VICTORY! IACUC members receive protection from PETA via federal judge’s order

May 17, 2022

As an update to our February 24, 2022 post describing a precedent-setting lawsuit that IACUC members at the University of Washington (UW) filed against UW for protection from the anti-animal research group PETA, Speaking of Research is pleased to report that a federal judge has granted a motion for a preliminary injunction. This motion, announced in a press release by Americans for Medical Progress and the National Association for Biomedical Research, prevents the UW from releasing personal information requested by anti-animal research groups.

Rhesus macaque. Source: Kathy West/CNPRC

U.S. District Judge Richard Jones granted the motion because he determined that, if released, the details could be used to threaten IACUC members. The injunction follows a temporary restraining order that Judge Jones granted to the IACUC members in February following their lawsuit filing.

In his ruling, Judge Jones cited the existing atmosphere of harassment and menacing actions by groups like PETA, stating these actions cost IACUC members their first amendment rights because they can’t speak without fear of repercussion, which “unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.”

This marks the second time in as many months that judges have seen through PETA’s tactics, the first being last month when UC Davis won a lawsuit filed by PETA in an attempt to gain access to research-related materials. Just as in that case, we applaud Judge Jones for using reason and logic to support science and society.

~Speaking of Research

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