In February 2015 we interviewed No New Animal Lab about their campaign to stop the expansion of the University of Washington’s research lab while pressuring the private construction firm, SKANSKA into terminating their contract with the university.
U of W has been a long time animal research facility, using thousands of animals as research tools. Activists, students and federal authorities have all been concerned with these practices, especially when in 2014, the USDA, which enforces the law governing the proper treatment of animals in laboratories, cited Washington, the Oregon Health & Science University, and the University of California-Davis for failing to care properly for the animals. In April of 2014, the USDA found that the majority of monkeys at Oregon were suffering abnormal hair loss, potentially caused by psychological factors. In a November 2014 report, the USDA reprimanded Washington officials for the deaths of three infant monkeys, who were attacked by older male primates. Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! says an additional four monkeys have died since 2012, according to documents they obtained through a public record request.
The facilities at U of W currently have room for 650 primates, but the new building will allow for 280 more and hundreds of other species.
We talk with No New Animal Lab and NYC Animal Defense League about the ongoing campaign pressuring the university and Skanska, as well as other subsidiaries that will profit off this new lab being built. What has the last year looked like for activists fighting this?
Over the last year there has been work to push back against injunctions (SLAPP – Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation – which are often used by corporations against protest movements in an attempt to chill dissent and disrupt campaign organizing) filed on behalf of two executives of Skanska USA.
There has also been many home demonstrations, making the statement that decision makers profiting off animal exploitation will be held accountable to the public.While we discuss the specifics of this campaign, we also acknowledge that this campaign is a sign that grassroots animal liberation is becoming less fragmented and growing stronger, even in the face of growing
activist repression and lack of funding.
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Tagged: animal liberation, animal rights, animals, biomedical, Direct Action, no new animal lab, NYC adl, skanska, state repression, tactics, university of washington, vivisection