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May 05, 2009 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-05-05

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

PETA institutions are rare because insti-
From page 1 tutions are usually able to address
incidents successfully and take ap-
propriate actions to prevent recur-
injected a rabbit with an unauthor- rence," he wrote.
ized anesthetic that damaged its ear Kara Gavin, UMHS director of
and eye so severely that it had to be public relations, said the University
euthanized. paid back the $1.4 million in federal
Chandra also blamed the Univer- grants last year after it discovered
sity for a violation of federal guide- the billing mistake and cited a soft-
lines, in which the University billed ware malfunction as the source of
the NIH $1.4 million for experiments the problem.
that were no longer approved by the Along with PETA's allegations,
University Committee on Use and Animalearn, the educational division
Care of Animals - the University's of the American Anti-Vivisection So-
internal oversight committee. ciety, released a report titled "Dying
In response to Chandra's allega- to Learn"onApr.27,whichexpressed
tions, UMHS issued a statement that concern over how some universities
said the injuries reported by PETA - including the University of Michi-
were all "rare and isolated events, gan - use animals from shelters in
not routine occurrences" and that their laboratory experiments.
the incidents were "identified and The state of Michigan allows the
remedied swiftly." selling of animalsto research facilities
Additionally, UMHS stated that by Class B dealers, which are licensed
the information PETA cited was al- by the United States Department of
ready known by the University and Agriculture to buy and sell animals
policies have been appropriately cor- not bred on the dealers' property.
rected to prevent future protocol vio- In its report, Animalearn said it
lations. seeks to stop the use of animals sold
Don Ralbovsky, an NIH spokes- from Class B dealers for educational
person, wrote in an e-mail interview courses in research institutions, with
that most research institutions han- an overarching goal of eliminating
dle such incidents internally. the use of animals in laboratory re-
"Compliance actions against search altogether.

Between September 2004 and
October 2008, the University bought
94 dogs and four cats from R&R Re-
search Breeder Inc., a Class B dealer,
for use in medical education ser-
In March UMHS ended the
practice of using live dogs for sur-
gery practice in the University Medi-
cal School after it was scrutinized by
the Physicians Committee for Re-
sponsible Medicine -- a non-profit
organization that promotes ethical
research and experiment methods.
In addition, officials in Mont-
calm County voted last week to end
a deal providing cats and dogs from
the local shelter to R&R Research
Breeder Inc.
Although both animal rights
groups were concerned over the
University's treatment and purchase
of animals for laboratory experi-
ments, Chandra said an even bigger
issue is the lax behavior of the over-
sight committees, which approve the
protocol for experiments with ani-
mal testing at universities.
"The thing that strikes us is that
all of these really cruel experiments
are being approved by the oversight
committee, which tells us that the
oversight committee isn't doing its
job," she said.

U' responds
to swine flu

Visit michigandaily.com for updates throughout the week

Officials plan ways
to protect students
from pandemic
With the H1N1 swine flu out-
break spreading to areas as close
as Livingston County, the Uni-
versity and the state of Michigan
are takingnecessary precautions
to protect students.
As of Apr. 29, the Centers for
Disease Control and Preven-
tion confirmed Michigan's first
case of swine flu in Livingston
County. A second case in Ottawa
County was confirmed a day
The two confirmed cases are
part of a probable 47 cases of
swine flu in the state of Michi-
gan, according to Michigan offi-
As the flu spreads; state offi-
cials are recommending that
schools facing probable cases of
swine flu should be closed for a
All 24 schools in the nearby
Plymouth-Canton district were
closed yesterday and today, due
to a suspected case of swine flu
from a 16-year old high school
student in the area.
On Apr. 28, University admin-
istrators met and decided that.
all three of the University's cam-
puses would not permit any Uni-
versity-sponsored programs to
travel to Mexico at this time.
Dr. Robert Winfield, chief
health officer of the Univer-
sity and director of the Univer-
sity Health Service, said that
all University programs bound
for Mexico have been cancelled,
including a University program
set to leave the first week of May
for Oaxaca, Mexico.
"We are strongly advising stu-
dents, as is the CDC, to not go to
Mexico at this time," Winfield
According to the CDC, as of
yesterday there were 279 con-
firmed cases of swine flu infec-
tion within the United States,
including one death in Texas.
As of last Wednesday, the

World Health Organization has
classified swine flu as being in
Phase 5. Phase 5 and 6 represent
widespread human infection and
are classified as pandemics.
Winfield said that, theoreti-
cally, the University could cancel
programs in a high-risk situation
and bring students back home.
He said that the University
brought back three students in
China duringthe SARS epidemic
in 2003, which had a 60 percent
death rate.
But he added that, as of now,
the World Health Organization
is not advising any travel restric-
tions or closure of borders.
"We are past the tipping point
of containing the flu," he said.
There are currently three
University students in Mexico,
one of whom the University has
not been able to contact. The
other two have confirmed to the
University that they are doing
fine. None of the three students
are on a University-sponsored
The incubation period for
swine flu is seven days, which
means that the students leaving
Mexico could still develop the
flu within a week.
"They could bring the disease
back, and it could be mild for
them, but it could be terrible for
someone else," Winfield said.
According to Winfield, the
guidelines cite that if a person
has returned from Mexico with-
in seven days and has an upper
respiratory infection, cough,
sore throat, runny nose, diar-
rhea, muscle aches or a fever
over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit,
he or she may have swine flu.
If a person suspects that he
or she has been infected with
swine flu, it is recommended
that the individual stays home
and avoids going out in public
areas. If the person is very sick,
then he or she should see a doc-
tor for an evaluation.
There is no timeline as to when
the University will reopen its
sponsored programs in Mexico.
The situation is being reviewed
on a weekly basis.
"The situation is very fluid
- it's changing literally by the
hour," Winfield said.


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