Backing up a recent post by DrugMonkey, Speaking of Research is now urging you to write to your Member of Congress (contact my Congress Representative) and Senator (contact my Senator) to request that they sign the Pro-Test Petition.
For example (Pick one of the three coloured paragraphs):
Dear <insert name of your Senator/Member of Congress here>,
I am contacting you to urge to you to sign the Pro-Test Petition which seeks to defend the rights of scientists to use animals in medical research. The petition can be found at www.raisingvoices.net. It states:
We the undersigned believe:
- That animal research has contributed and continues to contribute to major advances in the length and quality of our lives. It remains vital to understanding basic biological processes and for the development of new treatments and therapies such as antibiotics, vaccines, organ transplants, and cancer medicines.
- That animal research is morally justifiable provided animal welfare remains a high priority and no valid non-animal alternatives are available.
- That violence, intimidation and harassment of scientists and others involved in animal research is neither a legitimate means of protest, nor morally justified.
Animal research has played a part in nearly every major medical advance from penicillin (mice) and insulin (dogs, rabbits, mice) to meningitis vaccines (mice) and anti-retroviral drugs to combat AIDS (mice, monkeys). Scanning techniques, such as MRI and CT, as well as surgical procedures, such as transplants and replacement heart valve surgery, have benefited from knowledge gained through animal studies. It is important that this lifesaving method used in the development of new treatments is not blocked by a small, and often violent, minority.
Animal research is one of the most heavily regulated fields of science, with oversight at both an institutional and national level to ensure animal welfare remains a priority. Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) ensure all research maintains a high standard of welfare through the application of the 3Rs – the Replacement of animals with non-animal techniques wherever possible, the Refinement of animal welfare through better housing and improved veterinary care, and the Reduction of animal research to an absolute minimum. Given this system we believe animal research can contribute to the treatments of the future while keeping the US as a front runner in animal welfare.
Researchers around the US have been under attack by a small but violent group of animal rights extremists. Arson attacks against the homes and vehicles of scientists is rising, and researchers and their families have been threatened by activists. In the UK in 2006, the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, signed his name to the People’s Petition in support of lifesaving medical research and against the violent actions of animal rights extremists – this contributed to the swing in the public support for scientists and the important work they do for society as well as broader support for science in general. The Pro-Test Petition aims to replicate the success of its UK counterpart, and to make the public aware of the lifesaving work that researchers in the US carry out on a daily basis.
I urge you to add your signature to almost 12,000 others in supporting the aims and principles of the Pro-Test petition. To learn more about the benefits of animal research please check out www.speakingofresearch.com or www.amprogress.org.
<insert your name>
I hope the above model email helps – please personalize it wherever you can – the larger the variety of the emails on the same issue, the greater the likelihood of the Senator/Congressman taking action.