U continues to charge a high price for information concerning animal testing

Another student has joined the fight.

Senior Lidya Hardy sent a letter to the U requesting information about any and all dogs and cats housed at the Animal Resource Center or other U-supported facilities, and the request was met with the same response the U has given the past two months-a big bill.

Hardy is the sister of Daily Utah Chronicle opinion columnist Jason Hardy.

Lidya Hardy shares the same concern that students Jeremy Beckham and Kim Bowman have for animals involved in research at the U-the belief that confining and experimenting on the animals is inhumane.

Even though Beckham and Bowman focus their interest more on obtaining information about the primates at the U, their fight has been met with the same resistance Hardy’s has-hundreds of dollars in proposed charges.

In order to obtain any records of the animals, all three students must first pay copying and legal fees.

After Hardy requested “a complete consensus” of all dogs and cats “acquired by the University of Utah during the years of 1998-2004” and of all dogs and cats currently in the U’s possession, U Attorney Phyllis Vetter sent Hardy a bill for $737.17 for “search and retrieval,” “compilation” and “technical review.”

According to Vetter, Hardy’s bill is large because the documents are “not something we have.”

Vetter said the documents would have to be compiled, and after that, a scientific or legal professional must review the documents to “make sure the pages that she requested are put together properly.”

The charges for Beckham and Bowman were closer to $200. The proposed bill charged them for technical review, legal review and copy fees. According to Vetter, technical review covers “the technical scientific aspect” while the legal review “usually involves a lawyer.”

All three students requested the information under the Government Records Access and Management Act, Utah’s open records act.

Vetter said the fees the U proposed are covered under the same act, which “gives instructions for what you charge for and how you do it.”

“The statute is very carefully crafted to allow for recovery for only the actual cost at the hourly rate of the lowest hourly rate,” Vetter said.

The three students ultimately hope to end animal experimentation at the U.

“The lifetime of being in a cage…is representative of one type of inhumane treatment. Dogs especially are known for their emotional dependence on humans. They were essentially bred for human companionship, Hardy said. “To deprive them of this affects them mentally analogous to starvation, which deprives them physically,” Hardy said.

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