Calif. bill to protect researchers

A bill that would criminalize some of the key methods used by animal rights protestors to target researchers cleared a California senate committee yesterday (Aug 14). Bill linkurl:AB 2296;http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_2251-2300/ab_2296_bill_20080811_amended_sen_v92.html makes it a misdemeanor to enter a researcher's home or publish their personal information or that of their immediate families to encourage violent crime against them. University of California administrators ye

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob started with The Scientist as a staff writer in 2007. Before joining the team, he worked as a reporter at Audubon and earned a master’s degree in science journalism...

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Aug 14, 2008
A bill that would criminalize some of the key methods used by animal rights protestors to target researchers cleared a California senate committee yesterday (Aug 14). Bill linkurl:AB 2296;http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_2251-2300/ab_2296_bill_20080811_amended_sen_v92.html makes it a misdemeanor to enter a researcher's home or publish their personal information or that of their immediate families to encourage violent crime against them. University of California administrators yesterday urged passage of the bill in the State Senate's Public Safety Committee. According to linkurl:__The Chronicle of Higher Education__,;http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/08/4253n.htm M.R.C. Greenwood, a former University of California provost, told the committee that animal rights protesters were scaring the state's biomedical researchers and interfering with their work. In a written statement, Greenwood said that the bill was a "critically important first step towards giving law enforcement and the research community the legal tools necessary to help investigate offenders and combat the unlawful tactics of these terrorists." "We believe it is of critical...
terday (Aug 14). Bill linkurl:AB 2296;http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_2251-2300/ab_2296_bill_20080811_amended_sen_v92.html makes it a misdemeanor to enter a researcher's home or publish their personal information or that of their immediate families to encourage violent crime against them. University of California administrators yesterday urged passage of the bill in the State Senate's Public Safety Committee. According to linkurl:__The Chronicle of Higher Education__,;http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/08/4253n.htm M.R.C. Greenwood, a former University of California provost, told the committee that animal rights protesters were scaring the state's biomedical researchers and interfering with their work. In a written statement, Greenwood said that the bill was a "critically important first step towards giving law enforcement and the research community the legal tools necessary to help investigate offenders and combat the unlawful tactics of these terrorists." "We believe it is of critical importance that meritorious and humane research involving animals can take place without threat of violence to researchers and their families," wrote linkurl:Mark Yudof,;http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/17548 current president of the University of California, in an August 6 linkurl:letter;http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/animalresearch/yudofletter080608.pdf to the Public Safety Committee. "This legislation is an important step toward preventing increasingly threatening and destructive tactics employed by extreme animal rights activists, without jeopardizing legitimate and lawful expressions of free speech," Yudof added. Attention has been focused on the bill, an earlier version of which was unanimously approved by the State Assembly, due to recent linkurl:attacks;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54910/ on animal researchers at UC Santa Cruz. The current version of the bill addresses some free speech issues raised during discussions of previous versions. Earlier this month, the names, photos, and personal information of several UCSC researchers were linkurl:published;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54908/ in fliers left at a Santa Cruz coffee shop a few days before the home and car of two university scientists - one of whom was listed in the pamphlets - were firebombed. California has seen a recent spate of such linkurl:attacks;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54379/ on UC researchers in past months. In February, UCLA officials linkurl:sued;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54356/ animal rights groups and individuals associated with these groups to prevent them from harassing researchers at the school. The bill now moves on to California's Senate Judiciary Committee, which will consider it before passing it on to the full Senate. The State Assembly will then consider any Senate amendments to the bill and vote on its passage.

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