An animal advocacy group staged an eye-catching demonstration outside the Sheraton Wall Centre where the Canadian Association for Lab Animal Sciences (CALAS) was holding a symposium on Sunday.

Stop UBC Animal Research -- an organization aimed at ending animal testing at the University of British Columbia -- restrained a young woman to an operating table outside the hotel in an effort to expose the cruelty of animal research.

"The Canadian Association for Lab Animal Sciences is doing a symposium here where they are essentially training people on how to cut up and kill animals," Brian Vincent, Director of Stop UBC Animal Research, said. "We think it is brutal, cruel and unnecessary, so we decided to make a statement."

The animal advocacy group questions whether animal research at universities is ethical.

"They're skyrocketing -- more animals are being used in every year in Canada," Vincent said.

The symposium was offering a few sessions about performing procedures on live animals. President of CALAS, Michelle Gillespie, said the organization is focused on education and training.

"We teach humane, compassionate techniques," she said. "Decisions about whether or not animal research is necessary, ethical, scientifically merited -- those are handled by another organization in Canada."

The organization she was referring to is the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), which oversees 210 research facilities across the country, including UBC.

Dr. Norman Willis, Executive Director of CCAC, said he understands the protestors concerns but is confident as science improves, the need for animal testing will become nonexistent.

"The science is there to produce a benefit for humans and for animals and there is some cost associated with that. I don't see it as an evil -- I see it as kind of a trade-off," Willis

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger