May 21, 2012
Rick Bogle: Probe of UW animal experiments is overdue
Dear Editor: I have learned that for the first time since the early 1980s, the UW-Madison has approved maternal deprivation experiments on baby monkeys. Maternal deprivation experiments were conducted for two decades at the university by Harry Harlow and his many students. After Harlow’s death, even some of his own students admitted that they should not have been allowed to continue for so long. Some of them have lamented their own silence. This angst and regret was documented by Deborah Blum in her biography of Harlow, “Love at Goon Park.”
Over the past two years, the university has presented a series of what it terms “public forums” to examine the ethics of animal experimentation, particularly the use of monkeys, following the university’s defeat of a Dane County resolution that would have established a county-sanctioned citizens’ advisory panel to examine the ethics of the university’s use of monkeys. But no mention has ever been made during these “forums” of the university’s quiet resumption of what is possibly the most controversial use of animals on campus of all time.
A genuine public examination of the university’s use of animals is clearly warranted and long overdue.