Last week state senator Charlie Dean introduced a bill (SB 414) to create a public records exemption for home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and photographs of researchers at public universities whose work involves, “experimenting on animals for the purpose of conducting life-sustaining medical research.”
The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) does not oppose the right of individuals employed in the public sector to remove their personal information from public records for safety reasons, but the proposed legislation raises interesting questions about the different types of research involving animals.
In limiting the public records exemption to researchers who use animals in “life-sustaining medical research,” the legislation may not apply to researchers who use animals in basic research (research that is not focused on understanding or treating a specific disease), or who use animals in teaching. Other researchers who may not be protected under the proposed legislation include those conducting agricultural research, researchers who use animals in psychological experiments, and researchers working on projects funded by the U.S. Military.
ARFF would welcome a discussion about what research involving animals is life-sustaining (for the thousands of animals in laboratories in Florida, research is certainly not life-sustaining!).
The 2014 legislative session will begin on March 4. Click here to be added to ARFF’s email list to receive alerts and updates on animal protection legislation.