VANCOUVER (March 7, 2011) – Today, Stop UBC Animal Research condemned the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) plans to build a new animal testing facility at its Okanagan campus. The new building, the In Vivo Research Facility, is being contructed in the basement of the Arts and Sciences II building and is scheduled to open in September.
The UBYSSEY newspaper, which broke the story in its paper today, reports “According to Scott Reid, a professor of biology at the Okanagan campus and the acting facility manager of In Vivo, the university wanted to keep the project low profile in order to protect the safety of the facility and researchers from those opposed to animal research.”
But Stop UBC Animal Research said that UBC was simply trying to hide the grim reality of animal experimentation from the public because the university realizes just how much opposition there is to such research.
“At a time when there is growing concern and disapproval of UBC’s experiments on animals, it is deeply troubling the university plans to expand its animal research programs,” said Brian Vincent with Stop UBC Animal Research. “Equally disturbing is UBC’s continuing lack of transparency. The fact that UBC wanted to keep this new facility hush-hush, tucked away in a basement out of sight, shows the university does not want the public to know what it is doing to animals behind closed doors.”
It was unclear from the UBYSSEY report what species and how many animals will be housed at the In Vivo facility. Stop UBC Animal Research been able to determine what experiments will be conducted on the animals at the new building.
This latest revelation about UBC’s animal research comes on the heels of two major stories Stop UBC Animal Research broke about experiments at the university. In January, Stop UBC Animal Research alerted the Province newspaper about UBC’s invasive experiments on monkeys. Last week, the animal advocacy group was leaked information from a UBC whistleblower about the school’s plans to kill seven endangered sea turtles. That story was featured on the front page of the Vancouver Sun and picked up by international media.
“Because UBC is so tight lipped about its animal research – research funded with taxpayers dollars, mind you – the public has no ability to scrutinize the university,” said Vincent. “Fortunately, more and more courageous souls inside UBC are coming forward with information. But public disclosure by whistleblower is not sound public policy. It is time UBC came clean about its animal experiments.”