"The public has a right to know what UBC is doing to animals with taxpayer dollars,” said Brian Vincent, spokesman for Stop UBC Animal Research. "If UBC is so proud of its animal research, why is the university refusing to hand over information about its experiments? What does UBC have to hide?”
FIPPA sets clear deadlines for responding to requests. For instance, under FIPPA, UBC is required to respond within 20 days to a request to waive fees for producing records. On September 10, Stop UBC Animal Research asked UBC to waive records costs because the organization is an all-volunteer group, the release of records is in the public interest, and the information requested cannot be obtained through publicly-accessible sources. Until the fee issue is resolved, the animal advocacy group said it cannot obtain any information from UBC. Stop UBC Animal Research said UBC’s refusal to meet deadlines gives the impression the university hopes to avoid turning over documents about its research.
“It is not surprising UBC is dragging its feet over the release of records about its experiments. The university doesn’t want the public to see the grim reality of animal research,” said Vincent. “University officials fear that once the public learns more about UBC forcing fluids into the lungs of newborn piglets to induce respiratory failure, blinding monkeys, cutting open the backs of cats, beheading wild songbirds, and exposing mice to cigarette smoke, people will be outraged,” Vincent said.
Since June, the Vancouver-based organization has submitted numerous information requests to UBC, including requests for:
· Data on the number and species of animals used in research
· Data on the numbers and species of animals upon which research, teaching, or testing was conducted involving pain or distress, but for which pain relief was not used
· Data on the numbers of non-human primates used in research. Sources of non-human primates used, including numbers of non-human primates bred at UBC or purchased from other facilities, as well as the numbers of wild-caught non-human primates and country of origin.
· Photos, videos, and other photographic records related to animal research
· Copies of inspection reports of UBC labs
· Research protocols describing methods used in animal experiments
· Clarification if UBC faculty have been a party to any research on dogs off the UBC campus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Mr. Vincent for copies of the piglet, monkey, songbird, cat, and mice studies mentioned above
Stop UBC Animal Research is a community grassroots campaign that employs peaceful, legal, and compassionate approaches to educate the public about the grim realities of research on animals at the University of British Columbia and to ultimately bring about an end to research on animals at UBC. Please visit our website at: http://stopubcanimalresearch.org/