The Thurman Laboratory is formally known as the John E. Thurman Jr. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on campus. It houses the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory.

On April 16, 1987, members of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) set the facility on fire when it was still being constructed. (The sprinkler system was not installed yet). The damage from the arson has been estimated from $3.5 million to $4.6 million in damage. Even low estimates make it the most expensive animal rights crime in history.

Ten years later, the ALF protested in front of the building again and 32 arrests were made.