When a tiger starts killing people, regardless of how endangered it may be, it has to be put down – at the minimum relocated to life in a zoo where it cannot harm humans. Similarly, if the extinction of a particular species could ensure the survival of mankind, hand me the shotgun please. That said, I cannot think of a single case of any organisms meeting this criteria except for some bacteria.

Of course, things have yet to go that far. We’re not facing some kind of apocalypse, and certainly not extermination by aliens so we can still work on sustainable development to achieve a win-win situation. But some people, and I seriously mean somepeople, emphasize the well-being of animals more than the well-bring of their own kind. And I’m not talking about the Japanese-hunting-whales-thingy. I’m against that, too.

Please stop whaling. Image: sustainablesushi.net

Some animal rights activists had recently pressured airlines and ferry companies against transporting animals to the UK for research purposes.

Lord Drayson, who was a minister in the last Labour government, said “extremists” had picked off the companies, which had pulled out of transporting laboratory mice and other animals. The Times reported that Stena Line had followed DFDS Seaways in halting the carriage of test animals, closing the last sea route for medical researchers. The Channel tunnel had long refused the trade, it said, while no UK-based airline, including British Airways, would carry laboratory animals.– http://www.guardian.co.uk

Image: sciencedaily.com

It’s understandable that these animal lovers treasure animal lives. But hey, medical research is important because we have yet to find a cure for AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and there are new diseases emerging every few years. Halting medical research could spell disaster because any new disease nowdays could potentially push the entire humanity towards extinction. Just think of it as a safety net to ensure the continuity of our species.

In the UNited States, and most other research heavy nations, there are extensive regulations in place to ensure research animals are humanely cared for.  The US alone has the governmental agency, the USDA, and groups like AALAS and AAALACi training and monitoring facilities that conduct research.

Sure, people get concerned about research on stolen pets, cute monkeys, cuddly bunnies and the like.  Fact is 98% of all research animals are rats and mice purpose bred for this purpose.  Keep in mind many of the people saying this should stop have multiple mouse traps in their own garage.  We are talking animals housed in very clean conditions, given full time care, veterinary support, food, water and n exchange allow scientists to research disease.  That is a far cry from Decon poisons in the garage for the wild population.

Laboratory mice reach sexual maturity by six weeks of age, and could produce up to 14 pups after a gestation period of 19~21 days. Mice infestation is a problem in many parts of the world so why worry about them? They are the most adaptable animal after humans, and most importantly they are the least of our concern when it comes to animal conservation.

Image: sciencedirect.com

The vast majority of research animals are the rodent family.  Dogs must come from documented breeders – most of whom are dedicated to the lab animal industry and are also inspected and heavily regulated.  No shelter pets here.  Many species of Non Human Primates are no longer used. 

In addition, many advanced in pet medicine have come out of this.  That vaccine you give Fido, or that pill you give your cat was made possible through other research animals and scientists.
Some research which focus on saving a particular species would inevitably require some individuals from the species itself to be tested, which is in itself a justifiable thing. But if people die from a disease whose cure is already at the brink of discovery, but made impossible just because some preposterous animal activists who couldn’t understand the importance of medical research and value the life of a pest more than that of a fellow human being decided to brand shipping companies as cold blooded accomplice, then humanity is doomed.

To come think of it, thousands of cancer patients, Alzheimer’s patients are waiting for medical breakthroughs all over the world, and yet the animal rights activists couldn’t understand the need to sacrifice a few rodents?

They should be charged with manslaughter. OK, that was in jest, but this is not undertaken lightly.  The people involved in this research are generally good and compassionate people.  Yes, there are a few whackos like any segment of humans, and unfortunately they get much bad publicity.  But 99.99% are loving and caring and intelligent people that deliver the best care they can to their charges.
Did you also know that there is a huge component of research that involves enrichment for animals?  We are talking toys, cool housing, nesting materials and treats.  I am not saying living as a research animal is a joy, it does ultimately end in a hopefully humane death.  But I can safely say 99% of research animals live more comfortably than 50% of household pets. There is no massive outreach to ban and stop people who lock their dogs in a room all day or a crate for 8 hours a day while at work.  Yet in the research side this is illegal unless they are exercised.

People have to stop being so squeamish about topics like food, research and biology.  Yes, its a complicated topic, but not that hard to understand and appreciate.

And to stave off those that might say I am a sadistic beater of animals I myself am a proud pet owner and go to great lengths for their care and comfort and that I’m against poaching, consumption of shark fin, and unplanned deforestation. 

Advertisements