Animal researchers call for privacy measures

Animal researchers at public universities across Florida, including the University of Florida, University of Central Florida, Florida International University and the University of South Florida, are pushing for a bill that will protect their personal information from animal rights activists. According to The Independent Florida Alligator, the bill aims at protecting researchers from harm and harassment.

The Eleventh Hour for Animals, a group dedicated to “exposing the taxpayer-funded animal torture industry inside the University of Florida,” has published phone numbers, home addresses and pictures of UF animal researchers on its website.

Because UF is a public university, information about the animal researchers and the facilities they conduct their research in is public record. In Marino v. University of Florida, in the District Court of Appeal of Florida, the judge held that UF had to provide records to Camille A. Marino, Eleventh Hour for Animals founder and executive director. Marino had requested records on 33 primates in captivity, and the University had refrained from providing all of the records, citing exemptions under Florida Statutes.

If the bill currently moving through the House of Representatives is approved, the personal identification of researchers would be exempt in animal records on treatment and care, research protocols and approvals, purchase/billing records and facility and lab records.