Monday, 1 February 2016

Animal Testing

Naming and Shame (Click)

Five top universities named and shamed for testing animals in their labs

University of Oxford headed the list followed by, in decreasing order, it was followed by Edinburgh (200,861), University College London (176,901), King's College London (165,068), and Cambridge (160,557).

Now ask the questions who are getting money for medical Research and one suspects they will all be up there.

Each year in January the Government collects stats on animal use.

According to Sky News the Government is looking to ways to cut animal numbers. e.g. Giving independence to Scotland would get rid of a few:-)

However
(a) They and others are simply not funding research. 
So the people able to do animal resesrch are simply being priced out of exsistence. 

In the sky news article: If Harwell was not core funded by the Government would they be able to afford to keep 55,000 mice (they would cost about £1 a day each to keep isolated). So 55,000 x 365 = £20,075,000

(b) Next we can have fudging the results.
The reason for the rising numbers reported are because of genetically engineered mice. Each one has to be reported. As there are 30,000 genes you have 30,000 strains times X.

However if you buy a normal mouse and kill it to use its tissues for experiment you don't need to record them. So thousands/millions of animals go un-reported. 

Make these people justify their animal work like people doing animal experiments and most of these would go.

E.g. Neuroscientists cull freely born animals so they can grow the nerves to study. At great expense you could make human ones from stem cells

However the big fudge is arriving. For the past couple of years you have had to assess the severity of each individual animal.

Was it severe moderate or mild for example if we treat EAE so they dont get disease it is no longer a severe. Now for transgenic animals that do not have any harmful mutation they are now recorded as "sub-threshold".....sub-threshold to be reported?

If an animal has a harmful mutant (i.e. you can see it like wobbler rumpshaker, shiverer, nude-no hair) then this is recorded but bog standard labstrains avoid this. You may have heard of SJL mice ...normal mice..not if you have seen them they are aggressive llittle beasties, but they are Rds= retinal degeneration slow so they have lost cells made for vision within 5 weeks of birth, the C3H is Rd and vision is gone in 2 weeks. You can't tell just by looking at them. BALB/c are deaf  C57BL/6 preferentially drink alcohol. Should they be reported?

In the UK we have one of the most regulated systems in the World relating to animal work. We need to be careful it doesn't go East or Westwards where things are  not as well regulated.


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