AR-News: (US-ny)Sensitive experiments
info at animalconcerns.org
Sun Apr 4 14:36:41 EDT 2004
[opinon from Buffalo News]
Hamsters are infected with a parasite that kills hundreds of thousands of
children in South America, Africa and Asia.
Pigs get procedures that restrict the flow of blood in their heart.
Female frogs are sedated, and their oocytes - the precursors to mature
eggs - are removed. And dogs, cats and sheep are used in dozens of other
scientific experiments at the University at Buffalo, though school
officials would not talk about them.
"We couldn't do the research that we're doing without using animals in our
research, because they're a necessary component," said Philip T. LoVerde,
a UB professor of microbiology and pathology and lead investigator on the
"The animal welfarists have certainly done a good job of sensitizing
researchers to the needs of the animals in their care," said Frankie L.
Trull, president of the National Association for Biomedical Research,
which promotes the use of animals in studies.
Critics say those improvements aren't enough. "What I think is that all
life has some value, and it's important to see life that way," said Dr.
Naomi Pless, who teaches family medicine at the University of Rochester
and is a member of the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine,
which opposes animal research.
However, The News obtained reports that UB filed with the Department of
Agriculture in 1997 and 2001 that include totals for nonrodents. Stop
Animal Exploitation Now, based in Milford, Ohio, obtained the reports in a
Freedom of Information Act request.
The reports show that the number of dogs, primates, guinea pigs and
hamsters all sharply increased between 1997 and 2001, while the numbers of
rabbits, sheep and pigs declined.
Rats and mice are the most commonly used animals in university research
now, with about 30 million of them used in research labs in this country.
Many are transgenic, or "knockout," mice, which have had a gene removed
and are worth thousands of dollars each.
Opponents of animal research say it's big business for universities and
There's little incentive to try alternatives such as computer modeling or
in-vitro research, which relies on human cell lines and tissue, critics say.
Valerie P. Will, a former president of Animal Advocates of Western New
York, said the organization "is less active in a public sense" on animal
research, but research opponents are making effective use of the Internet.
"We are making progress, but society progresses too slowly. Unfortunately,
too slowly for the many animals who at this very moment are going insane
or suffering immense pain in their cages in our universities," Will said.
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