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Animal Experimentation

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Lethal Laws : Animal Testing, Human Health, and Environmental Policy by Alix Fano

Sacred Cows and Golden Geese : The Human Cost of Experiments on Animals Sacred Cows and Golden Geese : The Human Cost of Experiments on Animals by C. Ray Greek, Jean Swingle Greek DVM, Jane Goodall

Comparative medicine may not be everyone's idea of a riveting dinner topic, but it is ours. This book grew out of our meal-time conversations during the 1980s. Those were the years of our professional education, one of us as a veterinarian, and the other as an anesthesiologist. 

When our animal and human patients exhibited the same symptoms, discussion became its most heated. This was because diagnoses and treatment plans for animals frequently differed for humans. Pitting the veterinarian's dictates on the one hand against the physician's on the other, we would each get huffy and self-righteous, then whip out our textbooks to prove our accuracy. Many references later, sure enough, according to the books, we were both right. Well, this was puzzling! 

These discrepancies flew in the face of what we had been taught to revere. Animal experimentation was an inviolable convention - a political sacred cow. Everything we had been taught, from fetal pigs forward, suggested that animals were just like humans, a bit furry and funny looking perhaps, but otherwise just the same. Like everyone, we had been convinced by many familiar determinants: animal experimentation for human medical research had a time-honored history. Milestones supposedly garnered from animal studies were constantly in the media. 

As medical students, we were well familiar with the government's requirement for animal assays in drug development and its financial rewards to research institutions. Certainly, grant money for such projects was vital to the incomes of our teachers and universities. Indeed, our medical training pivoted on assumed anatomic, biochemical and physiological characteristics shared by man and beast. This sizable and persuasive rationalism averred that animals were ideal test beds for human therapies. 

So, why then was Ray's human patient with high cholesterol developing coronary heart disease and Jean's dog with high cholesterol experiencing a thyroid disorder? Why do women who have had hysterectomies need to fight osteoporosis while neutered cats live longer, healthier lives? And why are humans not vaccinated for parvo and dogs for rubella? Our dinner conversations suggested that most animal diseases simply do not occur in humans. Conversely, the major killers of humankind are extraordinarily rare among the four-legged set. 

Plainly, if there was parity, it was not universal. Sure, the basics are the same. Fundamental cell activity and metabolic processes - the stuff of research decades ago - correspond in animals and humans. Still, we thought, why did scientists use animals back when human autopsy, tissue culture techniques or human observation could have provided the same information? Some animal experimentation led to developments. But in how many cases were the animals necessary? Animals can be used to grow viruses, but so can Petri dishes and human tissue cultures. All mammalian blood - animal and human - has components in common, so why not use human blood for totally accurate results? 

Moreover, when it came to present-day research - mostly involving microbiology on the most complex levels - why scrutinize species whose physiologic response to disease, disease manifestation and disease incidence so clearly deviates from human response? Logic, it seemed to us, even back then when we had but few comparisons, was somehow amiss. -- Excerpted from Sacred Cows and Golden Geese : The Human Cost of Experiments on Animals by C. Ray Greek MD, Jean Swingle Greek DVM, Jane Goodall, C. Ray Greek. Copyright 2000. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved

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Animal Breeding
bulletAnimal Geneticists Discussion Group
bulletOwnerBreeder, a monthly journal devoted to the Thoroughbred breeding industry
bulletAmerican Society of Animal Science
bulletOklahoma State University, USA - Animal Science Department
bulletUniversity of Helsinki, Finland - Department of Animal Science
bulletWashington State University, USA - Department of Animal Sciences
bulletSwine Testing and Genetic Evaluation System (Purdue University, Indiana)
bulletJapanese Dairy Cattle Improvement Program
bulletAnimal Genetics

 

Animal Research:  Massachusetts Society for Medical Research
Virtually every major medical advance over the last century has been derived in part from research on animals. We are dedicated to the ethical and responsible use of animals for essential biomedical and biological research, testing and education in the prevention, treatment, and elimination of human and animal disease.

Site Includes:

bulletFrequently Asked Questions
bulletLearning Center
bulletNews Room

 

National Animal Genome Research Program
Site Includes:
bulletChicken genome mapping web site
bulletPig genome mapping web site
bulletCattle Gene Mapping Sites
bulletSheep Gene Mapping Sites
bulletHorses Gene Mapping Sites

 

Animal Research
Recently, several activist groups supporting animal rights have emerged. We are going to explore the pros and cons of using animals for research.

Site Includes:

bulletNeeds For Animal Research  by John D. Aquilino-This is the story of baby Aquilino who survives due to advances made from animal research. Responses from animal rights members are included.
bulletPublic Attitudes Toward Animal Research Public opinions, pro and con, are presented.
bulletPETA: Let's Visit Animal Research Laboratories This is a view of "animal right" from a supporting organization.

 

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