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Memorial planned for animals used in laboratory experiments

March 2, 2013 |  4:09 pm

Animal rights activists said they planned to hold a memorial Saturday evening for hundreds of animals they said were  “tortured and killed”  in cruel laboratory experiments conducted at UCLA.

According to  event organizers  almost 1,000 animals were used in laboratory tests at UCLA in 2010. These included rabbits, pigs, guinea pigs, primates, dogs, chinchillas, cats, the animal advocates said citing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

“The University of California and the federal government waste millions of tax-payer dollars on needless animal experimentation that is not improving human health or quality of life when students can’t afford to graduate from the (UCLA),"  the organizers said in a statement.

UCLA officials were not immediately available for comment Saturday.

A statement on the institution’s website regarding animal research said scientists at the university used laboratory animals in research “in an ongoing quest for knowledge that benefits society” and such studies had “led to the development of lifesaving procedures and medicines.”

All reseach involving animals was “heavily monitored and subject to stringent and multiple federal laws and university regulations,” the statement said. It also noted that UCLA researchers and administrators had for years been subjected to  “an organized campaign of harassment intended to halt the use of all animals in research.”

The university pledged to “remain steadfast in its commitment to the legal use of laboratory animals in research.”

Saturday’s memorial for the animals is scheduled to start at 4.30 p.m. at Santa Monica Pier at Ocean Avenue and Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.

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-- Ann M. Simmons

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