Their fear has caged them into silence. They have done what they can to hide their identities. But oftentimes, it’s not enough to escape the threats and harassment.

Animal researchers from public universities around Florida are now fighting to keep their personal information out of the hands of animal rights activists.

A bill moving through the House of Representatives would exempt the personal identification information of animal researchers at public research facilities from being public record.

UF, along with several state universities, is lobbying for the bill to protect researchers from potential danger and harassment.

In Gainesville, an animal rights group has made UF’s involvement personal.

The Eleventh Hour for Animals, which works to expose “the taxpayer-funded animal torture industry inside the University of Florida,” has published personal identification information on UF animal researchers on their website. The group, known primarily for targeting UF primate researchers, has publicized personal phone numbers, addresses and pictures of animal researchers at UF.

Disturbing pictures of primates being examined by researchers are featured on the organization’s website along with posters with quotes like “stop the holocaust inside UF, free the monkeys.”

After a three year lawsuit, the organization, formerly named Negotiation is Over, obtained UF’s public veterinary records last April.

The researchers named in public records were the first ones to be targeted by animal rights activists, said Janine Sikes, a UF spokeswoman.

“The university wants to be very open and honest about its research,” she said. “It wants to stop these personal attacks against our researchers.”

Sikes said the animal rights activists have made harassing phone calls, targeted family members and made death threats to UF animal researchers. Due to this, the Eleventh Hour for Animals is under surveillance from the police department and the FBI.

UF provided much of the language in the bill, which could take effect as soon as July.

If approved, the bill would exempt the personal identification of researchers in animal records on treatment and care, research protocols and approvals, purchase or billing records, animal care and use committee records, and facility and lab records.

In 2011, a member of Eleventh Hour for Animals posted fliers offering money for information on researchers experimenting with animals. However, Camille A. Marino, Eleventh Hour for Animals founder and executive director, said that the group has never threatened or committed violent acts against the researchers at UF.

“The only violence that is happening is the violence they commit against animals for money,” she said. “My intent is never to threaten anyone, only to provide information that the community has a right to know.”

On behalf of the Eleventh Hour for Animals, Marino has filed a federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture requesting an investigation into “apparent egregious and repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act related to nonhuman primates being warehoused inside the University of Florida.” The letter details the organization’s concern for UF’s treatment of Booger, a macaque monkey.

Marino said the monkey is showing signs of mental deterioration because of his confinement.

“I want him out of there,” Marino said. “I want all of the monkeys out of there. I fully intend to do whatever it takes to have that program shut down and disbanded.”

UF is not alone in its fight for privacy. Universities lobbying for the bill include the University of Central Florida, Florida International University and the University of South Florida.

Grant Heston, associate vice president for communications and public affairs at UCF, said animal researchers are being targeted at universities across the U.S.

“We feel it’s a responsible measure to help protect those individuals,” Heston said.

Due to colleagues receiving threats, a UF researcher has chosen to remain anonymous to discuss possible future primate research.

“I’m extremely concerned about being able to do primate research on this campus,” the researcher said. “I don’t want my name and my house bombed. I don’t want them to stand in front of my house.”

The researcher’s fear is concern enough to consider not performing research on the primates. The researcher wants to give back to humans with their research but may reconsider for fear of harassment, adding, “I will face a horrific time if my name is not covered.”

[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 4/4/2014 under the headline "Universities seek to shield researchers from activists"]

(14) comments

ProgressiveScience

Given Marino's past history of threats and intimidation it's not surprising that UF scientists are seeking legal protection. She is to the animal rights movement what Fred Phelps was to Christianity. Here are a few examples of her past activities:

http://speakingofresearch.com/2011/03/30/a-new-low-at-nio/
http://speakingofresearch.com/2011/08/23/animal-rights-threats-not-welcome-here/
http://speakingofresearch.com/2012/03/08/follow-the-law-or-your-convictions/

Nevertheless I'm not sure that this is the right approach, UF would be better advised to counter the extremism of Marino and her colleagues by making more of an effort to explain the work of their scientists to the public. By explaining their work, why and how it is done, they can expose just how far from the truth the animal rights extremists' claims are, and do far more to safeguard the future of their vital work.

Effective outreach and public engagement has enabled several Universities in the UK and USA to successfully counter animal rights campaigns, and to build the political support necessary to prevent campaigns of harassment and intimidation against scientists.

http://speakingofresearch.com/2014/01/22/outreach-not-out-of-reach/

It's time that UF followed their example.

darioringach
darioringach

Ms Marino seems to have short memory about her past activities as ProgressiveScience already noted. Here is another one of her past actions --

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/03/30/animal-rights-terrorists-target-students/

PTfS

Public access to records is intended to ensure that our society can evaluate the compliance of government with the law and standards of conduct. It is not intended so that pathological individuals and groups can identify persons for harassment and targeting.

The University of Florida does not conduct its research in secret. It's research conduct is already monitored on an on-going basis by the US Dept of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health, like all major research universities are.

Ms. Marino and her sycophants have no scientific background or expertise in veterinary medicine. They do not have the ability to evaluate the program nearly as expertly as do the inspectors from the USDA and NIH (who are actual veterinarians with scientific training).

But they don't really want to know the facts of science and research. What they want are names so that they can play our their blood lust and deep psychopathology (http://unlikelyactivist.com/2012/10/21/psychopathology-in-segments-of-the-animal-rights-community/).

Shielding researchers from the insanity of Negotiation is Over is only the first step.

What the University of Florida needs to do is more affirmatively engage in outreach so that its program is understandably to the public, without releasing details of individual identities to give NIH additional targets and victims.

ARFF

The personal phone numbers and home addresses of animal researchers are never included in research protocols and other records, and the legislation will not hide the names of researchers, so what exactly will the proposed legislation accomplish?

MummysCurse

Hey, ARFF person -- shouldn't you be in Liberia trying to protect the rights of the Ebola virus? Back off, doc -- hemorrhagic fevers are people, too!

tech233
tech233

For all the lying and whining UF does, All I've ever seen are a few middle aged people with flyers. I'm so sick of being lied to by UF! They have been saying the same things over and over and NOTHING HAS EVER HAPPENED IN OUR CITY! No links to past lies can change the proof/truth. Oh no children, don't talk to any activists! We have new cameras and locks children WE are keeping you safe. Same thing for a few years now. No damage to anyone or anything. except UFs reputation for sticking things up monkeys' butts with my tax money. There are way more links to articles about how REAL schools are dropping their monkey testing to do the right thing for intelligent animals. Sheesh! We cannot be stupid enough to buy this anymore. Let's see what these animal people have to say...especially if we're told not to listen!!!

tech233
tech233

And one more thing- everyone that disagrees with the animal people always talk about people, never the animals. If their comments weren't going to get published if the rule was you could only talk about the issues with the animals not the animal people....would they have anything to say? I bet they have something to say about that, but still not the monkeys!

WeRnotintheDarkAgesAnymore

Regarding the argument that the a layperson cannot understand why Animal Experiments are necessary for the good of Humankind, well, in this new world of advanced Technologies and given the decades of unsuccessful inter-species Comparative Medicine experiments, it really doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that such experiments are not only archaic, barbaric, and unethical but completely unnecessary. Even evolved Physicians like the Physicians for Responsible Medicine, not only condemn animal experimentation but promote alternate methods. " The replacement of animal testing and animal experimentation with nonanimal techniques often yields both ethical and technical advantages. Clinical, epidemiological, and pathological investigations remain the foundation of research on human disease. Although animals are often used when ethical or practical issues have precluded the study of humans, the evolving scientific understanding of the complexity of animals and of their social and psychological needs underscores longstanding ethical concerns about their use in laboratory science." This is a link to their comprehensive page on evidence based data as to why animal testing is considered archaic. http://www.pcrm.org/research/animaltestalt/animaltesting

WeRnotintheDarkAgesAnymore

Additionally, in direct response to PTfs insinuations that the USDA and NIH somehow protect the animals being experimented on by their guidelines and protocol's that Researchers must follow, is so blatantly false that I must assume that PTfs intention on posting it was to intentionally lie to the Public. The researchers are held to guidelines , for example, this link includes USDA chart that researchers must assign animals to in certain categories of Pain and Distress , courtesy of Cornell University , the pain and distress is not Unlawful ! http://www.iacuc.cornell.edu/documents/IACUC009.01.pdfas and as far as the NIH guidelines for animal care , they are the same from 1985 !! 30 years ago !!! can we say Archaic !! the original is still used today : "Laboratory animal welfare; U.S. government principles for the utilization and care of vertebrate animals used in testing, research and training; notice." from the US Office of Science and Technology Policy 1985..... I am not one of Camille Marinos sycophants, in fact, I denounce her methods as I think they are used as ammunition by the Research community to take away the credibility of the entire anti-vivisection movement which is vibrant and growing. Many within the movement are Peaceful activists but make no mistake, they and I have full agreement with Marino that Animal Experimentation is archaic, barbaric and unnecessary and that the people associated with it are monsters for the torture that they inflict on animals and it is Torture. I don't condone harassment tactics or threats but I'd sure want to know if an animal researcher was my neighbor as I would not trust someone who is capable of such things. I would be for awareness spread of the Researchers , the same as it is for sexual predators. No threats or harassment but just some list with their names and faces would be great to know. There needs to be transparency.

ProgressiveScience

http://speakingofresearch.com/2013/12/20/cancer-immunotherapy-a-breakthrough-made-through-animal-research/

In response to the previous comment by weare not...etc., I'll point out that the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicare (a misnamed organization if ever there was one) is not a genuine physicians organization, but rather a vegan/animal rights front group with close ties to Peta, who helped fund it for many years. To say that their views on animal research are influenced by their ideology would be an understatement.

Animal studies are a crucial component of the most exciting and advanced areas of modern medicine, including fields such as personalised cancer therapies, stem cell medicine, brain machine interfaces, tissue engineering, gene therapy, regenerative medicine and cancer immunotherapy. ..the latter being highlighted as one of the most exciting areas of medicine last year (see top of comment for example). This is why the overwhelming majority ( 97% in one recent survey) of scientists consider animal research to be crucial to medical advancement.

Nobody is denying that animals do sometimes suffer in research (after all the diseases that are being studied cause suffering to patients) but any suffering needs to be justified and all possible steps are taken to minimise any suffering through analgesia and anaesthesia, and the vast majority of animals studied do not experience any serious pain or discomfort. The rules and regulations governing animal research, through the USDS and PHS are constantly evolving and stringently enforced.

Finally, your comparison of hard working scientists who work to advance scientific knowledge and improve medicine to "sexual predators" is, frankly, beneath contempt. You seem to think you are better than Camille Marino, and you probably are...but only marginally.

tech233
tech233

See but what was accomplished is no longer relevant. And no matter how well you treat your slaves, the definition of slavery doesn't change. I'm really disturbed that you can even use the word exciting and animal testing in the same thought. It may seem small, but that's a huge red flag towards who you awful people are that are hurting the animals. Right this minute, UF is testing on 26 horses. They cut open their legs, chipped their bones, sewed them back up with the chips and exersised them. All to simulate arthritis to have some poor creature to test on. Im guessing you could go to any racetrack and find way more than 26 horses who already have arthritis, one of the most common diseases ever. An analogy. Look. Long ago there were lots of surgeries done successfully without anesthesia, so why bother doing those same procedures with it? Because once we have knowledge that will stop the pain and suffering, it becomes absolutely wrong to not use it. We now know these animals are sentient. Our own race has been slaves and used for medical experimenting. Now we know this is wrong. Only the most uncivilized human would continue to say it needs to continue. UF doesn't deny the horse experiments. They say they have strick guidelines they go by, but I think that statement just shoots down the validity of whoever made those guidelines. The animals are being tortured. The rule book, as mentioned below, is decades old. Im sure the people inspecting by the guidelines are other animal testers. And you know what? I think since the animal testers know that the details of what they do are too horrific to bear and that makes it easy to swindle the government/taxpayers out of money. So so sad that the monkeys and horses and all the other animals get lost when mush minded people listen to UF.

WeRnotintheDarkAgesAnymore

Tsk tsk ......ProgressiveScience-- your last post is laden with untruths sounding quite desperate to invalidate my factual data based comments.

1) PCRM is a Physician based organization despite your attempts to discredit them. Many of these Physicians also belong to the Anti-Vivisection Society because they have evolved their beliefs based on their credible experience, alternative testing methods, and the unethical torturous treatment of experimental animals intra-experiment. The founder is a Physician, Jarrod Bailey is a renowned Geneticist ( again Physician), Chad Sandusky is a noteworthy Toxicologist ( physician) and there are far too numerous more making it unfeasible to post them all but since we are in Gainesville, I will say that Dr. John Gross, a reputable, respected and admired Neurologist here in Gainesville was also a proud member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine...

2) You do not cite the survey which you quoted as being evidence that animal testing is somehow necessary and you also didn't cite but one of the modern medical advances that you claim are due to animal experiments. I will look into the original Research Study of James P. Allisons 1996 but the link to the original Article within your Pro Animal Testing site's one, actually, stated that the success the Cancer Immunotherapy was due to the " decoding of basic biology," which in today's world can be done with technological programs, not animals as subjects. Furthermore, there were numerous Human Cancer patients more then willing to be tested upon according to that same article........

3) Most importantly, the animals are indeed being tortured. They suffer greatly pre, intra, and post experiment---physically, psychologically, and emotionally, Again, I could provide Scientific Data that would take up not pages but Volumes, from Journal Articles.

4) Your attempts to divide those of us within the vibrant and growing Anti-Vivisection Movement are very apparent and very stupid. I do not consider myself superior to Camille Marino. I chose a different path of activism. As far as a Researchers that do experiments on sentient beings who suffer greatly as Laboratory animals, they are, actually , WORSE then sexual predators. It is common knowledge that a sexual predator cannot help themselves and cannot ever be rehabilitated , unlike a Researcher who experiments on sentient beings, monkeys, primates, dogs, cats, mice, rats...etc., They make a conscious decision and choice. They can opt for alternative more progressive and evolved methods but they don't. They're too lazy to learn them. It's so easy to get an animal to experiment on, and it saves them their precious money because most of these animals are very cheap. To reiterate, I would like a Public registry of all Researchers names, not their addressed or phone number, but their names and faces, just like the sexual predator registry for I would not trust someone that is capable of objectifying a sentient being to the point of making them endlessly suffer. I would be more afraid to have such person as my neighbor then a sexual predator.

CamilleMarino
CamilleMarino

@darioringach -- thank you for offering that link. is that all you have left? i still have a good quote or two left in me... so how's this: "the animals don't care whether their tormentor is an amateur or professional, a student or a full-fledged psychopath! vivisection students are legitimate targets!"

now, maybe you can remind us why you gave up torturing monkeys for a living. and why are you living vicariously trolling articles about monkey torture?is this symptomatic of your sadistic psychopathology???

oh, btw, dario -- any comment on this... it seems we have a video of ucla vivisectors in their natural environment. i would have PAID one of these pacifists to let me switch places with them.... http://www.negotiationisover.net/2014/02/02/hysterical-screaming-violent-ucla-vivisectors-disrupt-peaceful-silent-vigil-for-their-victims/

Turk 182

Is this the same Camille A Marino of Wildwood, Florida that was arrested for shoplifting at Publix in 2010?

http://www.lakecountyclerk.org/record_searches/online_court_records/online_court_records_detail.asp?case_id=80730493

What, are your disability payments not enough for you to live on? Once again, you are asking your "colleagues" to send you money. What assurance do your few remaining supporters have that ANY money sent to you will be used for a legitimate purpose?

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