The Badger Herald: PETA protests in UW Library Mall

Demonstrators supporting People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals displayed graphic photographs portraying a cat used in experiments to protest the University of Wisconsin’s alleged acts of animal cruelty Tuesday.

The group, carrying signs reading “UW: End Cruel Cat Experiments,” gathered at Library Mall yesterday afternoon as PETA worked to raise awareness about its allegations against the university. The protest’s main objective was to spread the message to UW students and the rest of the public by providing provocative pictures of cats that were forced to participate in UW research studies, according to Jeremy Beckham, research project manager for PETA’s Laboratory Investigation Department.

Beckham said PETA filed a lawsuit against the university after receiving information about a three-year cat study UW participated in and kept secret from the public. PETA also obtained several gruesome pictures of a cat involved in the study that Beckham said UW did not want to release.

“Taxpayers need to be fully aware where their money is going,” Beckham said. “Three million dollars of tax money has been used to fund these cruel projects.”

September Jaworek, a volunteer at a local animal shelter and an owner of a cat business, joined the protest by handing out pamphlets in an effort to inform the public of what she called “an uproar of animal cruelty at UW.”

Jaworek said many of UW’s techniques and experiment protocols were largely inconsiderate of the animals’ pain levels.

“[UW researchers] are putting steel implants in the cats’ heads and drilling coils in their eyes,” Jaworek said. “UW justifies their reasoning for these cat studies, but they are not taking into consideration the pain these cats are experiencing.”

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The Badger Herald: PETA protests in UW Library Mall.

Daily Cardinal – Forum covers ethics in animal research

Two days after an animal rights group criticized the University of Wisconsin-Madison for its treatment of research animals, the university held a previously scheduled forum on the ethics behind animal research.

Before the forum began, associate professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine Eric Sandgren introduced the forum and discussed the recent allegations made against UW-Madison by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Sandgren said after checking into all of the complaints waged by PETA, none of the accusations were correct.

The forum featured Dr. Lori Gruen, author of “Ethics and Animals: An Introduction” who presented on the different interpretations of ethics behind research, followed by a response from associate professor in the School of Medicine and Public Health Robert Streiffer.

During her presentation, Gruen discussed the need to decide if the research not only had potential medical benefits, but also if the benefits outweigh the costs to the animal.

“Whatever suffering is caused, whatever costs are approved, the benefits have to be greater,” Gruen said.

Gruen drew on previous animal research programs, mostly programs involving chimpanzees, to illustrate examples of the scientific benefits not outweighing the costs.

“Most animals have the same valuable features [as humans], and we disvalue those features in them and in ourselves if we go forward in that way,” Gruen said. “Sometimes even when you think what you are doing is going to be beneficial, it’s not going to be beneficial.”

Streiffer stressed the need for a calculation to be done before each research project, adding up every possible medical benefit against every possible cost to animals to ensure that only the projects with real medical benefit will go forward.

Vet student Cynthia Wise, who attended the forum, said the topic was important because it creates necessary conversations to raise awareness of the ethical decisions behind animal research.

“I feel as a veterinarian, it’s part of our profession to be informed [about animal research] and be able to educate and if I am not informed then I don’t think I can speak about it,” Wise said.

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Romney Ryan Record Of Animal Abuse : Indybay

In 1997 Romney bought German animal torture company Behring and expanded its animal research to Miami, Florida renaming it Dade Behring. He invested in
slaughterhouse products, brought brutal rodeo into the nonviolent Olympics, had an aggressive promotion of toxic animal flesh ads on Clear Channel, refused to sign a bill acknowledging the right of students to refuse to dissect animals in biology classes, filled the state wildlife agency with that 4.5% of the population which hunts,
treated his family dog terribly while breaking Massachusetts law. He has harmed millions of animals. He said “I’ve always been a rodent and rabbit hunter.” Rob Portman, touted as a possible vice presidential candidate, is a leader of the drive to bring hunters into the national parks, endangering citizens, their children, and international tourists, not to mention the animals. Paul Ryan voted no on protecting horses and burros. Ryan has voted consistently for rancher and dairy industry subsidies which benefit Wisconsin agribusiness cartels.

There is much more here:

Revised Sept 17: Romney Ryan Record Of Animal Abuse : Indybay.

Dr. Lawrence Hansen: Cruel cat experiments unnecessary

I was invited by UW-Madison last year to participate in a series of lectures exploring the ethics of animal research.

I made the case that the reality of experiments on animals is largely hidden from the public and that many would consider what routinely happens to cats, dogs and monkeys in labs to be torture.

I explained that many current experiments on animals have a tenuous link to improving human health. I also offered that an oversight system in which animal experimenters are charged with reviewing and approving the work of other animal experimenters is seriously flawed.

Sadly, these observations were quite prescient, and the recent case involving UW-Madison’s horrible brain experiments on cats is a case in point.

For years, the U.S. National Institutes of Health has funded, and UW-Madison has approved, an incredibly cruel sound localization experiment on cats based on the explanation that cutting into the brains of dozens of cats, drilling holes in their skulls, placing wire coils in their eyes, deafening them and starving them into compliance would help the experimenters, in their own words, “keep up a productive publication record that ensures our constant funding.”

The faculty members made virtually no claims that these inhumane studies would help treat humans, and that is further evidenced by this work not being cited in studies on human hearing.

As a physician and expert in human brain research — the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has named me one of the top 100 researchers on the world on the subject — I can tell you that research to better understand how the brain processes sound can be conducted ethically on human volunteers using sophisticated brain imaging and recording techniques.

Indeed, it is already being done in many university laboratories that recognize that best way to study the human brain is to do just that. Funding the UW-Madison’s violent and unnecessary experiments on cats means $3 million less is being spent on research that can actually improve human health and well-being.

If the fact that animals who most people view as family members are being tormented and killed in expensive, needless experiments that are irrelevant to humans is not enough to make people question the integrity of scientists and rethink support for this kind of work, the unsettling photos of these studies that the university fought to keep secret for the last three years should be.

The images of a sad tabby cat with her head ripped apart and grotesque contraptions implanted all over are enough to turn anyone into an animal rights activist.

This kind of cruel research on cats only continues because most people don’t know about it and, as a result, animal experimenters are only answerable to one another.

Now that daylight is being shined on this abuse, it’s only a matter of time until the public demands answers, accountability and an end to these deadly and unnecessary studies.

Dr. Lawrence Hansen is a professor in the departments of neurosciences and pathology at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine in La Jolla, Calif.

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Dr. Lawrence Hansen: Cruel cat experiments unnecessary.

Dr. James Yahr: UW defense of cat experiments shocking

Dear Editor: As a surgeon, a Wisconsin native and a UW-Madison Medical School alumnus, I was shocked and disappointed at UW’s dishonest attempt to defend the gruesome procedures conducted on unsuspecting cats in its labs by claiming they are the same as those performed on humans receiving implants to improve their hearing.

Unlike cats at UW, humans in need of cochlear implants are not intentionally deafened. Unlike cats at UW, humans receiving cochlear implants do not have large metal posts screwed into their skulls to restrain them during experiments being conducted against their will. Unlike cats at UW, humans do not have their ears chopped off. Unlike cats at UW, humans are not deprived of food for days to compel them to cooperate in experiments. And, unlike cats at UW, humans are not imprisoned in cages for life and then killed and decapitated when they are no longer of use.

The technical process of actually implanting hearing devices in humans and cats may be similar, but the nature and context of the two procedures are worlds apart. UW’s shamefully comparing an elective surgical procedure on a consenting human patient to the willful mutilation and killing of a healthy cat in a curiosity-driven experiment is like saying dropping a radioactive bomb is no different than giving an X-ray.

Dr. James Yahr

Carlsbad, Calif.

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Dr. James Yahr: UW defense of cat experiments shocking.

Campus Connection: What should the limits of UW-Madison animal research be?

Talk about perfect timing …

Just days after an animal rights group called on federal officials to investigate potential animal welfare violations related to the treatment of cats in invasive brain experiments at UW-Madison, the university is hosting its first forum of the new academic year examining the ethics of animal research.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is Friday at 7 p.m. in the Town Center of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. It will feature philosopher Lori Gruen, who directs Wesleyan University’s Ethics in Society Project and is the author of the 2011 book, “Ethics and Animals: An Introduction.

Visit AFA’s website for more information about public event tonight.

Read Todd Finkelmeyer’s full article here:

Campus Connection: What should the limits of UW-Madison animal research be?.