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Primate Center On Alert After National Threat Animal Rights Group Targeting Mail, Letter Says

November 11, 2010
wdsu.com

The Tulane National Primate Research Center on the Northshore is on alert after a nationwide threat from a radical animal rights group. The threat involves dangerous pieces of mail, and though it is not directed specifically at the Tulane center, leaders there aren't taking any changes.

The primate research center is often under close scrutiny by animal groups. A letter Wednesday from the group Americans for Medical Progress -- with which Tulane works closely -- cautions about a potential threat. "Letters could contain razor blades, so one should be cautious when opening mail not from recognizable source," said Laura Levy, Tulane's vice president of research. "We thought it was useful and credible."

The letter said a scientist on the West Coast got a letter with a death threat and containing razor blades. It was signed by a group called "The Justice Department." The extremist group also apparently sent out a call to action to other animal rights activists. "Mark our words, we will destroy all who fall into our focus," the group said. "The animals still need our help, so we must strike hard and fast. This will be a turning point."

The Tulane Primate Research Center is located near Covington. It houses nearly 4,000 for medical testing. Tulane Chief Deputy of Police Randy Berggren said he would rather be safe than sorry, so he has directed all faculty and staff to take extra precautions when it comes to opening mail. "It's much easier for me to tell you to start opening letters with (an) opener, rather see than not telling anyone and we get a call saying someone cut their hand," he said.
Levy said animal research has been invaluable in creating products and treatments for various diseases, and that all of their animals are treated ethically and responsibly.

[Press Office Note: While 20,000 children worldwide die every month from lack of access to clean water, vivisectors at Tulane and other primate  laboratories are wasting money addicting primates to crystal methamphetamines, gluing coils to the globes of their eyes and doing other inhumane and painful experiments on other species of animals, including cats, dogs, pigs, mice and birds. In a civilized society, and with better alternatives to animal experimentation, US academia should be on the fore-front of good, solid, non-animal-based research that could save the lives of children and adults alike. Until they begin doing ethical, scientifically-valid, non-animal research, vivisectors will continue to be a target for those who morals, courage and heroism refuse to permit them to stand by and watch the needless suffering.]



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