals. We already know exactly what methamphetamines do to teenagers and adults. We do not need to torure animals to figure that out. As for Schizophrenia, unless he is looking for a cure, this research is useless, and from what I read above, he is not looking for a cure, but just looking at speech and behavior affected by Schizophrenia. If you work with schizophrenics, which I have, we already know what their behavior and speech is like, we do not need anyone to torture animals to tell us about it.

This story really should be about his eyebrows.

I'm sorry, I couldn't keep my attention on the article once I saw those eyebrows!

What in the world is wrong with that guy's eyebrows? A little over-tweezing, perhaps??

Some people won't be pleased until humanity goes back to living in trees, giving up fire, and flinging poop at one another.

Nice eyebrows. David by day... Daphne by night?

Attempting to kill a person b/c he messed w/ rodents? Really? Those people really need to take a good look in the mirror to see who the real monsters are.

Its ironic that the most likely terrorists in SoCal are white middle class and above people. Its reprehensible that these crazies are terrorizing people trying to find cures for human malady.

And its equally reprehensible that there are those who support these folks and give them aid and comfort.

Hope they end up imprisoned next to the Al Queda terrorists.

Why doesn't the animal liberation group take the place of the rats? The rats lives would be saved (whew) and the people in the liberation group would actually be making a useful contribution to society.

Um, it is impossible to send 'AIDS-tainted' anything through the mail. The ignorance shown by the author of this piece just demonstrates the lack of education about a very important public health issue.

HIV-tainted, no. Try "blood tainted with HIV - blades", certainly doesn't sound as nice, but at least you don't look like a fool who thinks AIDS can be passed from person to person. It is HIV, a VIRUS.

wow. can't wait to eat all that Turkey and chicken on Thanksgiving. I guess they will be blowing up a lot of homes.

Who taught him how to draw on his eyebrows? Klaus Nomi?

Incidentally, against better judgment, he used the HIV razors to shave off the last of those pesky eyebrows.

Funny how researchers experiment on animals because they say they are biologically similar ... sooo doesn't that mean they have emotions & feel pain just like humans? Whatever the outcome be it human longevity etc... isn't worth the suffering caused to a feeling being, or affliction on my soul.

They DO realise the AIDS virus dies very quickly outside of a host, and that even if he had cut himself very likely nothing would've happened? Obviously not.

 
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