AR-News: Fighting for Their Rights (re: Columbia primate
brucef at peta.org
Thu Feb 12 15:31:57 EST 2004
Fighting for Their Rights
PETA will hold protests in Memphis.
Bianca Phillips | 2/12/2004
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka,
Columbia University president Dr. Lee Bollinger will speak Thursday at the
University of Memphis' Fogelman Executive Center. Outside the building,
protesters will be shouting and holding signs, but these days they won't be
fighting for civil rights.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is stopping off in
Memphis to protest experiments on primates currently under way at Columbia
University. Alka Chandna, manager of PETA's campaign to end animal
experimentation, says her organization has been trailing Bollinger and other
Columbia administrators, as well as hitting up alumni gatherings, since
"There are terrible things happening to the primates at Columbia," said
Chandna. "In one experiment, a researcher cuts out the left eyes of baboons
and then induces a stroke by inserting a clamp into the eye socket, closing
three critical arteries. ... We understand from a veterinarian who was
working at Columbia that the animals were not given sufficient pain relief
during or after the experiments."
According to Chandna, two other experiments at Columbia concern PETA. One
involves a researcher surgically inserting metal pipes into the skulls of
monkeys to study the connection between stress and the menstrual cycle. The
other involves researchers pumping nicotine and morphine into pregnant
The experiments were first brought to PETA's attention by a veterinarian
working at Columbia. After she approached the university's Internal Animal
Care and Use Committee, an investigation was launched, and although the
committee agreed in a written response that the findings were "below the
standards expected at this institution" little was done to change them.
That's when PETA stepped in with a national demonstration campaign. Chandna
said local and national protesters from PETA will be in Memphis Thursday,
and although they'll be protesting before a civil-rights speech, she says
it's necessary to get their message across.
"Lee Bollinger has an excellent track record as far as civil rights are
concerned, but we'd like him to also see that primates are complex and
intelligent beings with a social structure similar to our own. They
shouldn't be deprived of basic rights either," said Chandna. "That a person
of his caliber cannot understand that is shocking to us."
E-mail: bphillips at memphisflyer.com
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the AR-News