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Officials condemn attacks on animal researchers

August 5, 2008 | 12:07 pm

Officials are saying the firebombs that struck the home and car of two UC Santa Cruz scientists this weekend were part of an increasingly aggressive campaign by animal rights activists against animal researchers at University of California campuses. Richard C. Paddock and Maria L. LaGanga have an update on the situation in Santa Cruz:

"Acts of violence and intimidation such as these are unacceptable, and they continue a troubling pattern seen at UCLA and other UC campuses that should be repugnant to us all," UC President Mark G. Yudof said Monday. "These acts threaten not only our academic researchers and their families, but the safety and security of neighbors in our communities as well."

City officials joined in harshly condemning the bombings and urged members of the public who might have evidence in the case to contact authorities. They announced a $30,000 reward, including $2,500 donated by the Humane Society of the United States....

Nationwide, incidents of violence by self-described animal rights activists have been on the rise, according to the Foundation for Biomedical Research, which has tracked such attacks since 1981, when there was one.

In 2000 there were 10 such episodes against biomedical research facilities, and in 2006 that figure had grown to 77, according to the group's website. In addition, the type of attacks has changed in recent years.

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