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Guest Commentary/Drug Testing

We must work toward non-animal research

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By Linda Hunter
Regarding the article, “Research monkeys quietly live and die in Everett lab”: It is always with sadness that the subject of medical research on animals raises its ugly head. As Mark Crane, V.P. of the Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories of Japan in Everett said, only 1 in 100,000 drugs make it to market. Those poor 99,999 animals who endured suffering for nothing. Humans and animals are different.
What works on an animal isn’t necessarily relative to a human. The FDA requires that one animal be sacrificed for each drug tested to find a lethal dosage for an animal. That would not be a lethal dosage for a human, so why do it?
The lady in the article who said the animal research gave her son a life. No, the animal testing did not; it was the person who came up with the compound who gave her son a life. If the monkeys cost $3,500 each, they are used over and over. Just pretend you are that monkey day after day, year after year.
Just as sad are the dogs, cats, monkeys and other animals that are specifically born to be used only in research for their whole lives. Some poor gorillas have gone insane being cooped up in small cages for 40 years. A heart-wrenching Jane Goodall program some years back showed all these animals, some of them had been taught to sign before being shipped off for research when their federal grant expired.
The Herald article is only the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the country animals are used in horrific manners both at medical schools and companies, as is shown by the number of frequent and continuous violations of the Animal Welfare Act. At this time, the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine is offering a grant of $25,000 to the University of Mississippi Medical Center to stop using live pigs in its physiology course and instead use a human relevant training device. The University of Texas Medical School is using animals for practice in trauma — break the poor dog’s bones, or puncture its lungs so residents or fellows can practice. How would you like to be practiced on like this? (see
We must all work together to be sure that where another form of non-animal research exists, it should be used and also work toward no animals being used at all. We should also strive to not allow legislation that will gag whistleblowers and employees reporting animal cruelty.
Linda Hunter is President of Humane Society at HappyPaws Farm in Arlington.

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