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April 10, 1987 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-04-10
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

V

w w w

ANIMALS

Continued from Page 7
None of the animal researchers
interviewed by the Daily said they
have had any confrontations with
opponents of their work.
Yocum said he has never seen
any protest of the use of animals in
research in his 13 years at
Michigan. Becker said she has'seen
protests at conferences she has
attended, but never here.
Price said that when the
University receives objections to
using animals in research, he sends
a letter explaining University
policies. "We don't think it would
be appropriate to stop, as some
people have requested."
There are no anti-vivisectionist
groups registered with the Michigan
Student Assembly. But scientists
say they are concerned about
opponents of animal research an the
strength their groups have.
Physiology Prof. Richard Mal-
vin is very worried about the efforts
of groups to do away with animal
research, and is a vocal opponent of
those efforts. Malvin said he,
unlike the other researchers, has
been harrassed. Some minor threats
have come in the mail, and he has
received late night phone calls
about his work.
"Unless you care very little for
human welfare and health, then do
away with research," he said. By
studying animals, researchers hope

to find what causes diseases such as
diabetes or muscular dystrophy, h
said adding that once the causes o
such diseases are understood, cure
can be found. "These are essentia
steps in the process of mankind.I
find it frightening that people wan
to stop this."
Malvin's reasons for favorinl
the use of animals in research ar
also based on philosophica
grounds. "We have a moral right t
use them," he said, "but we should
do it in a humane fashion. I think i
would be immoral not to us
animals. It says, 'I don't care tha
an individual has muscula
dystrophy or Lou Gehrig's disease.
I do care - intensely... Maybe tha
should be our slogan - I care."
P HILOSOPHY Prof. Car
Cohen is also a firmn
supporter of using animal
in research. In an article
published in the New Englan
Journal of Medicine last October
he wrote, "Animals lack the ca
pacity for free moral judgment
They are not beings of a kin
capable of exercising or respondin
to moral claims. Animals therefor
have no rights, and they can hav
none.-
Cohen continues to say that th,
benefits derived from using animal
in research negate the views o
opponents.
"The elimination of horribl
disease, the increase of longevity
the improvement of the quality c

lives (for human and animals)
e achieved through research using
f animals is so incalculably great that
s the argument of these critics,
1 systematically pursued, establishes
I not their conclusion but their
t reverse: to refrain from using
animals in biomedical research is,
g on utilitarian grounds, morally
e wrong."
1 Malvin is particularly offended
o by comments made by Ingrid
I Newkirk, co-director of People for
t the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a
e 90,000-member anti-vivisectionist
t group based in Washington, D.C.,
r which appeared in Washingtonian
magazine last August. "The head of
it PETA says 'A rat is a pig is a dog
is a boy'," he said. "I can't accept
that. No child is the equivalent of a
rat, ever." Malvin then said to the
l interviewer: "I value your life more
n than that of a mouse and I don't
s even know you."
Malvin sees anti-vivisectionists
d a "a very small minority, but
r, they're loud, and dedicated." He and
- his colleagues founded a group
t- called the Michigan Society for
d Medical Research (MSMR) in an
g attempt to combat anti-
e vivisectionists. Other universities,
e hospitals, and health care facilities
have joined, Malvin said. The
e group is sponsoring a national
s workshop here at the University
f called "Humane Care and Use of
Laboratory Animals" later this
e month.
Y, Other groups are springing up to
)f fight anti-vivisectionist attempts to
halt animal research. Malvin
* provided literature from one group
called Incurably Ill for Animal
Research. The Tucson, Arizona-
based group admits it "has a selfish
interest in seeing research using
animal continued." Malvin supports
IIFAR's efforts, saying, "They're
appalled that the anti-vivisectionists
are saying to them 'We don't give a
damn.' I give a damn, and so do my
colleagues."
ESEARCHERS apparently
have public opinion on their
side. In a 1985 project done
by the Survey Research
S Center of the Unvesiy'sIte
* for Social Research and sponsored
by the MSMR, investigators found
that over 88 percent of Michigan
7 residents surveyed believed if was
necessary to use animals in research
"for progress in medicine." Less
' than 7 percent opposed using
rodents in research and about 30
percent opposed the use of dogs and
cats. Only 23 percent objected to
taking dogs and cats from pounds to
use in research, and 56 percent of
those surveyed said they would give
their pets for use in biomedical
research if they became unable to
care for the animals.
It is the issue of pound animals
I upon which most anti-
Svivisectionists base their argu-
ments. Eileen Liska, director of
research and legislation for the
Michigan Humane Society and a
J University graduate, conceded that

T

VOLUME 5, NO. 23

,qw

1,01 bt fi ttilp

r

M A G A Z I N E

A reminder of the importance of disease containment.

"there are legitimate cases where
animals have to be used in
research," but, she added, "The issue
of research is totally irrelevant to
our concern."
Liska said the Humane Society
"differentiates between the use of
animals in general and the use of
pets like dogs and cats." Part of the
acceptance of using pound animals
in research, she said, is because of a
pet population that is too high.
Liska said that some pound
directors find selling animals to
dealers for resale to research
institutions an easy way to reduce
the pound populations, but she
added, "Animals in general are
being overused and used unneces-
sarily."
Liska finds the academic system
as a part of the cause for using
animals in research: "The animals
that are used are caught up in the
process," she said, a process that
forces professors and researchers to
"publish or perish." She said federal
regulations are weak and commit-
tees such as UCUCA are of little
benefit. "Don't tell me that animals
are being represented," Liska said.
"That's a joke."
While Liska did admit that some
uses of animals in research are
justified, she is doubtful of the need
or benefit of using as many as are
now being used.
"You may have thousands of

animals used that may or may not
help in biomedical advances," she
said. "For any doctor or researcher
who makes grandiose claims about
animal research, I can find another
doctor or researcher who would
dispute it."
One group, the American Anti-
Vivisectionist Society based in a
suburb of Philadelphia, takes a
much more extreme view than the
Humane Society does. It wants to
do away with all research involving
animals. Bernard Unti, assistant to
the president of American A-V,
actually criticized the Humane
Society for not going all the way in
its opposition.
One proposal made by anti-
vivisectionists to reduce the number
of animals used in research is to use
artificial models, such as computer
models, in place of animals. Unti
said computer simulations "can
allow students to build animals
from scratch instead of tearing them
apart."
Researchers, however, fear the
loss of using animals and are
skeptical of computer uses in the
near future. Julius, the hypertension
expert, said: "If we weren't allowed
to work -with animals, the
development of modern drugs would
stop, period. There are misplaced
ideas that you can make progress
without animals. I don't think you
can."

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PAGE 12 WEEKEND/APRIL 10, 1987

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