Thursday, Dec 11th 2014: Ask your questions about IACUCs and more!

A message from our anti-vivisection chair, Leslie:

A Rare Opportunity to Question the Biases and Conflicts of Interest Inherent in the Approval and Oversight of Animal Research

Many of you are aware that the Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture regarding the process used (abused?) by the University of Wisconsin when it approved Ned Kalin’s maternal deprivation experiments.  On Thursday, December 11, the UW Madison will host a presentation regarding the procedure used to approve animal research and the legal mandates and limitations of that process.  The panel (composed of UW faculty/employees) will address the following questions and will also take questions from the audience:

How are research protocols involving animals reviewed and approved?
Who is on the review committees?
How often are labs and facilities inspected, and by whom?
What are the legal and regulatory standards for animal research?

Panel members:

  • Eric Sandgren, Director of UW-Madison’s Research Animal Resources Center
  • Craig Berridge, Chair of the UW Letters and Science Animal Care and Use Committee
  • Dreux Watermolen: Non-affiliated Members of the UW Letters and Science Animal Care and Use Committee

Time and Location:

7:00pm – 9:00pm
Thursday, December 11, 2014
1111 Biotechnology Auditorium
UW Biotechnology Center
425 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706

Parking available in Lot 20 (1390 University Ave.), Lot 17 (1525 Engineering Dr.), and under Union South (enter at 1320 W. Dayton St.).

Here is a campus map that you can use to locate the the UW Biotechnology Center and nearby parking:   http://map.wisc.edu/

UW surrenders more images from the Tom Yin Lab.

Sound Localization Images

Released to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Below is a series of images released in July 2013 to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) under Wisconsin’s open records law. The images, from a procedure performed in 2009, show a surgical procedure to place a cochlear implant into a cat, the subject of a hearing study. Earlier images were used by PETA, an organization that objects to the use of all animal models in research, to misrepresent the clinical and technological value of the work, as well as the treatment and condition of the animals used in the study. We are posting the images to preempt their misuse and continued mischaracterization of a study that has demonstrated clinical and technological benefit for humans. Read the university’s full article here.

See too:  More images from the Yin Lab.

Full Version – Monkey experiment debate | HLNtv.com

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is facing criticism for controversial experiments involving Rhesus monkeys.  In these experiments, baby monkeys are separated from their mothers after birth and later subjected to tests to provoke fear and anxiety. The monkeys are then killed so that their brains can be dissected and studied.

Jane Velez-Mitchell moderated a first of its kind debate on these maternal deprivation experiments. Eric Sandgren, Director of the Research and Animal Resources Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison and Rick Bogle of Madison, Wisconsin’s Alliance for Animalswho organized a campaign to stop these experiments, debated both sides of the argument.  Those opposed to the experiments have started the site UWnotinourname.org.

Monkey experiment debate | HLNtv.com.

Debate over cat testing | HLNtv.com

Eric Sandgren says PETA’s claims were misleading. The pictures say it all.

PETA is taking on the University of Wisconsin-Madison over cat testing that they say is cruel. Tonight, Jane Velez-Mitchell moderates a heated debate between both sides.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals battled to release photos of a cat they say was named “Double Trouble” undergoing what they call useless and cruel experiments. And on the other side, the university defends their cat testing saying it’s necessary for the progression of science and that PETA’s claims are unsubstantiated and flawed. Watch as Jane moderates the heated debate.

Debate over cat testing | HLNtv.com.

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.”

Read full article here:

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.

See full article here: http://host.madison.com/daily-cardinal/news/forum-covers-ethics-in-animal-research/article_087344fc-0087-11e2-b7b7-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz26pAjDdTX