UC Davis has prevailed in a civil lawsuit brought by activists under the California Public Records Act. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, had filed the suit in January 2019, seeking access to unpublished research data, in the form of video recordings, from work by two researchers at the California National Primate Research Center.
The Superior Court of California, County of Yolo, ruled that releasing the material did not serve the public interest and would undermine academic freedom and the scientific process while increasing the risk that researchers could face physical harm and harassment from activists.
“We’re pleased with the court’s decision enabling UC Davis researchers to pursue their work, which ultimately benefits our community,” said Prasant Mohapatra, vice chancellor for research at UC Davis. The Office of Research oversees animal care programs on campus.