A national animal rights group offered a $100,000 reward Tuesday to anyone providing information leading to the conviction of researchers or institutions guilty of animal cruelty or fraud in research.
Chris DeRose, founder of the 60,000-member Last Chance for Animals, announced the group's "Research Crime Campaign" program at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. He was accompanied by Beverly Hills Police Department officers and security guards, who delivered the reward money in cash to the press conference.
The group hopes that the reward will encourage whistle-blowers to expose cruelty to animals and research fraud, said executive director Eric Mindel. Members of Last Chance for Animals will publicize the campaign at research laboratories nationwide, Mindel said.
The reward, garnered through private contributions, is the first of several the group plans to offer.
"We want to be able to say, 'These people are not above the law.' They deserve more than a slap on the wrist when they . . . engage in animal cruelty," Mindel said.