Tag Archives: www.raisingvoices.net

Unanimous support of UC Leadership to Animal Research

University of California President Mark Yudof and all UC Chancellors have signed onto the Pro-Test Petition, a statement of principles in support of scientists work with animals in biomedical research.

The Petition, a joint project of Americans for Medical Progress, Pro-Test for Science and Speaking of Research, recently reached the milestone of 10,000 signatories. Among those supporting the petition are Nobel Laureates, including David Baltimore (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1975) and David Hubel (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1981), and members of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute for Medicine.

In thanking the UC leadership for their unanimous support J. David Jentsch wrote to President Yudof:

Without the support of the institutions and our colleagues, the actions we have taken since April would not have been possible. In addition, it is clear that we have an immense amount of work yet to do, and that will only be possible with continuing enthusiastic support. Never before have we seen our colleagues joining ranks in such numbers around this issue, and your leadership clearly has had an influence on this development.

The petition remains on line and will be presented to key legislators in April 2010.

You can sign by going to www.raisingvoices.net

Speaking of Research

Have your Senator and Congressman signed yet?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. That animal research is morally justifiable provided animal welfare remains a high priority and no valid non-animal alternatives are available.
  3. 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.

Yours Sincerely,

<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.

Cheers

Tom Holder

Are you Pro-Test? Sign the Petition!!

Join over the hundreds of people (1400+ at time of writing) who have signed The Pro-Test Petition! This is a petition of scientists, students and the general public aims to show the world that the majority do support animal research – and moreover they dare stand up and sign their name to it. On April 22nd around 800 people stood up at UCLA in support of lifesaving medical research – now it’s up to you. Tell your friends, family and colleagues to go to:

www.raisingvoices.net

We the undersigned believe:

  1. 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.
  2. That animal research is morally justifiable provided animal welfare remains a high priority and no valid non-animal alternatives are available.
  3. That violence, intimidation and harassment of scientists and others involved in animal research is neither a legitimate means of protest, nor morally justified.
They're Pro-Test, Are You?

They’re Pro-Test, Are You?

This petition is a joint effort between  Speaking of Research, Americans for Medical Progress, and UCLA Pro-Test. This project was also motivated by the successful People’s Petition in the UK, set up by Coalition for Medical Progress (now called Understanding Animal Research) which gathered well over 20,000 signatures – including then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. In Blair’s letter to the Sunday Telegraph he wrote:

Announcing that I am to add my name to the on-line petition in support of animal testing … is something of a break with tradition – and a sign of just how important I believe it is that as many people as possible stand up against the tiny group of extremists threatening medical research and advances in this country.

With Barack Obama’s desire to increase funding in science, there has never been a better time for politicians to add their name to the Pro-Test Petition. If you do hold a particularly public post, or you a particularly eminent scientist (Nobel Prizes etc.) and you are willing to have your name highlighted in the petition – please contact us after signing.

I’ll finish with a quote from Obama:

At such a difficult moment, there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science. That support for research is somehow a luxury at a moment defined by necessities. I fundamentally disagree. Science is more essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment, and our quality of life than it has ever been. And if there was ever a day that reminded us of our shared stake in science and research, it’s today.

Never a truer word was spoken.

Cheers

Tom Holder