Seattle, WA – Five members of a University of Washington committee responsible for reviewing all animal-based research proposals have filed a lawsuit against the university seeking to protect themselves, their families and their colleagues from escalating hostility and harassment from activists who oppose animal research.
For those of us in the rest of the world, we might look at this story as an example of how litigious the US is, but it can also be seen as the desperate measures an animal ethics committee sometimes have to take to get their host institution to live up to its responsibilities. Animal welfare, good housing/handling and training aren’t cheap, but they are “the cost” of doing animal work the right way.
In addition to Dr. Sullivan, four other members of the University of Washington’s IACUC committee, including another co-plaintiff, joined the suit anonymously. Together the five members of the University of Washington community are asking the court to block attempts by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to obtain their identities and also the names of more than 70 of their fellow colleagues who either currently serve or have served on the University of Washington IACUC committee.