“Why I am a Laboratory Animal Veterinarian”

Today’s guest post is by Kelly Walton DVM, a third year student of comparative medicine at Colorado State University. Kelly explains why her love of animals led her to a career in laboratory animal welfare.
The views expressed below are that of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of her employer or institution.

Most of us can probably look back on our childhood and remember “that kid” in school who was hopelessly obsessed with all things cute and furry. The kid who preferred spending their time with four-legged friends over the human variety, and who decorated their class notes with drawings of animals. The strange, socially awkward type who would hold impromptu funerals in their backyard for a tragically deceased bird or mouse. I was that child growing up in a small town in northern Ohio. There wasn’t a single species of animal I didn’t love (or try to bring into my parents’ house), and at an early age I had accepted that this would probably be my identity for life.

It has come as no surprise to residents of my home town that I left high school and pursued a degree in veterinary medicine. Probably unimaginable was the thought that I could have done anything with my life that did not directly involve working with animals. My chosen focus, however, has drawn countless quizzical looks from many of my acquaintances, old and new, and has at times proven to be a very effective conversation killer. I am currently in the final months of my post-doctoral training in laboratory animal, or comparative, medicine. My patients are not pets or production animals, but living models of human and animal disease. I receive many questions when I discuss my job with the people I meet – “Isn’t animal-based research cruel and unnecessary?” “Why do laboratory animals even need a veterinarian – aren’t they just killed in the name of science?” “How can someone who loves animals as much as you say you do work in an environment in which they’re used for scientific experiments?”

"I believe I have chosen the speciality in which I can have the single most important impact on animal welfare"

“I believe I have chosen the speciality in which I can have the single most important impact on animal welfare”

These are all questions that I’m sure the high school version of myself would ask if I were to have a conversation with her today. And they are valid questions, because until the scientific community can fully embrace the concept of transparency without fear of widespread misrepresentation, we can’t expect the general public to truly understand what we do.

On June 12, 2010, I stood with my veterinary class at The Ohio State University and recited an oath that I have taken to heart and applied to my professional life every day since. Similar in content to the physician’s Hippocratic Oath, one may wonder if the practice of laboratory animal medicine is in direct contradiction to the principles therein. I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, I believe the Veterinarian’s Oath could have been written specifically with my colleagues in mind. It is my sincere hope that the points below will clarify the vital role of veterinarians in this deeply rewarding profession I call my own.

Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare…

Laboratory animals are no different than their counterparts living in homes or on farms around the world. They can become sick. They are susceptible to infections that may require medical intervention. They can injure themselves. They require preventive health plans and vaccinations. Just as your pets have a veterinarian to address all of their medical needs, the laboratory animals at my institution have me, as well as many other talented veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and husbandry personnel that are dedicated to their wellbeing. We work diligently to ensure that our animals are healthy and well-cared for – not only because ethically it’s the right thing to do, but because the integrity of the science produced by these animals depends on it.

Unlike my colleagues in general veterinary practice, I have a right to make healthcare decisions for my patients that do not depend on the opinions, level of compassion, or financial status of their owners. This is a responsibility that is given to me by the numerous laws and regulations that govern the use of animals in research. It is ultimately the obligation of the attending veterinarian or their designee to determine when a medical concern requires intervention and to provide the necessary treatment, and as impartial players in the research process, our number one priority is to advocate for the animals’ welfare.

…the prevention and relief of animal suffering…

Veterinarians are instrumental in the direction of laboratory animal care programs, and are responsible for developing practices to meet all of our animals’ environmental, nutritional, and social needs. We implement policies and provide training and oversight to ensure that these policies are followed, and establish systems for the timely reporting and management of animal-related concerns. In addition, laboratory animal veterinarians often conduct their own studies investigating novel methods for improving animal welfare in the research setting. The wellbeing of laboratory animals depends heavily on the existence of veterinarians who are solely dedicated to the continual improvement of their quality of life.

Surprisingly to some, most research procedures cause little or no pain or distress to animals (for example, routine injections, blood collections, or observations). However, some studies may require procedures that are more invasive and create the potential for discomfort. It is for this reason that a veterinarian must be consulted in all stages of planning an animal use protocol.  During this process, we advise investigators on the best way to accomplish their experimental goals while maintaining sound animal welfare practices. This can mean ensuring that appropriate anesthetics and analgesics are provided as necessary; that physical restraint is minimized and appropriate for the species involved; that post-procedural monitoring is adequate; that personnel are adequately trained to perform the proposed procedures; and most importantly, that alternatives to potentially painful procedures are considered and used whenever possible.  Veterinarians are uniquely qualified to make these determinations due to their extensive training in both basic science and medicine, and the ability to oversee animal research empowers us to prevent unnecessary suffering.

 …the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.

The importance of animals in research cannot be overstated. Animals have been vital in the development of every major medical discovery, and an effective alternative system to completely eliminate the need for animals in research has not yet been established. As laboratory animal veterinarians, we understand that animal use is necessary to improve our understanding of disease, however we also believe that it is a privilege that must be carried out humanely. Animal research has given us insulin, antibiotics, vaccines, organ transplantation, chemotherapy, and a host of other lifesaving technologies that would otherwise not have been possible. My position allows me to support these breakthroughs while also ensuring the ethical care and use of research animals.

For the animal lovers among us, it is important to note that these discoveries not only benefit humans, but other animals as well. Joint replacements, cancer treatments, neurodegenerative disease therapies, and numerous emergency procedures are now possible in animals because the concepts were initially studied in animals for use in people. As a veterinarian in laboratory animal medicine, I have the privilege of contributing to the “One Health” initiative that has been adopted by both the AMA and the AVMA in the United States. In this environment, physicians and veterinarians collaborate and share new information that can translate between human and veterinary medicine, resulting in longer, healthier lives for all of our patients.

I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.

The concept of animal welfare does not mean that animals share the same rights to life and liberty as human beings. Advocates of animal welfare, unlike animal rights activists, believe in the responsible use of animals for human purposes such as food, clothing, entertainment, or research. They also believe that humans have a moral obligation to treat all animals with respect, dignity, and compassion, to provide all basic needs for a comfortable life, and to minimize pain and suffering. The practice of laboratory animal medicine is not only consistent with the principles of animal welfare, but I believe it is truly a model for them. In no other facet of this profession can I imagine having the opportunity to promote veterinary ethics while also contributing to the advancement of human and animal medicine, public health, and scientific knowledge.

My career in laboratory animal medicine, still in its infancy, has asked a lot of things of me. It has required that I learn to love and appreciate all animals, including the very small and sometimes not-so-cute. I’ve had to broaden my clinical skills to become proficient in the medical care of species I previously did not know existed. I have learned that I must be prepared to tackle many challenges that I was not prepared for in veterinary school. The daily tests are one of the things I love most about my job. This career does not mean that I turn my back on any part of the oath that I took on the day that I graduated. To the contrary, I believe that I have chosen the speciality in which I can have the single most important impact on animal welfare. And I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of such a wonderful and compassionate profession.

Kelly Walton DVM
Comparative Medicine
Colorado State University

23 responses to ““Why I am a Laboratory Animal Veterinarian”

  1. You are amazing. I am certain you have a love for animals. What bothers me is that you truly believe the understated fluff you use to try to convince everyone (and, I imagine, especially yourself!) that the animals used in research are treated humanely and actually have lives worth living. Let’s examine your claims, starting with the Veterinary hypocritic oath.

    “… I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society…” For the
    benefit of society. In other words, for the benefit of HUMANS. This part of the oath gives you free reign on the treatment of animals and a means for assuaging your conscience in that treatment.

    “…the prevention and relief of animal suffering…” I love this part. For we all KNOW how WELL lab animals are treated – how they suffer no physical and psychological pain and trauma!

    “…the promotion of public health, …” Again, to benefit HUMANS. “…and the advancement of medical knowledge.” NATURE takes care of the planet’s health! It is only because of man’s interference in the first place that has created the diseased, injured planet on which we live, and now forces us to strive to “fix” the damage we have caused. And with each attempt, there are always – still – negative consequences!

    “I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.” There is NOTHING – NOTHING – conscientious, dignified, OR ethical in the horrific ABUSE enacted on lab animals throughout the world!! NOTHING!!

    You claim: “Laboratory animals are no different than their counterparts living in homes or on farms around the world. They can become sick. They are susceptible to infections that may require medical intervention. They can injure themselves.” WHO are you trying to convince?!!

    Laboratory animals are INDEED different from their counterparts living in homes or on farms!!! What lab animal is FREE to enjoy the sunshine, a cool breeze, or the opportunity to just lie about and ENJOY the world around them!! What lab animals experience ANY love or comfort that would come from being part of a family!! And how many of these animals would be susceptible to and incur infections or be injured if it weren’t for their compromised immune systems, or, indeed, from the despicable procedures being conducted on them!! They may require medical intervention. !!! ??? THIS statement galls me the most. One: “medical procedures” are why they are in the hell they are in. And two: how many animals are actually provided ANY medical care to heal them AFTER whatever Godforsaken experiment conducted on them is over?!!! How many??!!! Unless, of course, you mean euthanasia!!

    You also claim: “Just as your pets have a veterinarian to address all of their medical needs, the laboratory animals at my institution have me, as well as many other talented veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and husbandry personnel that are dedicated to their wellbeing.” This may well be very true where you work. But don’t try to market your little oasis of humanity as the norm!! Just don’t!!

    You state: “Surprisingly to some, most research procedures cause little or no pain or distress to animals (for example, routine injections, blood collections, or observations). However, some studies may require procedures that are more invasive and create the potential for discomfort. It is for this reason that a veterinarian must be consulted in all stages of planning an animal use protocol. During this process, we advise investigators on the best way to accomplish their experimental goals while maintaining sound animal welfare practices. This can mean ensuring that appropriate anesthetics and analgesics are provided as necessary; that physical restraint is minimized and appropriate for the species involved; that post-procedural monitoring is adequate; that personnel are adequately trained to perform the proposed procedures; and most importantly, that alternatives to potentially painful procedures are considered and used whenever possible.” !!!! Most research procedures? Really? I can not believe you actually believe this! What proof do you have to back up these statements?! Go ahead, tell me how the kittens at Cardiff University who had their eyelids sewn shut had veterinarians watching over them to ensure they suffered no pain, or ill psychological effects. Tell me Veterinarians were (and are) caring for the untold numbers of cats at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) who had steel coils implanted in their eyes, holes drilled into their skulls, and electrodes implanted in their brains. How they ensured the cats who had their ears cut off or were intentionally deafened by having a toxic chemical applied to their inner ear, and then deprived of food for several days in order to coerce them to look in the direction of sounds during experimental sessions in which their heads are immobilized by a bolt screwed into their skulls were receiving the professional attention of a CARING veterinarian!!!

    The importance of animals in research IS overstated. Yes, animals HAVE been vital in the development of every major medical discovery, however it is LONG OVERDUE to find an effective alternative system and COMPLETELY ELIMINATE the need for animals in research. Period!! Personally, I suggest the following: I say all animal abusers should have MANDATORY registration in a WORLD-WIDE REGISTRY which would be used as needed to supply test subjects to labs all over the world in any and all institutions for testing and experimentation. This should not meet with any opposition from any government, since they will be the first to claim that all CURRENT test subjects are not, BY LAW, being subjected to inhumane practices, and that research and testing is strictly controlled, particularly regarding potential pain. No one in the scientific community should object since, as is stated by Americans for Medical Progress: “Researchers have a moral obligation to use all tools available to enhance our ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease …” If this were enacted, not only would the results be confidently applicable to humans, but at least THEN all test / experiment subjects would have a CHOICE in this matter (they can choose NOT TO ABUSE AN ANIMAL and therefore not become part of the program!!!). The systems and processes in use now do not give them that choice!!

    You understand animal use in labs is a privilege that must be carried out humanely? You’re darn straight it’s a privilege! A privilege of free will from God to do whatever, whenever, and to whomever we wish, and in most cases, without repercussions!! If the “medical experimentation” done on animals today were done outside a lab, they would MOST CERTAINLY result in the perpetrator being charged with felony animal abuse and would result in their incarceration behind bars!! I believe most research done today is done for power, profit, or prestige. Take, for example, the unconscionable procedures mentioned above at the University of Wisconsin-Madison ADMITTEDLY achieving NOTHING AT ALL AND performed MERELY to obtain continued funding!! Which provides yet another “purpose” for animal use in labs: allowing self-serving, sadistic, malicious, soulless, and perverse sub-humans a new way to achieve despicable vicarious pleasures through repulsive self-gratifying acts of terror all under the guise of research!

    Yes, these acts MAY be in the minority. I have no facts to prove one way or another, however, it does not matter if they ARE the minority. NOT ONE creature should have to suffer such terror!! NOT ONE!! And it does not stop at the lab. Entire industries have been created out of the blood and suffering of lab animals! Corporations whose sole purpose is the production of live animals who will NEVER have the chance of knowing a pain free existence, will never feel the sun on their bodies, or know how pleasant life on Earth should be.

    I actually applaud your efforts to ensure the laboratory animals being used where you work are receiving care and possibly even some comfort (if, in fact, this is really being done). But don’t kid yourself that what you do is being done worldwide. Don’t try to rationalize the revolting human use of other species for our own gain as necessary and / or productive. NO creature should have to suffer against its will for the betterment of some other creature!! That is such a perverted human concept of an unconscionable means to a false end!

    • Wow, what a rant…complete twith LOTS OF ALL CAPS and everything!

      Interesting to see that Linda refers to the allegations made against the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which were an almost textbook example of the way in which animal rights groups distort and misrepresent animal research and the scientists who undertake it http://speakingofresearch.com/2012/09/20/defending-science-and-countering-falsehood-at-the-university-of-wisconsin-madison-2/

      I guess it’s easier for folk like PeTA and Linda to attack a straw man version of Laboratory Animal Veterinarian than the real thing

      Well, if nothing else Linda’s comment shows why it is important for good people like Kelly to tell people about their valuable work.

    • Sorry, my post below should have been a reply.

      Linda,
      It is clear that you believe that the arguments you put forth above are valid and thus, I would appreciate your thoughts on the following:

      1) You state “But don’t kid yourself that what you do is being done worldwide.” and “it is my belief she and her lab are not the norm when it comes to animal use in medical research. I wish they were.”… please provide the foundation upon which these statements are based (excluding the cat example taken from PETA that you use above as we already know how that story was spun). Scientific data would be appreciated, if possible.

      2) In regards to the statement that most procedures cause little or no distress, you state “Most research procedures? Really? I can not believe you actually believe this! What proof do you have to back up these statements?!” and proceed with a number of cat examples that can be counted on one hand. Since you are clearly passionate about this subject, I assume that you know there are millions and millions of animals used in research each year. Again, please provide the evidence that MOST research procedures do inflict pain and/or discomfort on the animals involved.

      3) You seem to be well-versed in your examples of cat cruelty in research. Can you tell me why cats may have been the species chosen as a model for this research?

      4) You state that you have been involved in animal rescue for many years. However, this post is not in regards to animal rescue. Could you kindly provide readers with an idea of how much time you have spent working in (or observing) animal research labs.

      5) You state “Which provides yet another “purpose” for animal use in labs: allowing self-serving, sadistic, malicious, soulless, and perverse sub-humans a new way to achieve despicable vicarious pleasures through repulsive self-gratifying acts of terror all under the guise of research!”
      I would just like to hear you say that this statement is false, unproductive and over the top.

      And just as a note:
      In regards to your solution of replacing animal research with animal abusing humans, you should know that the psychological component that is present in humans would trigger a physiological response under many experimental conditions. This would mean that results obtained in this way could not confidently be applied to humans, due to a very large confounding factor.

      Finally,
      We are all working towards a world in which animal research can be 100% replaced with alternative methods of testing. Unfortunately, we are just not there yet. In the interim, what exactly is your solution?

  2. Michael Brunt

    Ms. Coffelt. Animal abuse is ethically reprehensible and illegal. However, the humane and ethical use of animals in biomedical research is a privilege to be conducted in the most respectful, conscientious and dignified way. Animal research improves the lives of BOTH humans and animals. One of my beloved dogs lived a further six years after receiving her cancer treatments. Her sister currently takes a little pill every day and no longer suffers from dementia. I thank the animals and the laboratory animal veterinarians that helped develop their therapies.

    • Mr. Brunt, Your words are all true. Unfortunately, the reality is too many labs around the world sacrifice ethical treatment of their captive subjects for results, whether viable or not. Too many conduct abusive, unnecessary, and outrageous procedures that WOULD be illegal if conducted outside the lab. I am truly happy your beloved family members benefited from the results of lab developed therapies. But how many healthy, innocent animals had to suffer and die to achieve those therapies? I am equally happy to know there are people such as Dr. Walton who have made it their life’s work to ensure humane treatment of lab animals. However, it is my belief she and her lab are not the norm when it comes to animal use in medical research. I wish they were. I wish I had a tried and true alternative to this use of animals, for if I did, I would lobby our lawmakers to enact the changes, and would not rest until there was not one animal being experimented on. I believe ALL life on Earth is precious, necessary, and equal, and should be understood, loved, and cherished. I totally grasp we do not live in a perfect world. And I totally grasp our imperfect world is inhabited by some extremely despicable creatures. And therein lie my reasons for speaking out against animals as lab subjects. I have been involved in animal rescue for decades. But it has been only in the past year that my sensibilities have been violently assaulted with the knowledge of the worst of the worst of unconscionable acts of cruelty that man can conceive. I can no longer tolerate knowledge of any animal suffering for whatever reasons and can not condone sanctioned, premeditated acts that cause exactly that. I pray for the day all suffering will end in a more enlightened world.

      • Fine, just agree to refuse any and all advances obtained through biomedical research gained from animal models and you’re all set. Surely someone of your convictions wouldn’t mind giving up over-the-counter and prescription medications. Nor should you mind refusing any treatments for any infections or illnesses you may get. After all, nature will take it’s course and you’ll either live or die. Doesn’t really mater either way.

        As someone involved in animal rescue as you claim to be I would think you’d have at least some understanding that animal research also benefits animals. Clearly some of the animals you rescue have needed medical treatment? How do you suppose those antibiotics for the animals were developed? Or the ability to treat broken bones and other ailments? Even the food you feed them was tested on animals before it went on the market. So how about you climb down off that high horse of yours before you get a nose bleed?

      • It is truly unfortunate that confused and misguided individuals, such as yourself Linda, exist in this world. You say you do not take prescription medications, get vaccinations, etc. but I am 100% certain that you, your family, or your pets benefit from animal research in some way. Either through OTC medications, vaccinations or medications (or pet food!) for your pets, diagnostic testing, or millions of other ways. To partake in the fruits of animal research and then denigrate it makes you a hypocrite, plain and simple.

        One of the many glaring errors in your thought process is your anthropomorphism of animals. Just because you may enjoy the sunshine or a cool breeze does not mean that every other living creature will share your same preferences. There can be huge differences in preference and happiness between individual humans (one person may be content in a small, close-quarters apartment in new york city, while another person may be happiest on a sprawling farm in the country). So suffice it to say, that what makes a human happy and content is certainly not going to be the same for what makes a mouse happy and content. What is important is that the basic needs of the animal are met, enrichment is provided and tailored to the particular species, and pain and suffering is either prevented or alleviated through analgesia or humane euthanasia.

        I argue that all laboratory animals are treated much more humanely than some pets. This is because lab animals have the law to stand behind them, whereas pets have owners that stand behind them. And some (not all) owners simply do not have the money, decency, or intelligence to care for animals properly or humanely. So the animal is forced to suffer silently behind closed doors. Not all pet owners have to bring their pets in for veterinary care, but all lab animals are fortunate to receive veterinary care. I am a laboratory animal veterinarian, and I feel so fortunate to work in this field, because I cannot imagine working as a private practitioner and having to take short cuts in the care of animals simply because people don’t have the money.

        You say it is time to find a better way to achieve these results without the use of animals, so please enlighten us with this ‘better way’ that you have formulated. A ‘better way’ that will replace the countless precise animal models of countless human and animal ailments. As others have said, unless you have personally worked in the field, you have no right to pass judgement. Dr. Walton is not the exception- she is an excellent example of the typical individual working in the field who is truly invested in the welfare of all animals.

      • Ok. Let’s all just read into this what we want to see. I am not passing judgment on anyone. And I believe I already gave my suggested alternative. Forgive me for having an opinion that differs from the rest of the world and a minority view of sentient life, but in the grand scheme of things my little whisper screaming into the darkness of this world doesn’t mean squat. I am just someone trying to understand the world in which I live, reacting to the built up horror of human actions I never would have believed could be possible in a civilized species. I am sorry if my words were perceived as a personal attack. They certainly weren’t meant as such.

      • There are most certainly horrific human actions that take place in our society, but regulated, legal animal research is not one of them. To call it as such is in fact a judgment and an attack. You are merely speculating, since you have not worked or studied in the field. It is one thing to try and understand the world in which you live by being inquisitive and asking questions, but it is another thing to make hateful, uninformed statements and conclusions. All I can say is this- next time you take your pets to the vet and the veterinarian prescribes a medication, gives a vaccination, or performs surgery or diagnostic testing, I would like you to think about the countless animals that ‘suffered in the dark world of research’ (according to you).

  3. I think more labs around the world are coming round to the idea that better animal welfare can improve results – stressed animals don’t make good test subjects.

    Pointing out that many procedures would be illegal if done outside the lab is meaningless. Open heart surgery would be illegal on humans if done outside the operating theatre. Cell culture studies on dangerous diseases would be illegal outside the lab. So what?

    Groups like PETA make films every few years based on one lab somewhere in the world. They only show these labs – not the 99.9% doing what they should be. This makes her lab the rule, not the exception.

  4. Great post Kerry! The work you and your fellow laboratory animal veterinarians do seldom gets the acknowledgement it deserves from the scientific community, but the truth is if it wasn’t for you and your colleagues medical progress would be a lot slower and more difficult….if not impossible.

  5. Kelly,

    Thanks for the insight into why you chose laboratory animal medicine, and how you work to promote the welfare of animals that are needed for medical research.

    Of course we should try to replace animals with other research methods whenever possible. That is an ongoing process. However, in the mean time, it is important to provide the best care possible for the animals that are still needed.

  6. As a proud member of the lab animal community who cares for the animals every day for the past 12 years, I truly feel that in order for people to pass judgement on such a controversial topic, they really should decide to experience and see what its about for themselves. I gurantee that there are many individuals within this field that spend countless hours trying to educate the public about the research that occurs within their community. That is how I ended up making a choice to join this career field. It was because I decided for myself and wanted to help ensure that the animals who are selected for research have a voice through me. Most of the media information about our field is negative and does not depict the positive outcomes that occur from the research that occurs within our facilities nor the people who are involved in it. I personally do not know one person within our facility who doesn’t have a concern for the animals within it. It is responses like Linda’s above that make me scared to admit my profession to others. How you can you have conversation with an individual who is angry and close minded? I deeply respect and value the lives of each animal that enters our doors. Dr Walton depiction is not the exception, it is the norm and I truly thank her for expressing her opinion about our field of medicine.

  7. Very nicely written. Thank you for putting into words what runs through my head regularly.

  8. Kristie Brock, DVM

    What she said : )

  9. Nice said Kelly. It would help to emphasize how the work has benefited, and continues to benefit, both human and non-human animals alike. A nice summary can be found here — http://zoobiquity.com. The dedication of DVMs and animal lab technicians to the work is an integral part of the responsible use of animals in research. They ought to be commended for their work and not attacked. We are lucky to have people like Kelly taking care of the animals.

  10. Very educative.many people mistake biomedical research.

  11. Linda,
    It is clear that you believe that the arguments you put forth above are valid and thus, I would appreciate your thoughts on the following:

    1) You state “But don’t kid yourself that what you do is being done worldwide.” and “it is my belief she and her lab are not the norm when it comes to animal use in medical research. I wish they were.”… please provide the foundation upon which these statements are based (excluding the cat example taken from PETA that you use above as we already know how that story was spun). Scientific data would be appreciated, if possible.

    2) In regards to the statement that most procedures cause little or no distress, you state “Most research procedures? Really? I can not believe you actually believe this! What proof do you have to back up these statements?!” and proceed with a number of cat examples that can be counted on one hand. Since you are clearly passionate about this subject, I assume that you know there are millions and millions of animals used in research each year. Again, please provide the evidence that MOST research procedures do inflict pain and/or discomfort on the animals involved.

    3) You seem to be well-versed in your examples of cat cruelty in research. Can you tell me why cats may have been the species chosen as a model for this research?

    4) You state that you have been involved in animal rescue for many years. However, this post is not in regards to animal rescue. Could you kindly provide readers with an idea of how much time you have spent working in (or observing) animal research labs.

    5) You state “Which provides yet another “purpose” for animal use in labs: allowing self-serving, sadistic, malicious, soulless, and perverse sub-humans a new way to achieve despicable vicarious pleasures through repulsive self-gratifying acts of terror all under the guise of research!”
    I would just like to hear you say that this statement is false, unproductive and over the top.

    And just as a note:
    In regards to your solution of replacing animal research with animal abusing humans, you should know that the psychological component that is present in humans would trigger a physiological response under many experimental conditions. This would mean that results obtained in this way could not confidently be applied to humans, due to a very large confounding factor.

    Finally,
    We are all working towards a world in which animal research can be 100% replaced with alternative methods of testing. Unfortunately, we are just not there yet. In the interim, what exactly is your solution?

    • Nicely said Trina. I am also curious to hear Linda’s responses to the questions you’ve posed. And especially curious to see the evidence and scientific data to back up her statements.

  12. Kelly,
    Thank you for putting into words so nicely what we as laboratory animal veterinarians do and how it parallels our veterinary oath. Letting people know the modern standards for quality, compassionate, laboratory animal care as opposed to the outdated images some still hold is so important for all of us. Kudos.

  13. Remarkable! Its actually awesome paragraph, I have got much clear idea regarding from this post.

  14. Linda your comments are right on point. Animal research is a crime against humanity, and all those who practice it are abhorrent, they are barbarians. They get sick pleasure from taking live animals apart, and one day, history will look upon them the way we look upon Dr. Mengele today – psychopaths who belong in jail. No excuse for the torture of innocent animals – but you smug researchers go on and make fun of those of us who stand up for animals. One day, no matter what, we will win.