Research Facilities

This forum seemed most appropriate for this. When I received this in my email, I felt nauseated instantly upon reading it. For those of you living in these states, it's time for you to call your state legislator and see if a change can be made on this.

Five U.S. States Require Shelters to send Animals to Research Facilities

I definitely believe that the fact that animals may be turned over to research should be in 20+ point font on the top of the sign-over page, and well as posted at the entrance to the shelter when people bring the animals in. I also think that there should be some sort of protection for lost animals, ie, only allow owner give-ups to be funneled to research. But, animal research is necessary.

We are trying to move away from it, and we always try to respect and minimize the animals used in our lab, but we do have to use animals. In silico and in vitro methods are getting better and better, but we aren't there yet. Here's an example: I abandoned part of my project because I couldn't find a way to make an antibody for my protein (either monoclonal or polyclonal) that did not involve killing animals. I couldn't do it myself, but this just means that the next person who works on my project will have to do it.

I can't speak much about the animal research done in my lab, because I have a fatal allergy to rats and mice, therefore cannot go into the animal facility, but I do hear the reports at group meeting, and see the care taken on infection and sacrifice days.

Sometimes purpose-bred dogs and cats are not the best fit for the research being done. For example, sometimes, retrovirus researchers need naturally infected FIV+ cats rather than laboratory infected cats, and an animal shelter is the best place to find these cats. Sometimes the purpose bred animals are too inbred, or too unsocialized.

It is sad, and I hate that it has to happen, but, I think making a small contribution before dying, is preferable to just dying.

-Nicole

I don't object to science. Without it, we would not have most of the advances we have. Humane animal research is not an unreasonable idea.

I object to the mandate for the shelter to turn the animal over to research. I believe it should be the choice of the individual shelter. However, I also believe each animal should be given the opportunity for adoption.

It's that government interference thing again.

Nicole…good grief! A life threatening allergy to rats and mice!!! Do they have to be in large quanitites, like a lab, or do you have problems if one invades your house?

I hate to joke, but I must 😉 Have you ever seen the far side cartoon where (I think) the shepherd is allergic to sheep? The caption is "when careers and allergies collide" or some such.

BTW...totally agree with your thoughts in your post. Maybe if more people were aware of this factoid, they would think twice about abandoning their pets.

This was in our Lansing State Journal editorial section today…

Eaton Co. acts on animals
I want to thank our Eaton County commissioners who passed on Nov. 18 the resolution to ban pound seizure.

We are grateful that the Eaton County sheriff issued an order in May 2008 to end this practice. Now this ban has been made official in the Eaton County Animal Control Ordinance.

Pound seizure is the practice of releasing, selling or giving shelter animals to USDA Class B Dealers (animal brokers) and research facilities for purposes of research and/or experimentation. Michigan law requires shelters to hold animals four to seven days to give an owner the opportunity to claim a lost pet.

Michigan House Bill 4663 would ban pound seizure in the state.

There are currently two counties out of 83 in Michigan that still practice pound seizure. The District of Columbia and 17 states so far have passed laws banning the practice of pound seizure.

For more information, please go to www.voiceless-MI.org

@AJs:

I believe it should be the choice of the individual shelter. However, I also believe each animal should be given the opportunity for adoption.

I definitely agree with that.

@Quercus:

Nicole…good grief! A life threatening allergy to rats and mice!!! Do they have to be in large quanitites, like a lab, or do you have problems if one invades your house?

Even one can be a problem if I am in the same room. My husband had a mouse in his classroom when he was teaching 4th grade, and I couldn't go in his classroom for more than a few minutes. Thankfully, we have lots of predators in this house. Katie has killed a few mice and voles in the yard. She will eat the guts and leave a head, spine and feet sitting there. It is kinda gross when you find them while doing poop-patrol.

@Quercus:

I hate to joke, but I must 😉 Have you ever seen the far side cartoon where (I think) the shepherd is allergic to sheep? The caption is "when careers and allergies collide" or some such.

I have not seen it, but I did have something similar happen. When I was 19, I tried to quit school and get a job on a sheep farm in Wales, and had to quit after 2 weeks because I would welt up anywhere the sheep touched. 🙂 That is funny that it is a far side cartoon!

-Nicole

I have worked in a large research facility for app 11 years now. Never, EVER have we used anything but purpose bred dogs, cats, rodents. We have to have the complete background to assure the research is not compromised by some genetic defect. There is only a few other research facilities around Ohio. And really, I would rather the animals are used to help other animals in the future than be euthanized for nothing.

Another thing I find annoying about this article. It says: "Our pets have no voice." The owner surrendered the animal and did not care what happened to them. If people are so concerned about these animals they need to go adopt one instead of expecting the shelter to just "make it work" with their limited resources. I realize you are saying that it should not be mandated and I don't disagree completely. I just think people have a very dark and dreary view of what the laboratory facilities are like. It is incorrect. As someone who works there, I assure you I took that job very seriously. My dogs were treated as best as they could and when they completed their job they were humanely euthanized or adopted. There so many rules to working in a research facility in order to keep your accredidation and continue to do business. YOU MUST treat these animals with the utmost care and love. They deserve that.

Dash, thank you for presenting the other side of this story.

There is a difference between a shelter voluntarily giving animals to research and the state placing a "must do" on the shelter. It is this coercion I am opposed to, not the research or the fact that animals must be used for research. I am not a member of PETA…cows taste too good and that would make me a hypocrite. I am just so ready for government to get out of our way.

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