Research on dogs by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is officially under review to determine whether the dogs are being treated humanely and if the program is necessary.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is conducting the review after the animal rights group White Coat Waste Project launched a massive media campaign in 2017. It used information from public records requests to spotlight what it called “the mistreatment of puppies in painful heart attack studies.” Read more.
Written by Jerrel Floyd
In a small research room near the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, a tiny black mouse scurries across a glowing green miniature walkway as it tries to return to a nest of other mice. With each step, a bright green footprint follows.
The walkway, formally called the “CatWalk,” projects data onto a nearby computer screen where the mouse can be seen while its footprints are measured. The purpose of the experiment is to watch how the mouse applies pressure to each of its legs. Scientists hope to use this information to further fuel research into unique fractures commonly diagnosed among veterans. Read more.
Written by Austin Alonzo
Consumers in the developed world are setting the agenda for animal agriculture and extreme animal activist groups are playing a large role in influencing their opinion. In order to tell our side of the story, and defend our industry, we must aim for the heart.
I recently saw Dr. Cindy Buckmaster, director of the Center for Comparative Medicine and associate professor of molecular physiology and biophysics at the Baylor College of Medicine, speak about her experience fighting back against animal rights organizations looking to end the use of laboratory animals in medical research. Read more.
Written by David Grimm
Dog research at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is going under the microscope. Yesterday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in Washington, D.C., began a formal review of studies involving nearly 100 canines at four VA facilities to determine whether the animals are being properly treated—and whether the work is necessary. Read more.
Written by Paula Clifford
Recently, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie did something rarely seen in Washington, D.C., these days. He told the truth despite pressure from special interest groups to do otherwise. Mr. Wilkie explained that, like many other Americans, he is a dog lover. However, he also supports health studies in a limited number of canines to develop new therapies aimed at helping American veterans injured on the battlefield. Read more.
Written by David Grimm
The number of monkeys used in U.S. biomedical research reached an all-time high last year, according to data released in late September by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The uptick (see graph below)—to nearly 76,000 nonhuman primates in 2017—appears to reflect growing demand from scientists who believe nonhuman primates are more useful than other animals, such as mice or dogs, for testing drugs and studying diseases that also strike humans. Read more.
Written by Rob Schultz
MOUNT HOREB — Among the dozens of local referendums on state ballots next week is a hotly contested question in this Dane County village that is raising awareness of a little-known area business that breeds, sells and uses dogs for medical research.
The referendum is largely symbolic: The facility in question, Ridglan Farms, isn’t even in the village but in the nearby town of Blue Mounds so it can’t be affected legally no matter what happens in the election. If the referendum passes, the village will amend the language in an ordinance so that facilities that sell or use dogs or cats for animal research qualify as a public nuisance. Read more.
Written by Jim Newman
Becoming the next big animal rights target is a major concern for any health research institution which studies animals in order to advance human and veterinary medicine. Too often, organizations are slow to react, assuming the traditional crisis communications rules apply.
They don’t, which is why an increasing number of research institutions are taking a new approach.
So, what can you do to respond more effectively when animal rights allegations surface? Read more.
Written by David Grimm
A last-ditch attempt by biomedical science advocates to force airlines to transport nonhuman primates and other research animals appears to be facing stiff headwinds. Last week, four international carriers strongly urged the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to summarily reject a plea from a leading research advocacy organization to order the airlines to resume flying animals to research facilities around the world. The request is “misguided,” “far-fetched,” and contrary to laws that allow airlines to decide what kinds of cargo they will carry, the companies argued. DOT has not said how it will respond. Read more.
Written by Cindy A. Buckmaster
Approximately 68 percent of us have pets and we collectively spend about $70 billion on them annually.
Know what else Americans love? Science.
Polling from the advocacy group Research America shows that 81 percent of the public says it’s important for our leaders to make science — along with technology and engineering — a priority.
Our passions for science and animals demonstrate that we are a caring and thoughtful nation. They also highlight why many of us are conflicted when these two issues intersect. I’m referring to health research involving animals. Animal studies explain how our bodies work. They help us identify disease origins and they provide clues to help us combat sickness. Read more.