Target: University of Washington President, Michael Young
Goal: Stop the development of a large animal testing building on the University of Washington campus
Currently, the University of Washington (UW) is facing a lawsuit for its illegal approval of a large, underground animal testing facility. Once built, this new facility will increase animal testing on the campus significantly. The decision to build this facility was recently made in a series of emails and at a dinner attended by UW’s governing board, before the official, public hearing the next day. According to the state’s laws, consensus on an issue may not be made in private before a public hearing. An animal rights group has targeted UW for violating this law and approving a controversial, archaic testing facility.
The animal rights group, Don’t Expand UW Primate Testing, alleges that the governing board at the university held a closed-to-the-public dinner the night before a public hearing about the animal testing expansion. The governing board adversely insists that the traditional before-trial dinners, held at the president’s mansion, are always open to the public. It is obvious that the governing board does not properly advertise the publicity of its dinners, therefore shunning groups and individuals opposed to its decision making. Because the decision to build came before the public hearing, animal rights groups and citizen concerns were not properly accounted for.
Animal testing at UW has been commonplace for years. The approved, $123 million animal research facility will accommodate 10 percent more rodents and 20 percent more rabbits, pigs and primates. Medical training is not more advanced with animal testing; in fact, it is less accurate than other, non-abusive training. Had the governing board at UW listened to the pleas of animal rights activists and concerned citizens, it may have changed its policies and ordered the facility not be built. Urge the governing board and President of UW to stop development plans of the animal testing facility, as well as recommend the school listen to activists.
Dear Michael Young,
Recently, the University of Washington governing board unanimously approved the development of an underground animal testing facility. The decision was illegally reached through a chain of inclusive governing board emails and confirmed at a dinner held before the actual hearing, where the decision should have been made. This is extremely upsetting for a couple of reasons: The board did not adequately address the concerns of animal rights activists, nor did it allow debate and reach the decision at the legal hearing, where the decision should have taken place.
I understand that the governing board pre-hearing dinners are open to the public, per announcements on the UW website. However, this fact is not well known to the public. I cannot help but believe the decision to build the animal testing facility was reached in private because the board did not want significant push-back from the community. Conversing without the input of people concerned for the animals’ welfare would make deciding to go about the project much easier on the conscience.
There are countless alternatives to testing on animals. Animal testing is archaic, abusive, unnecessary and vile. I urge you to change your position on this matter and cease to develop of the animal-testing facility’s plans any further.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Pedro Vera via Flickr