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Archive for the ‘Animal Research’ Category

Today ARAN protested the cruel experiments continually conducted at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and the 12 citations it received for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

The UNMC conducts animal research on hundreds of animals every year. In recent years the UNMC researchers have conducted much of their research on the effects of Human and Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV and SIV) and drug addiction in animals. In these experiments animals (usually primates) are intentionally infected with immunodeficiency viruses and highly dosed with narcotics such as cocaine and methamphetamine. The UNMC has also conducted research into liver cirrhosis, intentionally inducing the condition in rabbits with intravenous alcohol. Dogs, pigs, hamsters and rats are also routinely used in various types of painful and traumatic experiments that end in death.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which acts as a regulatory agency enforcing the Animal Welfare Act oversees this research by performing routine inspections. During the USDA’s routine inspections they uncovered several instances of non-compliance with the Animal Welfare Act, including gross negligence which led to animal suffering. Listed below is a summary of the USDA citations:

  • A primate that experienced “repeated and significant” seizures – 12 seizures over the course of 6 months – was not treated for his condition and was left to suffer. (Date of citation: 7/20/2010)
  • At least 4 hamsters with injuries were neglected by the staff. One hamster had a foot that was swollen to “approximately twice its normal size,” others had various scratches and potentially serious wounds. These injuries were not recent and should have been noted by staff that was to inspect the animals twice a day. No treatment was administered to these animals nor had the attending veterinarian been alerted to the situation. (Date of citation: 7/20/2010)
  • At least one singly-housed primate was found rocking back and forth and somersaulting in his cage – behaviors indicative of severe psychological distress. The UNMC was unable to provide documentation that they were providing environmental enhancement that would help to alleviate this suffering, as required by the Animal Welfare Act. (Date of citation: 7/20/2010)
  • The UNMC’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee failed to provide documentation that deficiencies identified during semi-annual program reviews were being corrected. (Date of citation: 2/3/2010)
  • The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee also failed to provide documentation that research currently being conducted or proposed has not already been conducted by the facility. This is perhaps the most severe violation in that it shows that the UNMC researchers may be conducting experiments which have already been carried out – essentially performing painful experiments for no reason. (Date of citation: 2/3/2010)
  • The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee failed to adhere to protocols again by failing to provide a scientific justification for subjecting animals to more than one major operative procedure. Essentially re-using animals to do major surgical experiments (normally the animals are euthanized without being allowed to recover from anesthesia or at some point after the operation). (Date of citation: 2/3/2010)
  • It was found that unapproved terminal procedures (procedures in which the animals are killed) had been performed on 2 dogs. These procedures may not have been in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act because they were not reviewed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. (Date of citation: 2/3/2010)
  • In September 2009 a post doctoral student euthanized a rabbit by injecting air intravenously – a method that was not compliant with protocol. (Date of citation: 2/3/2010)
  • Another post doctoral student failed to ensure that a rabbit was deceased after administering euthanasia solution. The animal was submitted for post-mortem sampling and was discovered to still be alive. (Date of citation: 2/3/2010)
  • During the last 3 years 13 pigs were fasted for 48 hours which is longer than is allowed under the Animal Welfare Act. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee did not approve any exceptions to these standards set forth in the Animal Welfare Act. (Date of citation: 2/3/2010)
  • In a 2008-2009 hamster breeding study hamster pups not used in experiments were euthanized, the UNMC did not report these animals to the USDA. According to the Animal Welfare Act all animals utilized in research must be reported in annual reports to the USDA. (Date of citation: 2/3/2010)
  • A room used to house 3 pigs was deemed dangerous to the animals due to sharp metal on the bottom of a non-functional heater within reach of the animals. At least one pig was seen with its snout under the heater which could have injured the animal. (Date of citation: 2/3/2010)

What you can do:

Join ARAN! Help out at protests, come to potlucks and meetings, and donate if you can.

Spread this information on your social networking website.

Contact the Chancellor’s Office at UNMC and let them know that you are disgusted with their mistreatment of animals: clarson@unmc.edu

Write a letter to your paper’s editor

Lincoln Journal Star
Editorial
P.O. Box 81689
Lincoln, NE 68501

Email: oped@journalstar.com

Fax: (402) 473-7291

Omaha World Herald

pulse@owh.com

Contact your local representatives and as them to de-fund programs that harm animals with cruel and unnecessary experiments.

Sample letter:

Dear _______

I am writing in hopes that you will find compassion for the millions of animals that are unnecessarily tortured and killed every year in research labs. Each year billions of dollars go toward animal experiments which are outdated and unnecessary, as alternatives to these experiments already exist. Because many people are unaware that these alternatives exist, there is not a lot of pressure on researchers to implement them. Animal research could be phased out in the very near future if only people would awaken to the fact that research on animals is often erroneous, unneeded, and unethical. Experiments conducted here in Nebraska at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) are a clear example of the cruelty inherent in animal research. These experiments involve infecting primates, dogs, rodents, etc., with disease, addicting them to drugs and inducing disorders such as liver cirrhosis, cancer, etc. What’s more is that the UNMC is not even adhering to the very limited amount of protections afforded to research animals – they were recently cited for 12 violations of the Animal Welfare Act by the USDA: https://aranebraska.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/unmc-cited-for-12-violations-of-the-animal-welfare-act/

Please use your position to help fund alternatives to animal research.

Thank you,

___________

Sen. Ben Nelson: 202-224-6551 or http://bennelson.senate.gov/email-issues.cfm

Sen. Mike Johanns: 202-224-4224 or http://johanns.senate.gov/public/?p=EmailSenatorJohanns

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry: 202-225-4806 or https://forms.house.gov/fortenberry/webforms/issue_su …

Rep. Lee Terry: 202-225-4155 or https://forms.house.gov/fortenberry/webforms/issue_su …

Rep. Adrian Smith 202-225-6435 or http://www.house.gov/formadriansmith/issues_subscribe …

Only donate to charities that do not exploit animals.

Put in your will that you would like to donate your body to science.

Spay or Neuter your companion animals and only adopt from animal shelters – some animal researchers still utilize the millions of stray and unwanted companion animals for their research.

Quit smoking – Tobacco corporations are major funders of animal research.

Only purchase cosmetics from companies that do not test on animals – look for the leaping bunny logo or a statement on the package.

For more information contact: ANIMAL RIGHTS ADVOCATES OF NEBRASKA – CONTACT@ARANEBRASKA.ORG

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