Animal product testing should be banned

OSU is being investigated for purchasing random source dogs from Class B Dealers in violation of federal law. Class B Dealers, aka “bunchers,” traffic in lost, stray, shelter, backyard breeder and “free to a good home” dogs for sale to labs.

The university received more than $3 million in federal grants for the cruel experiments which induced heart failure in the dogs with the goal of developing drug therapies. All of the dogs in the OSU labs were killed as a direct, intentional result of the experimentation.

Proponents of vivisection would have us believe that brutally sacrificing animals is a necessary evil that benefits human health when in fact animal research is unethical, wasteful and unreliable.

While the animals suffer and pay with their lives and the taxpayers foot the bill, the researchers, pharmaceutical companies and those who breed animals for sale to labs grow rich.

Modern, non-animal techniques are preferable for several reasons. There are significant physiological differences between species. Can the outcomes of non-human animals reasonably be applied to people? Consider that dogs forced to inhale cigarettes do not get cancer. Penicillin is toxic to guinea pigs. Sheep can swallow huge quantities of arsenic and remain healthy. Medicines such as thalidomide and Phen Pen have passed lab tests but debilitated humans.

The disease state being studied is artificially contrived in the lab. To simulate Parkinson’s disease part of the subject’s brain is destroyed. Since monkeys don’t get diabetes their pancreas is removed. Artificially induced disorders in surgically mutilated organisms cannot yield accurate results since the experiments are not even performed on the actual disease.

Every year over $12 billion tax dollars that could be used to treat sick people are spent on questionable projects such as a $1,329,332 NIH study at Boston University which “discovered” that malnourished rats bear mentally retarded offspring. A DoD sponsored test determined that if you enclose animals in an armored vehicle and ignite an explosion inside, the ear drum may be damaged. Oven cleaner is dripped into the eyes of rabbits.

Computer modeling, epidemiology, mouse derived stem cells, advanced CAT, PET and MRI scans, cadaver studies and highly realistic simulators take less time, cost much less, are reliable and humane. Clinical trials on human volunteers are more accurate and can provide actual benefits to the volunteers. Cosmetics giant L’Oreal is teaming with a bioprinting company to develop 3D printed synthetic human skin for cosmetics testing. Organs-on-Chips, created at Harvard, replicates attributes of human organs to study the effects of drugs or pathogens on them.

There is hope. Countries around the world are banning animal testing.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now monitors research facilities and uncovers myriad violations of the Animal Welfare Act. SAEN questions the validity of results in the dismally frequent cases where subjects died due to carelessness and researchers not following their own protocols.

Avoid products from companies that test on animals (Proctor and Gamble is notorious). Contact your legislators and ask that laws protecting animals be strengthened and enforced. Contact your alma mater, urging it to adopt humane teaching methods.

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One of our regular community contributors, Gail Downie is an animal advocate and vegetarian.