The Oregon state Senate voted 25-3 this month to approve a bill that would shield the names, home addresses and other information about animal researchers from being routinely released with public records until at least 2010.
Oregon Senate Bill 262 creates an exemption for a variety of public records statutes that would prevent,
disclosure under public records law for records that identify
persons who engage in or support research on animals other than
rodents at Oregon Health and Science University.
So, for example, if a freedom of information request results in the release of unpublished research, the researcher’s name and other details would have to be redacted.
Oregon currently has a temporary exemption that expires in 2006, and SB 262 would extend that exemption another four years.
The aim of the bill is to protect researchers from harassment and violence by animal rights activists. Clearly this is not a panacea — anyone determined enough to obtain this information about an animal researcher is going to be able to do so. But reducing the casual, routine disclosure of such information nonetheless should help nonetheless.
The bill now must be approved by the Oregon state House. The full text of the proposed law can be read here
Senate passes measure to protect researchers. Michelle Cole, The Oregonian, March 2, 2005.
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