GROUPS FROM ACROSS CANADA, US, EUROPE CALL ON UBC TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION ABOUT ITS ANIMAL RESEARCH

VANCOUVER (OCTOBER 12, 2010) – Today, more than sixty animal advocacy groups from across Canada, the US, and Europe called on the University of British Columbia (UBC) to fully disclose information about its animal research programs. In a letter to UBC, the organizations – led by Stop UBC Animal Research and including UBC student groups, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, National Anti-Vivisection Society, Animal Alliance of Canada, Animal Defenders International, Born Free USA, In Defense of Animals, International Network for Humane Education, Liberation BC, and Vancouver Humane Society, among others – urged UBC to provide details about its animal research, such as the numbers and species of animals used at UBC, research protocols, research grants, assessments of UBC’s research, any reports of UBC non-compliance of animal care guidelines, and photo and video documentation of animal experiments. The groups wrote “UBC’s lack of transparency to date has given the impression it does not want the public to see what researchers are doing to animals behind closed doors.”

“UBC must lift its veil of secrecy surrounding animal research,” said Brian Vincent, spokesman for Stop UBC Animal Research. “Since much of UBC’s animal research is funded by taxpayers, the public has a right to know what the university is doing to animals with public money.” In their letter, the organizations expressed frustration that specifics about UBC’s animal research programs are hidden from the public. The groups wrote, “While published studies can be found on sites such as PubMed, information about UBC’s research, such as key data (e.g. numbers and species of animals used), veterinary and necropsy reports, and photos and video, has not been made available. UBC’s website, and both the Animal Care Centre and Animal Care Committee sites, provide little useful or detailed information about animal research. Furthermore, Canadian Council on Animal Care assessments of UBC’s research and reports of non-compliance are confidential, which means the public has no way of knowing if the university has violated animal care standards.” The groups noted that other countries have a far more transparent system. In the US, for instance, the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Agriculture post comprehensive information about animal experiments online, allowing for public scrutiny of university research.

“It’s time for animal experimentation at UBC to come out of the closet,” said Debra Probert, Executive Director of the Vancouver Humane Society. “Society has a right and an obligation to make informed decisions about how far scientists ought to be able to go when using animals in research. With the limited and cryptic information that is presently available to the public, this is impossible.”

“Why is UBC so defensive about their animal research?”asked Liz White, Director of the Animal Alliance of Canada. “What have they got to hide? And why is the Canadian Council on Animal Care supporting the university’s lack of disclosure? Maybe the university is in compliance with CCAC requirements and maybe it is not,” White continued. “We have no way of knowing. Yet, approximately 100,000 animals are subjected to experimentation with oversight from UBC’s Animal Care Committee comprised of a majority members with interests in animal research and the CCAC, an agency whose governing body is made up of 25 organizations, 24 of which either conduct or fund animal research. The entire system is a closed shop. The University must open up its laboratory doors and its books to allow for full public disclosure. Only then will we really know what happens to the animals at UBC.”

UBC is one of the largest bio-medical campuses in Canada. Each year, UBC conducts thousands of experiments involving animals, including on cats, pigs, mice, rabbits, rats, non-human primates, and other animals. ###

MEDIA CONTACT:

Brian Vincent, Stop UBC Animal Research, 604-551-3324, 604-618-1030,
http://stopubcanimalresearch.org/

ORGANIZATIONS ON LETTER TO UBC:Action for Animals * Action for Animals Network * All Creatures * Animal Advocates Society of BC * Animal Aid * Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada * Animal Alliance of Canada * Animal Concern * Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society of BC * Animal Defenders International * Animal Emancipation of San Luis Obispo County * Animal Liberties * Animal Protection of New Mexico * Animal Protection Voters of New Mexico * Animal Rights Action Network * Animal Switchboard * Animal Voices Vancouver * The Aniplant Project * Animal Rights Coalition (ARC) * ARK II – The Animal Rights Kollective * Born Free USA * C.A.R.E (Calgary Animal Rights Effort) * Campaigns Against the Cruelty to Animals * Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals * Canadian Marine Environment Protection Society * Canadian Voice for Animals Foundation * Canadians For Animal Welfare Reform * Carried Through Animal Rescue and Education (CTARE) * Coalition For No Whales In Captivity * CAWES (Coast Animal Welfare & Education Society) * Compassion for Animals * Empty Cages Collective * The Ferret Aid Society * Frogs are Cool * Hearts On Noses Sanctuary * Humane South Asians * In Defense of Animals * International Network for Humane Education * International Year of the Tiger Foundation – Victoria, BC Chapter * Katie’s Place Animal Shelter * Kwantlen Polytechnic University Animal Rights Collective * Last Chance for Animals * Liberation BC * Massachusetts Progressive Animal Watchdog Society * The Missy Foundation * National Anti-Vivisection Society * Northwest Animal Rights Network * Pacific Animal Foundation * People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals * Rabbit Advocacy Group of BC * Second Chances Dog Rescue * Stop Animal Experimentation at University of Toronto * Stop Animal Exploitation NOW * Stop UBC Animal Research * Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at McGill * Student Animal Legal Defence Fund – University of Toronto Chapter * TRACS (The Responsible Animal Care) * UBC Social Justice Centre * UBC Veggie Club * Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns * Vancouver Humane Society * Vancouver Island Animal Defense League * Win Animal Rights

COALITION LETTER TO UBC:

October 12, 2010

UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Stephen J. ToopeOffice of the PresidentThe University of British Columbia6328 Memorial RoadVancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2 Dear UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Toope: We the undersigned urge the University of British Columbia (UBC) to fully disclose information about its animal research program, including the numbers and species of animals utilized in experiments at UBC over the last ten years to determine whether the number of animals has increased or decreased, research protocols and approved animal research grants over the last ten years, Animal Care Committee (ACC) assessments of UBC’s research, reports of any UBC non-compliance of Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guidelines, and photo, as well as video, documentation of such research. We are troubled the university has been less than forthcoming about its research activities. UBC has yet to provide public interest groups with animal research protocols and has twice denied requests for information under provincial freedom of information law. While published studies can be found on sites such as PubMed, information about UBC’s research, such as key data (e.g. numbers and species of animals used), veterinary and necropsy reports, and photos and video, has not been made available. UBC’s website, and both the Animal Care Centre and ACC sites, provide little useful or detailed information about animal research. Furthermore, CCAC assessments of UBC’s research and reports of non-compliance are confidential, which means the public has no way of knowing if the university has violated animal care standards. The US, on the other hand, has a far more transparent system. The National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Agriculture post comprehensive information about animal experiments online, allowing for public scrutiny of university research. Much of UBC’s animal research is funded with public money. Yet few Canadians are aware their money is being used for experiments on animals. With that in mind, we believe UBC should fully disclose information about its animal research programs. That way, students, donors, alumni, and the public can make informed decisions about supporting a university that engages in activities many find objectionable and of questionable scientific merit. UBC’s lack of transparency to date has given the impression it does not want the public to see what researchers are doing to animals behind closed doors. We look forward to your response. Should you have any questions please contact Brian Vincent at Stop UBC Animal Research at 604-551-3324.

Thank you. Sincerely,

Brian Vincent
Stop UBC Animal Research
P.O. Box 391, Station A
Vancouver BC V6C 2N2

On behalf of:

Eric Mills, Coordinator
Action for Animals
Oakland, CA
USA

Mary Zoeter, President
Action for Animals Network
Alexandria, VA
USA

Veda Stram, Administrator
All Creatures
Athens, NY
USA

Judith Stone, President
Animal Advocates Society of BC
Vancouver, BC

Andrew Tyler, Director
Animal Aid
The Old Chapel
Bradford Street
Tonbridge, Kent
UK

Liz White, Director
Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada
Toronto, ON

Erika Sullivan, DVM
Animal Alliance of Canada
Toronto, ON

John F. Robins, Secretary
Animal Concern
Glasgow, Scotland

Karl Losken, Director
Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society of BC
North Vancouver, BC

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive
Animal Defenders International
London
UK

Peggy Koteen, Director
Animal Emancipation of San Luis Obispo County
San Luis Obispo, CA
USA

Katherine MacDonald, Officer of External Affairs
Animal Liberties
Students’ Society of McGill University
Montréal, QC

Elisabeth Jennings, Executive Director
Animal Protection of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM
USA

Elisabeth Jennings, Executive Director
Animal Protection Voters
Albuquerque, NM
USA

John Carmody, Founder
Animal Rights Action Network
Dublin, Ireland

Virginia Handley, Director
Animal Switchboard
Sacramento, CA
USA

Joanne Chang and Alison Cole, Hosts and Producers
Animal Voices Vancouver
Vancouver, BC

Charlene Inglis, President
The Aniplant Project, Inc.
Osprey, FL
USA

Donna Liberson, Spokesperson
Animal Rights Coalition (ARC)
Vancouver, BC

Helen Prancic, Director
ARK II – The Animal Rights Kollective
Toronto, ON

Barry Kent MacKay, Senior Programme Associate
Born Free USA
Markham, ON

Maureen Hurly, Coordinator
C.A.R.E (Calgary Animal Rights Effort)
Calgary, AB

Ericka Ceballos, Director
Campaigns Against the Cruelty to Animals
New Westminster, BC

Stephanie Brown, Director
Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals
Toronto, ON

Doug Imbeau, Education Program Coordinator
Canadian Marine Environment Protection Society
Vancouver, BC

Earle Bingley, President
Canadian Voice for Animals Foundation
West Vancouver, BC

Sarah West, Founder and President
Canadians For Animal Welfare Reform
Victoria, BC

Carrie Corbett, Director
Carried Through Animal Rescue and Education (CTARE)
Burnaby, BC

Annelise Sorg, President
Coalition For No Whales In Captivity
Vancouver, BC

Iris Carr, Director
Communications/Volunteers/Animal Welfare
CAWES (Coast Animal Welfare & Education Society)
Bowen Island, BC

Gary Loewenthal, Vice President and Co-Founder
Compassion for Animals
Annandale, VA
USA

Peter J. McKosky, Coordinator
Empty Cages Collective
Brooklyn, NY
USA

Randy Belair, President
The Ferret Aid Society
Mississauga, ON

Lesley Fox, Founder
Frogs are Cool
Vancouver, BC

Janice Gillett, President
Hearts On Noses Sanctuary
Mission, BC

Jatinder Khaira, Founder
Humane South Asians
Vancouver, BC

Elliot Katz, President
In Defense of Animals
San Rafael, CA
USA

Dr. Olivier Berreville, National Contact for Canada
International Network for Humane Education
Halifax, NS

Cecilie Davidson, President
International Year of the Tiger Foundation
Victoria, BC Chapter
Victoria, BC

Magdalena Szulc, President
Katie’s Place Animal Shelter
Maple Ridge, BC

Kari Michaels, Founder
Kwantlen Polytechnic University Animal Rights Collective
Surrey BC

Chris DeRose, President
Last Chance for Animals
Los Angeles, CA
USA

Becci Gindin-Clarke, Director
Liberation BC
Vancouver, BC

Beverly Alba, President
Massachusetts Progressive Animal Watchdog Society
(MassPAWS)
Winthrop, MA
USA

Deborah Fortescue-Merrin, President
The Missy Foundation
Bowen Island, BC

Marcia Kramer, Director of Legal, Legislative Programs
National Anti-Vivisection Society
Chicago, IL
USA

Peter Keller, Board of Directors Member
Northwest Animal Rights Network
Seattle, WA
USA

Lana Simon, Director
Pacific Animal Foundation
North Vancouver, BC

Kathy Guillermo, Vice President
Laboratory Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Norfolk, VA
USA

Carmina Gooch, President
Rabbit Advocacy Group of BC
North Vancouver, BC

Bev Davis, Organizer
Second Chances Dog Rescue
Parksville, BC

Paul York, Founder
Stop Animal Experimentation at University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Michael A. Budkie, Executive Director
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
Milford, Ohio
USA

Sophie Gaillard, President
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at McGill
Faculty of Law, McGill University
Montréal, QC

Anna Pippus and Camille Labchuk, Organizer
Student Animal Legal Defence Fund
University of Toronto Chapter
Toronto, ON

Sinikka Crosland, President
TRACS (The Responsible Animal Care)
Westbank, BC

Arielle Friedman, Treasurer
UBC Social Justice Centre
Vancouver, BC

Emma Smith, President
UBC Veggie Club
Vancouver, BC

Amanda Danielle, Founder
Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns
Vancouver, BC

Debra Probert, Executive Director
Vancouver Humane Society
Vancouver, BC

Marley Daviduk, Director
Vancouver Island Animal Defense League
Nanaimo, BC

Camille Hankins, Director
Win Animal Rights
New York, NY
USA