Category Archives: Animals Used for Research/Testing

Speak up for animals in labs

Have you read the Herald’s article, Inside the Monkey Lab? It’s about SNLB, an animal research facility in Everett, WA, and it’s terribly one-sided.

Please write to Peter Jackson (pjackson@heraldnet.com), the editorial page editor, and tell him the article was not fair or balanced. You can also add your comments at the bottom of the article, but a letter to the editor will have more impact. For talking points on why we don’t need animal testing, here’s some info:

Animal testing is bad science, based on outdated ideas, and it’s a money-making racket. Researchers applying for grants, can secure more money when they use animals in their experiments. And Mark Crane, the SNLB VP interviewed in the article said his company breeds and sells research monkeys to other labs for about $3,500 each. It’s big business. Careers depend on it.

If animals are so different from us (different enough for us to justify experimenting on), it also means they’re too different to gather relevant, conclusive evidence drawing of a monkey being operated onthat would apply to us. If they’re similar enough that the experiments would actually be useful and relevant, then they’re just like us and it’s unethical to test on them. Either way, it’s wrong.

The cost of experimenting on animals is high and the benefits are minimal. Non-animal testing is usually cheaper and more accurate than animal tests, which can be unreliable. Animal tests are misleading because they’re not good at showing how humans will respond.

With animal testing, illness is induced, and then a cure is sought. That’s an unrealistic and unnatural environment and doesn’t translate well to humans. According to the AAVS, nine out of ten drugs that appear promising in animal studies go on to fail in human clinical trials.

For example, the polio vaccine was delayed by decades because of animal testing. Monkeys respond differently to the virus. Penicillin almost didn’t see the light of day because it was ineffective on rabbits (and killed guinea pigs). It wasn’t until Alexander Fleming gave it to a dying patient (as a last-ditch effort) and she recovered that it was proven acceptable for human use.

Thalidomide, a drug used in the 1950s to treat morning sickness, was proven harmless in dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and rats, and was cleared for human use. It wasn’t until over 10,000 children were born with severe birth defects that it was pulled from the market. Animal tests didn’t warn us.

More recently, Vioxx, a painkiller for people with arthritis, was taken off the market after it caused up to 320,000 heart attacks and strokes. The drug was tested on animals but those tests never revealed the danger to people.

We have the technology to use alternatives to animal tests–and there are many! We have mathematic and in silico (computer models), genomic tests, in vitro (test tube) on human cell cultures, and medical imaging.

Speak up against animal testing lab expansions!

You may have heard that the University of Washington wants to expand their animal research facilities. Tomorrow, November 14th, is a chance to speak up for animals and say NO to the expansion!

UW

Every Thursday, the UW Board of Regents meet. The expansion is on this week’s agenda. Action for Animals has a Facebook event that you can join. And a petition you can sign. Here’s more from their action alert:

The agenda for THIS Thursday’s University of Washington Board of Regents meeting includes “Animal Research and Care Facility – Approve Site Selection, Adopt Project Budget, and Approve the Use of the Internal Lending Program.” This agenda item is referring to approving a new animal research facility on the UW campus. This means that we have just TWO days to tell the Board of Regents to NOT approve this animal lab expansion, which will allow the UW to double the number of primates, rabbits, and pigs who are tortured for “research” and subjected to the UW’s history of animal abuse and neglect.

This is the final countdown to the Board’s vote on the new animal research facility. Let’s show the Board that they must listen to opposition to the lab, and that it is time for the University of Washington to stop investing in the use of animals.

What you can do:

1) Visit the online petition to the Board of Regents at http://www.change.org/petitions/university-of-washington-board-of-regents-do-not-approve-new-animal-research-and-care-facility. This petition will be printed out and presented to the Board during their meeting, so sign it, email it to friends, post it on Facebook — promote it in whatever way you can!

2) Call the office of the Board of Regents at 206-543-1633. Help make sure that this last whole day before the vote is filled with phone calls asking the Board to NOT approve the animal research facility. Send an email as well to the Board at regents@uw.edu. Ask your friends and family to join you in contacting the Board!

3) Attend the meeting of the Board of Regents tomorrow. When the Regents are considering their votes, let’s make sure that they are in a room that is filled with people who they know want them to vote AGAINST the lab expansion! If you can attend the meeting, please meet outside the UW Tower at the corner of NE 45th St. and Brooklyn Ave. NE at 12:45pm SHARP. We’ll talk briefly and then walk together into the meeting, which is on the 22nd floor of the UW Tower. Please also help to encourage other people to attend the meeting so that we can fill up the room! You can use the Facebook page about the meeting to invite people: https://www.facebook.com/events/207612259423856/

We don’t often have the chance to oppose labs before they’re even built, so please be a part of making a strong statement of opposition on behalf of the animals. You are welcome (and encouraged!) to forward this email as widely as you like. Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope to see you on Thursday!

Snow Leopards Have Surprising Protectors

The snow leopard is listed as globally endangered because its effective population size (the number of individuals likely to reproduce) is believed to be less than 2,500. However, a recent report in the journal Conservation Biology shows it has some very unexpected protectors: Buddhist monks.

Leopards

About 60% of the leopards live in the high regions of China, where their thick fur keeps them warm.  However, they are also targeted by the Chinese for this fur, as well as for their internal organs, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine (along with parts of MANY other animals, endangered and otherwise). As a result, the snow leopard population has dropped by about 20% in the last two decades.
Because of Buddhism’s basic tenet of respect and compassion for all living beings, several conservation organizations began working with four monasteries in the region of the Tibetan plateau in 2009, training monks to protect wildlife. Now, thousands of monks from hundreds of monasteries patrol the wilderness to prevent the killing of snow leopards. In fact, far more leopards are protected by Buddhist monks in Tibet than in the specific areas set aside for their protection. The monks also teach the local people that killing them is wrong. In recent household surveys, most people say they do not kill wildlife, citing Buddhism’s nonviolence as their reasoning.
So….since about 80% of the people within the snow leopards’ natural range do practice Tibetan Buddhism, there are plans to expand these programs even further.
Great to see religion as a force to help animals for a change.

Primate Liberation Week

October 12-20th is Primate Liberation Week, a time when we raise awareness and put extra efforts into helping primates in labs.

Over 70,000 primates (including rhesus monkeys, baboons, squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys, chimpanzees, marmosets and tamarins) are experimented on every year in the United States.

Action alerts:

1) The UW is considering expanding their animal labs, which would mean more animals (primates included) would be experimented on. Read NARN’s previous post about UWs plans and how you can contact them and ask them not to waste time, money, and precious lives on outdated research methods.

2) Join The Bunny Alliance’s campaign against Delta Air Lines. As a part of Primate Liberation week, on Wednesday, October 16, make a polite phone call to the headquarters of Delta Air Lines during office hours (9am-5pm EST) and tell Delta to use its partnership with Air France to convince Air France to stop transporting primates and other animals to labs.

Contact: Delta Headquarters Corporate Communications at 404-715-2554, fax them at 404-715-5876 or go to delta.com and click comment/complaint to voice your concerns.

Tell Delta: “I’m asking that Delta Air Lines use its partnership with Air France to convince Air France to stop transporting animals to laboratories and to enact a permanent policy against doing so.”

See additional talking points and info at the Bunny Alliance’s Facebook page or on their website.

Learn more about primates in labs and what you can do at Stop Animal Exploitation Now.

Victories:

Thank you for all that you do for the animals!

UW Considering Animal Lab Expansion

A recent Seattle Times article describes the University of Washington’s plans to build a new underground animal research facility. The UW already tortures thousands of animals and the article states, “The new building would allow the UW to increase the number of rodents it uses in research by 10 to 20 percent, and the number of rabbits, pigs and primates by 30 to 50 percent.”

But the facility plans have not yet been approved!

Because the cost of the facility rose from $83 million to $123 million, the UW Board of Regents pulled the approval of the facility. The UW is working on proposal revisions to reduce the cost and gain the Board’s approval.

We must use this delay to convince the UW Board of Regents to NOT approve the new animal research facility.

Speak Out NOW!

  1. Contact the Board of Regents by emailing regents@uw.edu. Politely write about why you do not want the board to approve the new animal research facility and your email will be shared with the Regents. Encourage your friends and family to also email.
  2. Make a public comment at the UW Board of Regents’ meeting THIS Thursday, October 10th, at 1:00 pm.
    If you are able to attend the meeting:
    ~
    Sign up to make a public comment at the meeting using this online form.
    ~ Each speaker will be allowed two minutes, so prepare your comment before the meeting.
    *Please email amanda@afa-online.org when you’ve signed up so that we know how many people will be speaking.*

Talking Points:

1) The new animal research facility will cost more than just the price of the facility. Other expenses will include:

  • Paying for fines: The UW has already been cited by the USDA multiple times for neglect and improper care of animals; such violations would increase if the UW uses more animals in research. You can see additional info about UW’s treatment of animals here.
  • Combating the negative press that both local and national animal rights groups and other concerned citizens will create in response to a new animal research facility.
  • Dealing with the loss of alumni support and potential students who don’t want to be involved with a university whose record of animal neglect and torture is refreshed in the public eye.

2) Since the UW is considered a leader in scientific research, the UW should be dedicated to pushing advancements in research technology rather than expanding its reliance on outdated and unethical animal research methods that produce inaccurate results.

If you are or have been a student at the UW (or have some other relationship to the UW), make that relationship clear in our email or public comment. Also keep in mind that the Board cares about the expense of the facility and its impact on the UW’s future.

** Special thanks to Action for Animals for leading this action alert and getting this message distributed (the content in this post is from AFA). You can find out more about the lab expansion on AFA’s Facebook page.

Ellensburg's Chimpanzees Arrive Safely in Canada

After the deaths of Moja in 2002, Washoe in 2007 and Dar last year, the only two chimpanzees remaining at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI) at Central Washington University in Ellensburg were Tatu and Loulis. Because chimpanzees naturally live in large groups, the decision was made to move them to the 200-acre FAUNA sanctuary in Quebec, which is already home to 11 other chimpanzees. Lightly sedated, they flew out of Seatac on a nonstop flight to Canada on the 28th. Tatu and Loulis, who use American Sign Language, will gradually be introduced to and integrated with the other chimpanzees there.

If you have never read Roger Fouts’ book, Next of Kin, about Washoe and her family, get a copy now. It’s kind of a life-changer.

 

 

 

Ask the NIRC to Retire ALL Chimps

From https://secure3.convio.net/neavs/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=227

NIRC: Retire Privately Owned Chimpanzees Now

Despite the National Institutes of Health retiring all the federally owned chimpanzees at the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in New Iberia, Louisiana, the lab still houses a large number of privately owned chimpanzees who they have not yet scheduled for retirement. NIRC and other labs are fighting to hold on to the millions in funding they have received for decades to simply house and maintain chimpanzees – even though their actual use in research was rapidly dwindling or nonexistent.

Please write to University of Louisiana at Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie and ask him to retire all privately owned NIRC chimpanzees (UL Lafayette operates NIRC).

**Send your letter from this link: From https://secure3.convio.net/neavs/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=227

Recipients

  • Joseph Savoie, EdD

Message

NIRC: Retire Privately Owned Chimpanzees Now

Dear [Decision Maker],

It’s time to close the chimpanzee program at the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is retiring approximately 90% of its federally owned chimpanzees, which includes more than 100 federally owned chimpanzees from NIRC. But according to data from a 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, there will remain more than 200 privately owned chimpanzees at your lab.









Dr. Savoie, I am appealing to you to take the lead and commit your institution to modern and compassionate science in all its endeavors. This can and must start by closing the chimpanzee program at NIRC and releasing all your chimpanzees to sanctuary today!Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

India Announces Ban on the Use of Animals in Cosmetics Testing

Coming close on the heels of a similar ban  in the European Union and Israel, the drug controller general of India has just announced that testing cosmetics and their ingredients on animals will not be permitted in India. This is largely due to a relentless PETA campaign. Although more and more companies are banning cruel tests on animals in favor of more modern, reliable tests, millions of animals are still subjected to painful tests in which all kinds of UNNECESSARY substances are dripped into their eyes, smeared on their abraded skin, forced down their throats and sprayed in their faces. KEEP UP THE PRESSURE on our government to pass a similar ban*. In the meantime, remember that no corporations care about your OPINION if your MONEY doesn’t follow suit. Please support only cruelty-free companies — easy if you use PETA’s new, updated global Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide. 

Order a free copy. 

*Tell your children and grandchildren to keep up the pressure too. That’s how hopeful I am.

Big step forward for chimps

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) just announced that it has accepted the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation of retiring over 300 of its chimpanzees. The US has been experimenting on chimpanzees for 90 years and is the last country in the industrialized world to do so.

Pumpkin, a 24-year-old chimpanzee at the Alamogordo Primate Facility, N.M.

The chimps’ similarity to humans makes them coveted for research, but it’s this very similarity that poses an ethical dilemma. Regardless of similarities, no animals should be used as research subjects, so it’s a great piece of news that most of the chimps will be retired.

The news is mixed though. Fifty chimps will remain with NIH. They won’t be bred, but that’s not enough. They also deserve to live out their lives at a sanctuary. Each one is an individual with unique traits and the right to live free from harm.

For more information, you can read the NIH press release and details at Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW.

Watchdog Group Files Complaint Against UW for Primate Abuse and Deaths, Calls for Fine for Federal Law Violations

A national research watchdog organization has completed a major investigation of the University of Washington, Seattle, and has filed an Official Complaint with the USDA noting numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Ohio-based Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) noted that federal law violations include multiple primate escapes, severe animal debilitation, severe limb contracture with skin ulcers, and deaths.

The SAEN investigation uncovered nine primate escapes including one where two escaping primates fought and injured each other requiring euthanasia for one of the monkeys. Nine primates were listed as emaciated or severely debilitated, three primates suffered from severe limb contracture and skin ulcers. Another primate had “linear crush” injuries, requiring amputations.

Overall, the SAEN complaint involves potentially dozens of federal violations connected to at least 22 primates in a period of roughly one year.

“The staff and researchers at the UW appear to be drastically unqualified, substantially inept, and unable to follow even the most basic requirements of animal husbandry,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN. “Not only is the UW unable to keep the monkeys in the cages, they are unable to prevent serious injuries during the escapes, some of which required euthanasia.”

View the official complaint as well as the UW records which were uncovered detailing their abuses in this PDF file.