The following press release from Pro-Test Italia has had links added.
Pro-Test rises again: Scientists in Italy follow UK Lead and Stand up to Animal Rights Extremism
On Saturday 1 June 2013, hundreds of Italian researchers are to take to the streets of Milan in defence of lifesaving medical and veterinary research. In a demonstration organised by the non-profit organisation, Pro-Test Italia, scientists are making their voices heard at a time when many institutions have been silenced by the threat of extremism.
Animal rights activism has been rising in Italy at a time when Britain has seen the number of illegal incidents fall to its lowest level in several decades. The rally in Italy comes shortly after animal rights extremists broke into the University of Milan and took away approximately 100 animals, putting research into human psychiatric conditions back by several years.
The rally was inspired by the original Pro-Test movement in Oxford, UK, where 16-year old schoolboy Laurie Pycroft led 1,000 scientists, students and members of the public on a rally in defense of the since-completed Oxford Biomedical Sciences Building in February 2006. The original Pro-Test movement changed the climate of fear and harassment against those who conducted animal research in Britain.
The President of Pro-Test Italia, Daria Giovannoni, said:
“Lifesaving research in Italy is under threat. Extremist attacks on breeders and research institutions prevent animal studies into diseases like cancer from being conducted. Pro-Test Italia aims to give scientists a voice to defend themselves.”
The rally will take place at 3pm on Saturday 1st June 2013 at Via Mercanti in Milan. Speakers will include Dr Guiliano Grignaschi of the Basel Declaration Society; Dr Bice Chini, a researcher at the National Research Council; and Dr Dario Padovan, coordinator of the Scientific Committee of Pro-Test Italia.
At 5pm the Basel Declaration Society will deliver a petition of over 5,000 signatures, calling for solidarity with the researchers at the University of Milan affected by the break in.
Laurie Pycroft, founder of the original Pro-Test movement in Oxford said:
“I was deeply saddened to see the heinous attack on research at the University of Milan in April – it was terrible to see the loss of years’ worth of valuable work as a result of a handful of misguided vandals. If anything positive can be gleaned from this incident, it is that the scientific community in Italy is now demonstrating that it will no longer bow down to threats, and will strive to defend research that improves millions of lives worldwide.”