Animal research debate

OHSU defends its animal research after years of silence and controversy.

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Until now, OHSU’s response has mainly been to ignore the protesters and instead try to spin positive publicity about research at the center.

Since OHSU took over the Oregon National Primate Research Center in 1998, the 237-acre facility in Hillsboro has been a flashpoint for the national animal rights movement. The center has been infiltrated by animal rights activists posing as workers. Its scientists’ homes have been vandalized. About twice a year, protesters descend on OHSU’s main complex on Marquam Hill or the school’s Richmond clinic in Southeast Portland.

But after the Jan. 21 demonstration by In Defense of Animals, OHSU decided to fight back. In an hourlong interview with WW in March, OHSU spokesman Jim Newman laid out the school’s justification for animal research while blasting both the tactics and beliefs of animal rights activists. Newman also brought Ilhem Messaoudi, a Cornell grad engaged in animal research at the center, and C.J. Doane, a former manager at Charles River Laboratories, the world’s largest supplier of lab animals. She now serves as head veterinarian at the primate center.

Read the full story in Willamette Week.

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