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Debate continues on bombings of UC Santa Cruz researchers

August 18, 2008 | 11:30 am

Firebombings

The recent bombings of UC Santa Cruz animal research scientists reverberates once again in today's Times. Frankie Trull, president of the Washington-based Foundation for Biomedical Research, opines on the matter, doling out criticism of law enforcement's lax efforts to protect researchers and animal activists who use violent tactics in their efforts:

These attacks, considered domestic terrorism and attempted homicide, should be a wake-up call to law enforcement. Congress recognized the danger that animal rights militants pose when it passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act in 2006. This law gave the FBI additional tools to pursue animal rights extremism and increased penalties for crimes related to it. The FBI has not apprehended anyone since the law was passed. It needs to make these crimes a higher priority.

The Santa Cruz bombings are just the latest instances of animal rights terrorism, a nationwide problem, although there seems to be a particularly active group of extremists in California. The attacks have included firebombs lobbed at homes, letters rigged with razor blades, firecrackers placed in mailboxes and vandalism.

Animal rights groups sensationalize animal research by portraying scientists as violent animal torturers. In fact, researchers who use animals in their quest for new drugs and medical breakthroughs are human beings who dedicate their lives to alleviating the pain and suffering of both people and animals.

Last week, we told you about Times columnist Al Martinez's take on the bombings with a tale of his cat's confrontation with a mouse.

-- Francisco Vara-Orta

Photo: Shmuel Thaler / Associated Press

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