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Monday, May 16, 2011

Scientists Care Too

I recently read an article titled, "In Animal Testing Debate, Fur Still Flies." It addresses the treatment and welfare of laboratory animals like rats, monkeys, guinea pigs, dogs and many more species. Many people are opposed to animal testing because not all animals fall under animal testing policies and being a 'guinea pig' (pardon the pun) for pharmaceuticals and other products is not the most glamorous of lifestyles. The fact of the matter is that animal testing enables us to have, among other things, vaccines, antibiotics, chemotherapy, joint replacement and bypass surgeries.

I would also like to bring to light that scientists who utilize animals for laboratory research give those animals the utmost care, just like a farmer does his livestock. While here in Australia, I've had the chance to do a lot research with sheep and most recently, I helped perform fat biopsies on some crossbred ewes. The surgery was not unlike one that would occur in a regular hospital.

Each surgery used a new set of sterilized surgical equipment and lots of sterile surgical guaze.


 The area where incision will be made is shaved, then cleaned with iodine and alcohol and finally, treated with an analgesic so that the sheep won't feel any pain.

During the surgery, covers are placed around the area and the scientists and researchers wear surgical gloves so the entire process stays clean. In this picture, Hyatt is suturing the tiny incision that was made to collect the sample. After he has finished the sheep will be treated with antiseptic to ensure that no infection ensues.

Regardless of your position on animal testing, you should know that research animals receive special care and are not treated badly. Scientists and researchers care about the animals that have been entrusted to us; just like farmers and ranchers.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

2 comments:

  1. I have been teaching this same point in my Introductory Psychology class in the ethics portion. A great deal of our early research was done on animals. As a future health psychologist, I remind everyone that good science requires healthy subjects (animal or human) therefore reducing as much stress as possible for the animals in the studies is key with comfortable living space, humane treatment, proper nutrition etc. So even if my students feel that research on animals is not the best way to go, they can rest assure in the name of good science animals are treated very well! Geeky but stress as a confound is not good for anyone! :)

    -Dana

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  2. Dana

    Thanks for reading! It's great to hear that ethical science is being taught in both the human and animal research arenas. Stress isn't good for anyone!

    Cheers
    Brandi

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