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PHOTOS: (top) Kinship Circle executive director Brenda Shoss marches with hundreds of activists to protest primate experiments at University of California, Los Angeles. (bottom) Some protesters wore white lab coats with fake cash in pockets and Animal Killers written on their backs. Credit: Muna Cosic for Animal Rights Activists Protest at UCLA After USDA Confirms Violations

July 2011 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms that the University of California, Los Angeles animal research laboratory was formally warned about Animal Welfare Act violations revealed in a December inspection. The warning cites oversight failures related to facilities, personnel, equipment and services — highlighting failure to check animals daily and lack of guidance over lab technicians who handle, restrain, anesthetize, tranquilize and euthanize animals.

July 22, 2011, Westin LAX (Heathrow Room, 5400 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles) — SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation Now) holds a press conference regarding UCLA violations within its multi-million dollar research agenda. The national animal experimentation watchdog group releases copies of USDA warnings that cite UCLA for Animal Welfare Act infringements, along with reports that prompted the federal investigation.

SAEN, an Ohio-based nonprofit that keeps tabs on U.S. animal labs to uncover taxpayer misuse and animal cruelty, presents a statement from Dr. Lawrence Hansen, a UC San Diego Neuroscience professor, that implies UCLA methamphetamine studies are futile and abusive. The report also mentions UCLA workers barred a federal inspector from access to parts of laboratories.

Beagles Liberation and Freedom were rescued from an animal experimentation laboratory, and still have ID numbers tattooed on the inside of their ears. Photo: (c) Kinship Circle, UCLA demo 2011

Kinship Circle executive director Brenda Shoss, with her son Elijah, join the protest at UCLA. Brenda wears a blood splattered top, with fake blood on her hands and forearms, to signify the blood on primates and on the hands of vivisectors.
spacer JULY 25, 2011
I slather my hands and arms in the goopy, red stuff. It’s fake blood. I am a primate, experimented upon inside University of California, Los Angeles research laboratories. My shirt is splattered in red. I march alongside hundreds of others to protest Animal Welfare Act violations, gross negligence and cruelty.

In reality, I march because primates are used in research at all. Experimentation upon primates has failed to produce tangible data for AIDS, Alzheimer’s, stroke, cancer, other diseases and human conditions. Still, taxpayers annually subsidize redundant studies. Electrodes are lodged in primates’ brains and spinal cords. Seizures and infections are artificially induced. Toxins are injected. Babies are forcibly separated from "breeding" monkeys. In a world defined by metal bars and cement floors, animals display aberrant behaviors — repetitive banging, spitting, and feces smearing.

This is why I am here, with my 10-year-old son and Kinship Circle’s Kate Danaher. I walk silently, holding a USDA violation notice addressed to UCLA. I am behind several demonstrators in white lab jackets with fake cash spilling from their deep pockets. "Animal Killer" is etched in black on the back of their coats.

We do not yell like the others behind us because two beagles walk ahead of us. We don't want to spook Liberation and Freedom, skittish from years inside animal experimentation labs. Their ears are tattooed with numbers, the only names they knew until freed.

Cars whiz past, tooting horns. Some students take literature and stop to talk. I am amazed at how many know about superior non-animal research technologies…how many realize that animal experimentation is about money — not science. Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) and Executive Director Michael Budkie coordinated the protest. We follow SAEN West Coast liaison Julia MacKenzie from Westwood Village through campus grounds.

My kid plays with Libby and Freedom. We too have a Beagle named Liberty. She is a puppy mill reject, rescued from death at a Missouri mill. My son begins fifth grade in the fall. I am proud he is here with me.

Police officers trail us to the entrance of Jane & Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior. Another row of law enforcers separates us from the front door, where we chant: "Nothing to hide? Let us inside!"

I glance at my hands. Fake blood glistens in the sunlight. They feel heavy, sticky, awkward. I let them dangle, palms up…feeling their helplessness and vulnerability. In that moment, I am a primate inside UCLA research laboratories. I am bewildered. I am in pain. And tears fall down my cheeks.

Brenda Shoss, Kinship Circle —

The march begins. Photo credits top 2 rows: Muna Cosic, Animal Rights Activists Protest UCLA After USDA Confirms Violations


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