As reported in our previous post Pro-Animal Research Billboard Offers False Choice, billboards by a national lobbing group for animal-based research have appeared across the country, with a few here in Seattle. An anonymous posting on a local news forum alerted us to the “improvement” of one of the billboards located near the UW campus, correcting the false dichotomy the billboard suggests exists. The web address of this site was added to the billboard, but no-one affiliated with this site was responsible for this action. The billboard, corrected on April 19, was subsequently replaced April 26 with an ad for a local radio station.
The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R.1513/S.810) has been re-introduced in the 112th Congress. This bill will end the use of chimpanzees for invasive research procedures, shut down federal breeding programs, and release federally-owned chimpanzees to permanent homes in sanctuaries.
The United States is the last country to use chimpanzees in large-scale invasive experiments, and while chimpanzees are our closest genetic relatives, there is still enough substantial differences in physiology, genetics, and susceptibility to diseases to make them poor models in research. Millions of dollars wasted and decades of research with inconclusive results have shown that the use of chimpanzees has not provided any advancement towards cures that human-based research has provided. There are over 500 chimpanzees that are federally owned, and by releasing them to sanctuaries, the Great Ape Protection Act will save taxpayers $20-25 million annually.
The bill has the leadership of Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) as well as 42 cosponsors already signed on in the U.S. House, and Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) in the U.S. Senate.
Please take a moment and send an automated letter to your Senators and your House Representative to encourage them to support an end to the confinement and suffering of chimpanzees being used in experiments. The letter is programmed to be directed to your legislators that represent you in your area, and has the option of using a pre-written request or one that you’ve written. Encourage others you know to sign on as well. Thank you.
If you are a “researcher” at the UW you can pretty much order any kind of animal you want to perform your “research” on – just put your order in and they will deliver you your “subject” like they were delivering a pizza. Of course the poor animal has no idea what is in store for him when he gets to the lab; perhaps gassing, burning, poisoning, stabbing, injecting with cancer and other horrible diseases, to name a few procedures. These animals will live horribly isolated and painful lives at the hands of students, PhD candidates and animal techs before they are murdered and disposed of as “biological waste.” These animals are delivered to the Health Sciences Building and the South Lake Union Building. The Animal Purchasing Office can be reached at 206-543-0640.
Here are the list of companies that make their money off the backs of suffering animals. This list is taken from the Department of Comparative Medicine’s website; while not viewable to the general public, it is accessible by any UW employee, student, or faculty. Perhaps you can contact these companies and let them know what you think of their practices, and in addition, you can put in a Better Business Bureau complaint about them for engaging in animal cruelty.
Boyd’s Bird Co Inc
Bird, delivery Wednesday
Charles D Sullivan Co Inc
Amphibian, delivery Tuesday/Wednesday
Charles River Laboratories
Gerbil, Guinea Pig, Hamster, Mouse, Rat, delivery Wednesday
Covance Research Products, Inc.
Dog, delivery Wednesday
269-375-0482 (MI) 804-492-4181 (VA)
Fertilized Eggs, Day Old Chicks, delivery Wednesday
Harlan Sprague Dawley
Hamster, Mouse, Rat, Rabbit, delivery Tuesday
Mouse, delivery Wednesday
Use our secure online order form!
JM Hazen Frog Co
Frog, delivery Tuesday/Wednesday
Magnolia Bird Farms
Bird, delivery Thursday
“If you are a pet bird owner who can no longer keep your bird, we would be interested in talking to you about purchasing it from you. We will find a new and loving home for your pet.” And what a loving home it’ll be!
Dog, Ferret, Minipig, delivery Tuesday
We’ve got Beagles!
Frog, delivery Tuesday/Wednesday
Progressive Pig Farm
Pig, delivery Monday
Pig, delivery Mon/Tues/Wed
Rana Ranch Bullfrog Farm
Bullfrog, delivery Tuesday/Wednesday
We promise that our bullfrogs won’t escape!
Rabbit (Housed at HR&T or Pickup Only), delivery Wednesday
We offer recommendations on how much to inject!
Mouse, Rat (Conventional Facilities Only), delivery Tuesday/Wednesday
Sinclair Research Center
Minipig, delivery Wednesday
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
Mouse, Rat, delivery Wednesday
We can do custom breeding!
Western Oregon Rabbit Co
Rabbit, delivery Wednesday
WSU Swine Center
Pigs, delivery Monday
(phone number not listed)
Frog, delivery Wednesday
You can dump stuff on frogs’ eyes!
Xenopus I Inc
Frog, delivery Wednesday
“The Greatest Frog on Earth ™” Yes, we trademarked it!
Zebrafish International Resource Center
Zebrafish, delivery Tuesday/Wednesday
As part of a national advertising campaign funded by the Foundation for Biomedical Research to get public support on the side of animal research, these billboards have been placed here in Seattle as well as other cities like LA and Portland. The FBR is a PR division of the National Association for Biomedical Research, of which the University of Washington is a member. The timing of these billboards is interesting, as it seems they were put up to rally citizens to their side in the face of the upcoming World Week for Animals in Laboratories, a week of international rallies and activities to show opposition to the institutions that confine, torture, and kill animals in the name of “science.”
This ad campaign is grossly misleading, as it presents to the public a false dichotomy, an artificial either/or scenario that suggests that animals have to die in order to save humans. Their claim that animals are integral and absolutely necessary to find cures are belied by the fact that there are many medical foundations that are working on cures for diseases without the use animals in their research. In fact, the use of animals prolongs the development of adequate procedures and treatments; animal physiology is different from that of humans’, requiring that humans models be used anyway for a treatment to be ultimately approved. Researchers get more money in grants by conducting animal testing, so there is little incentive for successful results or solid scientific design. Much of the research continues to be funded despite being redundant or inconclusive. And the animals suffer through torturous procedures, poor conditions, and poor treatment, with countless animals dying as a result, and an innumerable amount killed.
Biomedical researchers try to convince us that knowledge gained from animal studies can be extrapolated to humans yet their scientific papers reporting the results of research repeatedly include a disclaimer warning about making such an assumption. The difference in animal and human physiology means that many results of animal experiments are found to be inclusive, not applicable to human modality, or unreliable. The Food & Drug Administration recently reported that of all the drugs that tested safe and effective in animal testing, 92 percent are found to be either unsafe or ineffective in humans. Even drugs approved by the FDA because it was deemed safe under animal research can prove fatal because not enough adequate human research was conducted; the FDA estimated that 27,785 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths between 1999 and 2003 occurred from the prescription arthritis drug Vioxx before it was recalled. How researchers can claim that animal research saves (human) lives is indicative of their own hubris and ignorance of the real consequences of their research.
Many effective non-animal methods are available, such as such as in-vitro cell and tissue cultures, micro-fluidic circuits, computer modeling, micro-dosing, the use of CAT, MRI, and PET scans, using human cadavers or organs, and clinical research. Extensive studies have to be conducted on humans regardless of the treatment or protocol anyway, so the use of animals can and should be skipped, which would allow the speedier development of treatments among human models.
The billboard also directs people to ResearchSaves.org, which offers an equally offensive command: “Against animal research? Please sign and submit this directive before you get sick or injured in order to insure you receive no medications, surgeries, treatments or disease therapies that have been tested or tried in research animals. “
The logic of this imperative relies on the same simplistic reductive binary thinking. Using the same logic, we can then ask people: Against Nazis? Then you can’t drive a Volkswagen Beetle, developed by Hitler’s engineers to be the Jeep of the German army during WWII. Nor can you drive a Ford, who financed the Nazi party and helped secure its start. Nor can you drive a vehicle from General Motors, who by the mid-30s was totally committed to large-scale war production in Germany, producing trucks, tanks & armored cars. Against war and US military aggression? Then you can’t use microwaves, fly in planes that use jet engines, or use the internet, all technologies developed in the theater of war. The price of living in a modern industrialized society is that all of us, regardless of our individual beliefs, benefit from many things that came into existence from actions or institutions that we would otherwise not support. The idea, then, of directing some of us to give up the benefits of modern society without asking the same of themselves is just an example of inflated self-importance.
This is, of course, aside the fact that their claim of the treatments we have now came about because of animal research. It’s more accurate to say that we have as many treatments we have despite animal research. Human testing has always been the last line of research; animals are used initially simply because of economics. And because they are viewed as mere property, conditions to ensure their care are routinely neglected or circumvented, and less stringent oversight is given to invasive procedures. Every day, hundreds of lives are lost in service of projects that have seen no measurable progress; if cures are actually found, foundations, institutions, and researchers would lose valuable grant money. In the most cynical fashion, they sacrifice the lives of animals in pursuit of money, while telling the public that this circular game is necessary, using images of innocent children to win sentimental support.
The real answer to the question “Who would you rather see live?” is quite simple: both.
And it is possible and being proven every day among responsible researchers. Three U.S. agencies aim to end the archaic practice of animal testing, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program and the National Institutes of Health, realizing it is ineffective and wasteful. Non-animal-based research also is more ethical, as it doesn’t have the moral dissonance of taking one life in order to save another. One can only imagine how much further along the road to finding cures we would be if we hadn’t wasted billions of dollars, hours, and lives on animal testing that has proven unreliable or inconclusive. Animal research doesn’t save lives. It won’t save “her,” and we all know what happens to the “rat.”
Each year from April 16th to 23rd, animal advocates and activists across the world come together to call for an alternative to the antiquated and unnecessary usage of animals in biomedical experimentation. Billions of tax dollars are wasted and millions of innocent lives are lost under the fraudulent guise of science. We at UWkillsAnimals.com and the Northwest Animal Rights Network, in coordination with the Seattle Animal Defense League, will be banding together with other activists worldwide to protest these atrocities for WWAIL. We ask you to join us at the events listed below:
Friday April 15th, 7:00pm
“Chattel” Documentary Screening
As a precursor to the events for WWAIL and to provide a visual reminder of the importance of the work necessary to stop the use of animals in research and testing, this documentary will be screened which focuses on the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Portland, OR. (excerpt)
Wayward Vegan Cafe
5253 University Way NE (between 52nd St & 55th St)
Saturday April 16th 12:00pm-2:00pm
Kick off demonstration UW campus on the corner of 15th & 45th
Sunday April 17th, 7:30 pm
SADL General Meeting/Vivisection 101 Workshop
The Seattle Animal Defense League will have their monthly general meeting, after which will be a Vivisection 101 seminar, explaining the kind of techniques used in animal laboratories, why the research extracted from such experiments are not necessary and are fraudulent, and details on local research facilities. A necessary primer and refresher for those who wish to know more about what goes on hidden from view and why it’s necessary to work to abolish the use of animals for research and testing.
Wayward Vegan Cafe
5253 University Way NE (between 52nd St & 55th St)
Monday April 18th, 4pm-6pm
Leafletting at the UW Medical Center
The UW Medical Center, the home of Health Sciences Biomedical Sciences Research (HSK), the site of many small animal experiments, as well as the Infant Primate Research Center, is located at NE Pacific St btwn Montlake and 15 Ave E. Leafletting will occur at Pacific and 15th.
Tuesday April 19th, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Demonstration and leafletting at the UW Medicine South Lake Union Facilities
The UW School of Medicine operates biomedical research facilities inside four buildings inside the South Lake Union area, with an expansion project underway. These labs are the site of many experiments on animals from mice and rats, to pigs and dogs. The most visible facility is located at 815 Mercer, so the demo will be on the corner of Mercer and 9th Ave.
Thursday April 21st, 8:00pm
A candlelight vigil will be held at the corner of Montlake and NE Pacific in mourning of all the unnecessary lives lost to the falsehood of vivisection. Candles will be provided, but feel free to bring one if you wish.
Friday April 22nd 12:00pm-1:00pm
March through UW Campus
We will be meeting at the Burke Museum (at 17th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street) and marching to Montlake & NE Pacific with an ending demonstration in front of the Medical Center on NE Pacific.
Other events will be posted as the information becomes more available. Please join us!