Thursday, May 11, 2006

University of California Davis, Consistently Ranked as One of the Most Brutal Campuses for Animal Experimentation Again Under Attack

Here’s a few quotes that sum up the article below:

“The top-10 list ranks the campus number four, stating that the university was chosen based on the worst Animal Welfare Act violations, the largest number of animals killed, the most painful and invasive experiments and an unwillingness to make humane improvements.

At the California National Primate Research Center's inhalation facility, researchers put monkeys in chambers where they are forced to breathe in pesticides and other toxic chemicals to study the effects of these substances, according to Mongiello.

Another UC Davis researcher studying brain damage injected cats with PCP, an illicit drug that can cause delirium and other psychological effects, Mongiello said.

Last year, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service found UC Davis in violation of federal regulations after seven cynomolgus monkeys died when the temperature in the room housing the animals reached 115 degrees in August 2004. The university paid $4,815 in civil penalties.”

Article:

PETA objects to UC Davis' treatment of animal subjects

Group says labs conduct 'painful and invasive' studies

http://www.californiaaggie.com/media/storage/paper981/
news/2006/05/11/CampusNews/Peta-Objects.To.Uc.Davis.
Treatment.Of.Animal.Subjects-1984142.shtml?norewrite200
605111025&sourcedomain=www.californiaaggie.com

Keli Senkevich
Posted: 5/11/06

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently declared that UC Davis is one of the worst offenders among universities in its laboratory treatment of animal subjects.

The top-10 list ranks the campus number four, stating that the university was chosen based on the worst Animal Welfare Act violations, the largest number of animals killed, the most painful and invasive experiments and an unwillingness to make humane improvements.

PETA is an international organization that advocates for animal rights, with a stance that animals are not for humans to use for food, clothing, entertainment or experimentation.

Matthew Mongiello, an associate researcher for PETA's research and investigations department, said PETA does not have exact data on the number of animals killed in laboratory experiments at UC Davis since the university is not required to report such figures. But he noted several instances in which animals have been subjected to what PETA considers painful and invasive conditions.

At the California National Primate Research Center's inhalation facility, researchers put monkeys in chambers where they are forced to breathe in pesticides and other toxic chemicals to study the effects of these substances, according to Mongiello.

Another UC Davis researcher studying brain damage injected cats with PCP, an illicit drug that can cause delirium and other psychological effects, Mongiello said.

"We understand that many people do not share our beliefs so we typically target the most wasteful experiments and those that cause the most harm," Mongiello said. "We don't need to torture cats to know that chronic PCP is a bad idea."

PETA consulted experimental abstracts in scientific journals, United States Department of Agriculture reports disclosed by the university, government grants and other public records to discern UC Davis' level of offense to animals in experiments.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison topped PETA's list, and other institutions like Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University are cited for the maltreatment of their animal subjects.

Andy Fell, a spokesperson for the UC Davis affiliated primate center, said the university does not recognize PETA's ranking system and that this list is one of the organization's publicity stunts.

"Their main claim is that we're doing research that isn't necessary, and we just don't accept that," Fell said. "The research here is necessary and conducted in a humane way."

Research using animal subjects has contributed to a number of medical advances, according to Amanda Carson Banks, the president and chief executive officer of the California Biomedical Research Association.

In the past, dog models used in diabetes research led to the discovery of insulin, and the study of breast cancer in mice has led to the development of less invasive treatments for the condition, Banks said.

Also, primates are ideal models for the study of AIDS, asthma, Alzheimer's disease and gene therapy since they share 98 percent of human genes.

Banks said PETA probably targeted UC Davis because of its primate research. However, nationwide statistics show that primates comprise only .33 percent of the animals used in research while 95 percent are rodents.

"Certainly, UC Davis operates a fine medical research program," Banks said. "They take very good care of their animals and don't want to do anything to cause the animals undue stress. They are really doing a good deed in a way for everybody."

Animal research at UC Davis and other universities is regulated by a system of laws and guidelines. Federal oversight of such experiments includes the Animal Welfare Act and the Health Research Extension Act.

The Animal Welfare Act, for example, requires that research facilities have an attending veterinarian and the appropriate housing, feeding, handling, sanitation, ventilation and sheltering of the animals used in studies. Also, experiments must be reviewed and approved by a committee, which includes an experienced scientist and veterinarian.

Last year, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service found UC Davis in violation of federal regulations after seven cynomolgus monkeys died when the temperature in the room housing the animals reached 115 degrees in August 2004. The university paid $4,815 in civil penalties.

Despite any efforts made by the government and universities to monitor and regulate research with animal subjects, PETA still finds such studies objectionable - even with the advances in medicine.

"I would say it's still not right to do this to animals," Mongiello said.

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