University of Iowa president David Skorton says researchers on his campus are fearful and angry, but will not capitulate to the demands of animal rights protestors who’ve claimed responsibility for destroying research projects. “We will not be bullied and intimidated,” Skorton says. On Sunday, labs and faculty offices in two campus buildings were ransacked and research animals were released. The Animal Liberation Front sent local media a statement, claiming responsibility. Skorton says the statement listed the names, addresses, phone numbers and spouses of some of the researchers who had their experiments disrupted or destroyed on Sunday. Skorton says he views that as clear cut intimidation. “Reasonable people do not resort to violence and vandalism and then follow those unconscionable acts with further threats of violence,” Skorton says.Skorton says the mood of researchers who’ve been targeted “is one of great dismay, of fear, of anger and of sadness.” Skorton says their work has suffered a great set-back with the loss of laboratory materials, and they’ve been targeted by the Animal Liberation Front as individuals. “Now of course we can disagree in our society as reasonable people about many things, but this is a criminal act, just pure and simple a criminal act,” Skorton says. Skorton says the F-B-I as well as local authorities are investigating. “We will run this to ground and we will not be intimidated. We will not stop doing appropriate and carefully monitored research on this campus,” Skorton says.
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