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animal research & pop fiction

Claire Maier bioaw124 at emoryu1.cc.emory.edu
Sat Jun 4 23:19:27 EST 1994

Aaron Pawlyk (aaron at netnews.upenn.edu) wrote:
: Oh my god.

: That book sounds horrible!  I think I'll just ramble on a bit in favor
: of animal rights.

: I don't know of any reputable scientist that would conduct experiments on
: dogs (or other animals) purchased at a pound, stolen, etc.  I am not sure
: of all practices, granted.  We do experiments on rats in my lab.  We use
: very specific species of rats which have been inbred and are established lines.
: I know this is the case with many other animals that can be used in research.
: It is NOT good science to use stray animals.  From a purely scientific 
: standpoint, we have NO CLUE how these animals have lived, what factors have
: been involved in their lives, etc., etc.  We need to use animals which
: can give reproducable results and have been under a constant environment for
: their lives.  I figure there is some use of such stolen or stray animals
: for pure dissection work, and this should be halted.  Any scientist using
: such animals should have their money pulled.

: And as far as NIH just loving to give out money for animal work: HAHAHAHA!
: I guess that's why most of the researchers in my department are complaing
: about hot tight the NIH is now and how little money there is.

Aaron, pound animals _are_ used for animal research, and it is neither
unethical nor is it bad science.  The problem with genetically pure
strains is that the results may not be generalizable to other strains. 
After all, human beings are not from a single strain either, nor have they
been in a constant environment, and a great deal of biomedical research is
expected to apply to them.

Pound animals that are used in research are animals which were going to be
euthanized--put to sleep--anyway.  But somehow some animal rights activists
think that it is okay to just put an animal to sleep, but giving that same
animal an anesthetic, performing an experiment on it while it's
unconscious, and then euthanizing it at the end of the experiment--without
the animal ever regaining consciousness--is torture and unethical.  Well,
from the animal's point of view, the two are the same.  But for people, in
the latter instance, the animal has helped bring about knowledge that may
lead to better treatment for heart disease or a cure for paralysis. 
(Pound dogs are often used for experiments on circulatory function, and
pound cats are often used to study spinal cord function.)

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