Thursday, April 6, 2017

Animal Research

  • More reading suggestions for vet group under "presentation readings"
  • Make-up quizzes--We've had one, but we need a few more for a few people.
  • New solution-- there will be make-up quiz questions on the final just for those people.
  • They will be exactly like regular quizzes--they will ask one of the reading questions about one of the readings (assigned after March 9).
  • Prior to the final, I will let you know by email how many you are entitled to answer.

  • Today, the  background facts
  • Tuesday, the arguments pro and con
Background: some types of uses of animals
  1. biomedical research--using animals to learn about human body, diseases, treatments
  2. drug, household product, and cosmetics testing--using animals to determine safety for the benefit of humans
  3. psychology research--doing research on animals to learn about human psychology
  4. veterinary research--doing research on animals to benefit animals
  5. animal psychology research--doing research on animals to learn about animal minds....but to satisfy human desire for knowledge
The Animal Welfare Act
  • regulates research on some species in most labs (more on AWA below)
  • AWA-covered animals used in animal labs in 2001: 1.25 million
  • rats and mice (not AWA-covered) used in animal labs in 2001: 80 million
  • animals used for product and drug testing per year: 10-20 million
  • animals killed for food every year in the US: 10 billion
Animal research - negative (?) examples
Animal research - positive (?) examples
Testing of drugs, household products, cosmetics
  • FDA requires animal testing of drugs
  • household products and cosmetics are tested on animals at the discretion of companies
  • Draize test


Primary US laws that protect animals

  • state animal cruelty laws (labs are exempt, animal farming is exempt)
  • Humane Slaughter Act--applies to slaughter of large mammals
  • Animal Welfare Act 
    • applies to research animals, not not all species, and not federal labs
    • applies to circuses, zoos, aquaria, but not rodeos
    • applies to transport of farm animals, but not farms
    • applies to large breeders, but not to retail outlets or animal shelters


1966 -Sports Illustrated and Life Magazine articles lead to AWA
  • main point of AWA is to prevent lost pets being used in animal labs
  • requires adequate food and housing

1970 - Amendments address animal pain.
  • Anesthetics have to be used during surgery; analgesics have to be offered for pain relief.
  • More venues covered (circuses and zoos, but not pet stores, pet shows, and rodeos)
1985 - Amendments spurred by exposes of animal labs
  • Provisions for institutional animal care committees (IACUCs)
  • dogs must have exercise, primates must have psychological enrichment
Silver Spring Maryland - Dr Edward Taub severs nerves to arms to study nervous system healing - PETA co-founder Alex Pacheco takes undercover position and films - testifies in 1981 congressional hearings

University of Pennsylania - Head injury lab - baboons had their heads crushed in crash simulator - 64 hours of film obtained during raid by Animal Liberation Front - PETA produces film

2002, 2007, 2008 - more amendments

  • "animal" explicitly defined so that rats, mice, birds, and reptiles are not covered 
  • prohibition on animal fighting  
Today's Animal Welfare Act

Questions about IACUCs (institutional animal care and use committees)
  • Are they really ethics committees? (see John Young in research facility video)
  • How do they compare to human subject review committees? 
  • How are animals protected, compared to children?
  • Do IACUCs judge balance between animal costs and human benefits? 
  • Do IACUCs ever veto experiments on ethical grounds?

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