Entries in Animal Testing (2)


Chimp Research Unethical, IOM Says

Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte(WASHINGTON) -- The Institute of Medicine has called for strict limits on the use of chimpanzees -- the closest genetic relatives to humans -- in medical and behavioral research.

“The committee concluded that research using animals that are so closely related to humans should not proceed unless it offers insights not possible with other animal models and unless it is of sufficient scientific or health value to offset the moral costs,” said Jeffrey Kahn, chairman of the IOM committee,  in a news release. "We found very few cases that satisfy these criteria.”

The IOM’s report said the amount of research conducted on chimps had decreased over the past 10 years but should continue only if there were no other suitable models for the research, the research could not be conducted ethically on humans and not using chimps would slow or prevent important progress against life-threatening diseases.

Chimpanzees are viewed as more accurate models for how diseases and treatments develop in people than other animals, such as mice. But because chimps share some behavioral characteristics with humans, many scientists have concluded that experimenting on them is unethical.

Scientists have used chimps to develop vaccines and treatments for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and the IOM report said private research companies have used the animals to test drug safety and efficacy.

The primates are used both by federally funded researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  as well as by researchers in the private sector.

The U.S. is one of only two countries that conduct invasive research on chimpanzees; the other is Gabon in central Africa. There are approximately 1,000 chimpanzees in U.S. research facilities, according to a report in the New York Times.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Animal Research Promoted by Controversial Billboards

ABC News(SEATTLE) -- Who should live, a little girl or a rat?  That's what a billboard campaign promoting the use of animals in research for human medical treatments asks.

The advertisements are a part of the Research Save campaign, paid for by the Washington, D.C., non-profit organization Foundation for Biomedical Research.

"Without research with animals models, especially rodents, we will not have cures for the many currently incurable diseases afflicting children today including leukemia, diabetes, paralysis, autism, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, Deuchenne muscular dystrophy and malaria," FBR President Frankie Tull said.

Animal activist group, People for The Ethical treatment of Animals, PETA disagrees.

"It still doesn't make any difference to any feeling human being what the species is," Kathy Gullerimo of PETA told ABC affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle.  "They all experience pain.  They all can suffer."

The billboards feature a picture of a little girl and a rat with the caption, "Who would you rather see live?"  But an FBR spokeswoman said they aren't meant to shock.

Instead, FBR Director of Media & Marketing Communications Liz Hodge said, the aim is "to get people to think where the benefits are coming from that we expect when we're sick."

The billboards are featured in five cities including Los Angeles, Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago and Portland, Oregon.  They will remain up until the beginning of May.  The group plans to put up another billboard in Madison, Wisconsin at the end of April. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio