Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
UVic research animals escape negative laboratory stereotypes
Apr 08, 2010 Anne Watson – The Martlet (UVic)
Animals used in laboratory tests are rarely thought of as being treated humanely. But at UVic, Animal Care Services has been striving to treat laboratory animals with compassion and respect for nearly 40 years.
“The Animal Care is part of the offices of Research Services and our mandate is to give the university a service by maintaining animals, which are required for both teaching and research,” said Ralph Scheurle, manager of Animal Care Services.
The service handles everything from cleanliness and care to husbandry (management and conservation) and environmental enrichment. “[The animals] have air conditioning,” said Scheurle. “Even we don’t in the summer.”
The animals under the care of Animal Care Services range from small rodents, such as mice, rats and rabbits — not the ones that are on campus, says Scheurle — to aquatic animals, including both fresh and salt water fish. “We do not have dogs, cats, primates and have no intention of going in that direction,” said Scheurle.
The animals are mostly used in teaching upper-level classes and a range of research purposes.
Scheurle says the research is mostly in the animal care facility and for a fieldwork component. “We also now work closely with Island Medical, so we have the medical school working with us and other researchers in the field,” said Scheurle.
Animal Care Services has been on campus since the 1960s. It follows the mandate of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), which is “to act in the interests of the people of Canada to ensure … the use of animals, where necessary, for research, teaching and testing employs optimal physical and psychological care according to acceptable scientific standards.”
The CCAC was established in 1968, and became an independent, nonprofit organization in 1987. Universities across Canada must follow CCAC’s mandate when using any animals for research testing.
The CCAC uses the “Three Rs” concept — replacement, reduction and refinement — created by zoologist and psychologist W.M.S Russell. The concept looks to ensure that scientists use animals in research as little as possible and minimize any side effects these animals might encounter.
“We use the least number of animals possible but enough animals to make the experiment worth while,” said Scheurle of UVic’s adhearence to the “Three Rs” concept.
Scheurle says that it is important for UVic students to know that Animal Care Services has the best interests of the animals at heart. “We don’t want to use animals unless its really necessary and that hopefully there is benefit both to people and to animals from going forward with this,” he said.
Together with CCAC, UVic’s Animal Care Services is trying to find increasingly humane practices concerning the use of animals for education and research. “We’re aiming to have less animals,” said Scheurle.
Comment: Carmina Gooch April 8 at 05:59 PM
Compassion and respect? Imposing harmful and deadly experiments on defenseless little creatures when there are many sophisticated and alternate methods that exist is reprehensible. I'd suggest you abandon this despicable and archaic testing and employ methods like in vitro cell culture techniques and computer-modelling, for example.
UVic's reputation is going down the drain, what with the administration also determined to slaughter the campus rabbits, despite widespread outrage and humane options.
Get out of the Dark Ages and show a little compassion, ethical leadership, and a respect for the voiceless creatures of society.
"But at UVic, Animal Care Services has been striving to treat laboratory animals with compassion and respect for nearly 40 years."
Animals in any kind of experimentation are not treated with compassion or respect. The philosophy of animal testing is that animals are not capable of holding rights, or that those rights can be ethically ignored in the interests of the experiment. It's impossible to treat a living thing with respect when you're treating it as a means to an end.
"Scheurle says that it is important for UVic students to know that Animal Care Services has the best interests of the animals at heart." Umm, if they had the best interests of the animals at heart, they wouldn't be conducting experiments on them. Scheurle is misrepresenting what animal experimentation actually is.
How did this piece get published? It's just PR for UVic's laboratory experiments. Why didn't the reporter contact any anti-vivisection groups or the UVic Vegan Association so that it could at least have some balance?
If you want to read more about this, I would suggest checking out Gary Francione's FAQ at http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/faqs/ and the rest of the website.
- Vivisection in this day and age? I can't believe such a barbaric and cruel practice is still going on! Who at UVic decided that animal spirit is less valuable than that of a human? Until someone can prove that, let's all work to abolish animal cruelty at the University of Victoria!
- Isn't this sort of like writing an article about how little police brutality goes on when your only source is the Chief of Police?
During my medical education … I
found vivisection horrible, barbarous and above all unnecessary.
Coalition sues U.S. government over failure to respond to animal testing petition
April 6, 2010 NEAVS
WASHINGTON and LONDON, April 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/
— A coalition of animal protection groups today filed a lawsuit in federal court
against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accusing the agency of violating
its duty under the Administrative Procedure Act. The lawsuit states that the FDA
failed to act on a petition asking the agency to require the use of
scientifically sound alternatives to the use of animals in testing to gain
approval for drugs and medical devices.
January 27, 2015 change.org petition
deeply disturbed that in spite of concerns raised by humane education advocates,
your college is planning to use animals, including domestic cats and rabbits, as
part of your Biology 2350 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy class.