Animal researchers are just as guilty in their cruelty as animal hunters and farms in which animals are slaughtered, yet they seem to shield themselves from public scrutiny and negative media coverage. In her report, “How Animal Researchers Stay out of the News,” Martha Rosenberg (an investigative health reporter) describes the extreme and harsh conditions in which animals are being treated and how our taxpayer dollars should not be invested in these cruel labs. Lab animals, she writes, are “the actual currency of government grants to medical centers and universities.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) ensure that research using animals takes place behind closed doors, with only minimal public scrutiny. For example, the University of Iowa invested $11.2 million on a 35,000 square foot vivarium in an effort to further research and “offer an extra measure of protection from animal rights extremists.” Rosenberg states that often millions of animals are being sent to their death when they arrive to these labs. In addition to that, millions of animals that are being restrained and subject to a procedure, known as the Draize Test, that involves substances being applied to their eyes or skin to check for negative reactions.
In another instance of animal cruelty, an NIH-sponsored study at Emory University’s Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center involved removing new-born monkeys from their mothers within 48 hours of birth. This research aimed to determine how the young monkeys would react without social companionship. In another experiment, mouse-like creatures were placed with two 8-day-old pups to examine parental behavior. And then the females in this experiment were subsequently decapitated the same day.
As Rosenberg reported, mistreatment of animals used for research often goes under the radar due to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which criminalizes interference with “the operations of an animal enterprise”
Source: Martha Rosenberg, “How Animal Researchers Stay Out of the News,” Counterpunch, September 2, 2019, https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/09/02/how-animal-researchers-stay-out-of-the-news.
Student Researcher: Alex Carvajal (City College of San Francisco)
Faculty Evaluator: Jennifer Levinson (City College of San Francisco)