Are Dogs Still Being Used For Research Animals?

oakleifFebruary 18, 2007

The thread below abt ranting and puppy mills brought to mind the dogs used in research labs. I remember there was a lot of talk several years ago about outlawing the use of dogs. Was it done?

If not,why not. That is something that really makes me sick to my stomach.

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Me too, I don't know if they still do or not, sure hope not... We had a dog come up missing while we was living in Oklahoma, there was a lot of talk at that time about a bunch of dogs being stolen out of yards for that very purpose (all large head dogs, like the St. Bernard and such) I hated to think that my dog was being used for that, especially as to the rumors of what they were doing with them and to them:(

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 12:05AM
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Yes, dogs are still used for research. Although, I do believe that the story of dogs being stolen out of peoples yards for testing is probably an urban legend.

It is important for Laboratories to purchase animals from a reputable mill that is known if supplying Lab. animals of good health and tempermant.

It is also important to try and remember that laboratory dog testing is not only done for the humans benefit. In many circumstances it is done to test treatments, etc. for canines!

For example, in March 2006 the first Blood Glucose monitor designed for cats and dogs was released. Until then, all that was avaliable was the same monitor that is used to check humans Blood Glucose. These can be very inaccurate due to the physiological differences between dogs/cats and humans blood. An inaccurate reading can be very dangerous leading to severe hypoglycemia (low bloodsugar) in your pet. This can result in seizures and death.

Obviously they didn't test these pet monitors on humans. See, not all testing is the gruesome horror movie style! :-)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 6:10AM
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here is a link that talks about stealing pets, I will see if I can find some more.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 3:54PM
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    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 3:59PM
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here is another one, don't know why I can't get the links to post, hmm....

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 4:05PM
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My County used to impound dogs and sell them to the Presidio Army base.They were not good for controlled lab studies, instead were getting shot at, so the medic trainees could familiarize themselves with various wounds -
The voters came up with a referendum forbidding pound-seizures, the County Administration was not pleased, they lost a big source of revenue, so they said.
After Animal Control couldn't just dognap dogs any more, they now are "understaffed and underfunded" and rarely respond to calls in this large and sparsely settled county, but this is much better than in the old times, when they constantly lurked about and even tried to entice dogs to leave their yards, so they could grab them.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 4:26PM
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Wow! I stand corrected! Interesting article, sad. Must be some pretty low brow labs to purchase stolen animals. I wonder if any reputable labs have ever gotten in trouble for this? I can't imagine a university would take part in buying stolen pets...

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 6:00PM
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If you *really* want to know what rules and regulations that pertain to research facilities and how they can acquire animals, here is the most recent documentation. Warning, it's 14 pages of legalspeak, but there ya go.

For most research purposes, animals of unknown origin and history are useless. Therefore most researchers use animals that are bred specifically for that purpose. I would be extremely niave to believe that nobody ever gets animals from illegal sources, but I do believe that the practice is not at all widespread.

And for the record, the receptionists at the vet school I attend report that they have *at least* 1-2 callers PER WEEK who want to give their animal to the school to use in research. We can't use them.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA regulations on procurement of animals for reseacrh (among other things)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 7:35PM
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A lot of shelters still sell to labs to raise money. Like there aren't other ways to raise money. That's just lazy good for nothings making a dollar off of the blood of innocent animals. It's sickening and I can't believe it happens in the US. It shouldn't!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 6:57AM
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See the movie "Dealing Dogs" (2006)...a real eye opener. You can rent it from Netflix.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 1:43PM
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meghane, I really don't know why you wondered if i *really* wanted to know what the regulations were. Why would i ask if i did'nt? I did'nt mean to step on your toes. I read part of it. did'nt have time to read it all. The only problem i had with it was it's monitered by USDA. They are about as responsible as FEMA.
The research i was thinking of was for womens makeup.

I did'nt read about the stolen dogs. I just can't handle that right now,i'll come back and read it tomorrow.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 1:55AM
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Oakleif, in your orginal post you inquired as to if it had been outlawed to use dogs for laboratory testing. You said that it is something that really makes you sick to your stomach.

This is a topic I happen to be passionate about and have a little info to share.

First off, to say animal testing is regulated by the USDA is a huge genralization. In the US, animal testing is primarily regulated by the 1966 Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which is enforced by the Animal Care division of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to say that there are not many faults in the system. To name one, the AWA only pertains to mammals.

On a plus note, the use of dogs and cats in research in the USA decreased from 1973 to 2004 from 195,157 to 64,932, and from 66,165 to 23,640.

The different types of research are catagorized as follows: (from most common to least)

Pure Research - (or Basic Research) to increase knowledge about the way organisms behave, develop, and function biologically.

Applied Research - to solve specific and practical problems, often relating to the treatment or cure of disease and disorder in humans and other animals.

Toxicology Testing - in the 1960s, many countries passed new laws to ensure all new pharmaceuticals underwent rigorous animal testing before being licensed for human use.

Cosmetics Testing - just like it sounds!

Personally I support all types of animal testing EXCEPT for Cosmetic Testing. My husband wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for Dr. Frederick Banting testing pancreatic extract on diabetic dogs.

It makes me sad that the US still allows Cosmetic Testing, it has already been outlawed in the Netherlands,
Belgium and the UK. Also, the European Union is in the middle of a complete phase out of all cosmetics tested on animals, which is to be compelted by 2009.

Most scientists and governments say they agree that animal testing should cause as little suffering to animals as possible, and that animal tests should only be performed where necessary. Unfortunatly, lab animals are still subjected to much abuse, unnecessary suffering and substandard conditions. This is unexceptable to me.

I spend a chunk of my spare time devoted to animal rights activism.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 4:15AM
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Thanks the_adams, that was the info i was looking for. I'm glad about your DH.Am a diabetic too.
I contributed to the Sierra Club for a few years and have considered joining Green Peace. but i live in National Forest and have a good relationship with the rangers and don't wont to ruin it.So guess i'll do my bit an animal at a time.

Am glad the number of research animals have fallen in the last few years. Hope they have all dropped in unnessary research like cosmetics.

I may not like all research tho i now have a different viewpoint on it and i can sort of understand some of the reasons for it.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 1:15AM
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the links I posted are not that bad:) one is just talking about ways to keep your pets safe. and the other one just has one paragraph about animals being gotten illegaly, nothing too discriptive. I know how you feel, some of the stuff I run accross has been horrible. I ran across some links that had pics of animals in another country, I had to get off of there fast!!!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 10:05AM
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Taking dogs out of yards is not an urban ledgend it was happening here. People found out about it and this county passed a law that forbids animal control to sell the animals to labs.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 2:30PM
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Thanks, acorn, Micke had pointed that out above and I acknowledged I was wrong. Since then I have done more research and learned all about "bunchers." Really a sad matter.

That's great that your county passed a law regarding this mattter. Where do you live?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 6:49PM
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I 'try' not to post Urban legends, but unless you live it yourself how do you know??
I was a young person when this happened to us (this happened to our Police dog Clink) so when the adams posted it may be a urban legend, I decided to look it up myself to see if they may be right. The thing is, this dog was police trained in German, how could of someone got him?? only if they tranqed him. How likely is it that someone from the labs went to all that trouble to get him??? My mother and I have discussed it (this was actually her dog, even though I honestly feel this was my first pet) we have decided my father probably had part in his disapearance (you got to know the story to understand the cruelty of my father)
I will go ahead and state the part that I felt was rumour, they said they were cutting off the heads of the dogs to use them for research. I sure hope this part was wrong, I never could find any info on the net that this is what they were doing, I hope they didn't, and honestly, I need to let this go, I will never forget Clink and who knows what really happened to him but as a 32 year old woman wandering about the fate of a dog when she was 9 years old....... I will never know, and it is probably best I don't, but there will never be closure for me with this dog because of that, sorry for depressing you all with this, but that is what prompted me to write about the dogs being stolen out of yards, Clink Baron Vaughn Bond, came up missing the same time lots of others were missing their pets out of yards in Oklahoma.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 11:06PM
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I agree Micke, you don't know it unless you live it. It just sounded so far fetch to me...

But, sadly, it is not. The truth of it is that reputable research labs would never use an unregulated animal that they do not know the history of. They would never purchase stolen pets. Yet, I have learned that there are labs that operate illegally and are not registered w/ the USDA. These are the types of labs that will buy stollen pets.

In fact, I read that these "bunchers" search out ads in the paper, etc. that advertise "free to a good home." Beware!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 12:18AM
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Almost a bit scared to post this, but here goes. While there may be some labs that purchase illegaly procured dogs, that is not the norm in the industry. Far from it. And I speak from personal experience. I work in toxicology research for new pharmaceuticals. I work with dogs as well as other animals. All are from reputable breeders that only breed dogs for research purposes. These facilaties are inspected several times a year by the USDA and by our business, sometimes unannounced, to make sure that they are up to regulations. Keeping accurate records, keeping the animals treated well, that the animal husbandry is up to snuff, etc. If they were doing things poorly, such as mistreating the animals, we would instantly stop using them as our supplier.

As the_adams wrote, the numbers of animals used in research is dimishing. This is great. For any study that we run we have to make sure that it isn't duplicating any previous research, that there isn't any way we could do it with out the animals, that we are using the least amount of animals that will give us quality data, that we are causing the least amount of stress on the animal. I love animals. I have been working with them my whole life. I do feel that this research is needed. I've worked on drugs for cancer, AIDS, diabetes, heart disease, mental illnesses, and many other diseases. I know that these animals give up their lives that we may learn more and help others. As such, I make it my number one priority at work to make sure that the animals there are treated in the best possible manner. Everyone I work with has this same ethic. There's only one thing you can get fired for immediately for where I work at: mistreating or disrespecting an animal. That's how seriously we take what we do.

Also, while the USDA is who regulates research under the AWA, it is the FDA that requires this research to be conducted. If we ever want new drugs, developments, and medical procedures, then this testing must occur as required by the FDA

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 8:53PM
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madtowngal, I'm very glad you posted.I appreciate hearing from someone in the know. Thats why i like to ask about things that bother me on forums.I still don't like that dogs are used for research but i feel much better about their care after what you said and i feel like you are in the trenches and really know what is going on.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 3:26AM
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Thanks for posting! I also would like to add (please correct me if I'm wrong "gal") that under the AWA lab animals must be given "pain relivers" when ever possible to reduce there suffering.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 4:36PM
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Whew! Glad I didn't get flamed.

I am in no way an expert on the regulations regarding all research, that's what our regulations departments are for. :) We are responsible for making the animals as comfortable as possible. Most times, no adverse reactions are noted (the usual ones we do see are occasional vomiting after receiving a dose, excessive saliivations, or nonformed feces). If there is anything worse going on, we have several vets and vet techs on staff that specialize in working with lab animals. We also have to have action plans laid out before the study even begins for what to do if any adverse effects are seen. We work very hard to make sure the animals are as comfortable as possible. Not only is it the right thing to do, it also makes better data.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 9:49PM
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Mendocino County, Northern California. I tell people I live in the other California.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 2:57PM
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Oh yes, it still exists.

UC Davis pulls dogs from the Sacramento shelter for experimentation for veterinary students.

Recently, a pharmaceutical company was under investigation for killing a dog while showing a medical procedure on a dogs brain.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 10:41PM
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Dogs are used in the training of medical students at the Wisconsin Medical College in Milwaukee. Front page news here just last week as there were organized protests trying to get it stopped. Apparently the WMC is one of just two medical schools still doing it. Most use pigs.

Heres a link.


Smithers, release the hounds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article on dogs for medical training.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 5:00PM
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Kevin, I was hopeing that things like that did'nt exist anymore. That is so bad.
I really liked your newspaper,they tell it like it is don't they. I bookmarked it. There was another article i was interested in and copied.
Happy Early Birthday.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 2:43AM
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Kevin, how awful
When I was in high school we had to dissect a cat we were told the cats were non adoptible cats from shelters We had to do it I got an orange tabby I held him and cried I love animals too much to handle that. Now they have computer programs.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 4:25PM
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