Results released on study of the use of animals in biomedical research

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Links to three articles showed up on the Pack News Wire today concerning the use of animals in lab testing.

The Independent Mail out of Anderson, SC listed the key findings of a recent study, including –

– Animal use is down in research, but government hurdles are high in developing better changes in the system.

– Toxicology (studying poisons) is making breakthroughs in reducing the use of animals.

– .05 percent of animals used in testing are dogs and cats, but that number still equates to more than 90,000 each year.

– 16 states have banned shelters from turning over animals to research labs.

– 150 inspectors (approx.) are responsible for overseeing more than 12,000 facilities nationwide – including zoos and other animal exhibitors, breeders and dealers, transporters and more.

This is of course problematic in ensuring the facilities are monitored on a regular basis.

In another story from the Independent Mail, documents have been released from a federal investigation into animal care at Clemson University.

From the article – “” The investigator with the United States Department of Agriculture collected documents and conducted interviews between October 2008 and July 2009 about reprisals against a whistleblower at the university who had earlier reported violations of federal animal welfare laws. “”

An article on TCPalm.com lists the 16 states that have banned shelters from turning over animals to research labs – Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia – and the District of Columbia.

TCPalm also notes there are about 10 Class B animal dealers still selling to research labs. They have come under “heavy criticism” for issues from improper care to “sloppy record-keeping.”

One dealer was recently charged with illegally buying hundreds of dogs from small breeders and supplying false documentation.

Some people can argue some testing has resulted in important treatments for humane diseases. But in too many cases, animal testing is repetitive or is being used in areas where results are already known. Example – pouring chemicals into the eyes of suffering rabbits.

It’s 2011. Science has made great strides. Clinical trials on humans who volunteer for these cases is really helping, in cancer research for example.

It’s time to reevaluate animal testing, or at minimum place extremely high standards on the treatment of the animals. Inflicting suffering on animals to research human medicine is a moral question that needs a lot more consideration.

My first experience in working directly with an animal-welfare organization was in my college days – with the North Carolina Network for Animals and one of the key issues focused on was vivisection.

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