News blog

Second “Pro-Test” rally draws hundreds to support UCLA researchers

A rally in defense of scientists who use animals in research drew between 300-400 supporters to the campus of the University of California Los Angeles today.

The rally, organized by the group Pro-Test for Science, was a follow-up to a similar rally at UCLA last year. Speakers at today’s rally included organizer and neuroscientist David Jentsch, who formed Pro-Test after his car was firebombed by animal rights activists last year; Kevin Quinn, a branch chief at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health; Michael Steinmetz, a program officer at the U.S. National Eye Institute; and UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor Scott Waugh.

Jentsch said that one animal rights activist protested the rally.

Jentsch said that in some ways, conditions for researchers have improved since the 2009 rally. For instance, no criminal attacks have taken place against UCLA researchers in the past year, and two activists with the Animal Liberation Front have been indicted for harassing UCLA researchers. In March, one pleaded guilty to the charges; the other pleaded no contest and will be sentenced next month.

Jentsch says that Pro-Test has worked to confront anti-research protesters on campus, and has built opposition to violence by organizing dialogues with peaceful groups that oppose animal research.

As a result, Jentsch said, animal rights groups have stepped down their attacks on UCLA researchers.

“These groups never expected that anybody on the scientific side would challenge them openly when they came to campus and marched around, so when they come to campus and we’re there, it’s quite remarkable – it has a chilling effect on their behavior,” Jentsch said.

“They still come to my house and scream obscenities at me,” Jentsch says. “But the most important objective has been achieved, which is that nothing has been burned or blown up.”


  1. Report this comment

    Sarah Chow said:

    Congratulations to David Jentsch for organizing a peaceful pro-test. I am appauled animal rights activist would take thier protest to such extreme levels. In order to save lives, scientist need to test their research on animals to deem them safe for humans. Don’t these protesters realize our research benefits everyone in the world: to eliminate suffering, allow a mother to have one more day with their child. How can they be so selfish. I hope David continues to peacefully fight back for our right to do our research properly. I guess all superheros need to have thier villans.

  2. Report this comment

    Constance Young said:

    Consider this: Those among the “Pro-Test”-ers include mostly researchers and/or others who stand to personally gain from research on animals. In contrast, the animal rights activists, for the most part, consider themselves the voice of the voiceless sentient beings who are both imprisoned and defenseless. If this were a jury trial, who would you most believe?

  3. Report this comment

    Johnny T. said:

    I’d believe the scientists performing research for the alleviation of human suffering, rather than a collection of “animal rights” thugs who are really just looking for someone to hurt and think they’ve found an excuse.

  4. Report this comment

    Jenny said:

    um…are you going to argue with these people?:

    “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men”

    -Leonardo Da Vinci

    “I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.”

    -Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President

    “I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t…The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.”

    -Mark Twain, author

    “… Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”

    -Thomas Edison, inventor

  5. Report this comment

    linda C said:

    Check your sources. I mingled at one of these Pro-tests, many of the people said that they were offered the afternoon off to march, and others were pumped with fear that their cars would be vandalized. Rubbish. There are a few fringe people who site researchers cars, they are very isolated unfortunate instances, which 99.9 % of the animal rights people disapprove of. I also noticed that the numbers of people who showed up for these Pro-tests, are exaggerated.

    I find it misleading that they call animal rights people thugs. Have you seen who they are? Teachers, grandmothers and gentle people. Animal lovers have the softest hearts on the planet, that’s why they cannot stand for them to be tortured. There are modern, more humane tests that can replace animal testing – Research is just slow to change over…and when you see how little is discovered from the suffering of living beings, (who feel pain, and cry and live in fear of what’s next), it is no longer worth it.

  6. Report this comment

    David Jentsch said:

    I personally do not believe that ALL people that are critical of animal research are thugs, and indeed, few scientists would ever say such a thing. I think that there are animal rights activists who love animals and believe that their own personal ethics do not permit them to use animals, themselves; that is fine. Our problem is with those that cross the line and decide that their own views should be forced onto others, despite the fact that our society accepts and embraces humane, regulated animal research.

    Though many scientists – like me – accept that some views of animals rights activists come from a set of noble intentions, those same activists appear all too willing to summarily declare all animal researchers as being violent and/or dedicated to a financially-motivated blood lust. In that, you are patently and unambiguously wrong and/or misled. Scientists are good people, striving to make the world better by contributing to knowledge and the betterment of the health of humans and animals, alike.

    To end, let me contribute a quote regarding animal research from Charles Darwin (in a letter of 1881):

    “…I know that physiology cannot possibly progress except by means of experiments on living animals, and I feel the deepest conviction that he who retards the progress of physiology commits a crime against mankind. Any one who remembers, as I can, the state of this science half a century ago must admit that it has made immense progress, and it is now progressing at an ever-increasing rate.”

  7. Report this comment

    Paul Browne said:

    Linda, that is complete nonsense, no-one was offered any time off to attend any of the Pro-Test rallies, though quite a few people had to take a few hours leave to attend or help organize it.

    Why do you think the numbers at this Pro-Test march peaked at about 350 during the march across the UCLA campus which coincided with lunch break while the numbers at the speeches earlier and later were lower, quite a few of those attending were clearly doing so in their lunch break…no time off required!

    As for people being “pumed with fear” that’s also nonsense, though of course Pro-Test rally participants were keen to show support for colleagues whose cars and houses have been subjected to arson attacks.

    Animal research has and continues to make a huge contribution to medical progress, and it’s great to see hundreds of people willing to take the time to support it. Of course the numbers of people marching in the Pro-Test rally is far fewer than the number who donate to medical research charities whose work involves a lot of animal researh such as the Michael J. Fox foundation and Race for the Cure.

  8. Report this comment

    Gene Rukavina said:

    Constance, both human and non-human animals have already benefited from animal research. When a dog receives a hip replacement that is one example. Hip replacement technology was developed using dogs and now it comes full circle. Cancer drugs that were originally developed using mice are now being used by veterinary oncologists to treat dogs and cats with cancer. Vaccines, parasite prevention, insulin – these are but a few examples of how animal research has directly benefited other animals.

    Linda, animal lovers are everywhere in laboratory animal science. As a Registered Veterinary Technician who loves all creatures great and small, I am proud to see lab animals receive compassionate care on a daily basis. Check your sources. You don’t like the use of the word “thug” to describe so-called animal rights people, yet you have no problem using the word “torture” when referring to lab animal care. That is hypocrisy.

  9. Report this comment

    Kim Williamsson said:

    Gene Rukavina, would you hesitate to use the word “torture” to what was being done to humans, by scientists, in Germany in the 30s and 40s? If not, where’s the difference? If you’re so great at inventing new cures, why not come up with one for ‘insensitivity to the suffering of other species’, a disease many white coats seem to be suffering from.

  10. Report this comment

    Gene Rukavina said:


    Shame on you for comparing the atrocities of Nazi Germany with the search for medical advancements and cures for human and non-human animal diseases. Do you condone violence and intimidation towards other human beings if they don’t see the world as you do? Shall I consider you a thug without even knowing you? It is because of selfless sensitivity that dedicated researchers search for these cures and medical advancements. Perhaps it is you that suffers from insensitivity to the needs of people enduring and dying from incurable and often untreatable diseases on a daily basis. The fact of the matter is that lab animals receive compassionate care. This is a fact, regardless of the lies you cling to.

  11. Report this comment

    Croquet Mahon said:

    Hmm… ??

    “But the most important objective has been achieved, which is that nothing has been burned or blown up.” !!!


Comments are closed.