Posts Tagged ‘Animal Testing’

Artificial Airways Good News For Asthma And Animals

April 28, 2008

A new ‘artificial airway’ being developed in a test tube could make it possible to develop better therapies for asthma and allergy sufferers and could reduce the need for animal testing.

The development promises to benefit people with asthma, whose airways (breathing passages) are sensitive to pollen, dust, animal fur and viruses which cause them to be inflamed making it hard to breathe.

Academics at the University of Southampton are working with the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) on this project.

Click here for the full article.

World Week For Animals In Laboratories

April 22, 2008

From March of next year the testing on animals of ingredients used in lipsticks, deodorants and other cosmetics will largely have become illegal through laws passed under the 1976 European Union, (EU) Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC [.pdf]. Since 1986 animal rights groups have observed a week-long annual protest against the use of animals in laboratories. This week is World Week for Animals in Laboratories, (WWAIL).

A global event, WWAIL seeks to educate the public about the scientific, moral, and economic objections to vivisection. It challenges the entrenched view of research industries that animal experimentation is necessary.

Click here for the full article.

Consider how we interact with animals in the wild, farms, laboratories or our homes

February 29, 2008

 

The use of animals in research and testing is a controversial issue that arouses strong feelings in many people. The moral acceptability of using animals in experiments – whether in medical or veterinary research, to test the safety of chemicals such as pesticides, or simply to acquire scientific knowledge – is therefore heavily debated.

It is widely acknowledged, including within the law that regulates animal experiments in the UK, that animals are sentient and can have negative experiences, including those of fear and pain. This makes their potential for suffering and their use in experiments a matter of serious concern for the RSPCA. It is also unsurprising that, whilst appalled by the unacceptable activities of extremists, large sectors of the public consistently express their unease regarding this use of animals.

Click here for the full article.

Animal testing ban spurs scientists into cultivating human tissue – lab Rabbits universally rejoice

February 22, 2008

This is the team that has grown human skin from the leftovers of cosmetic operations. The resulting living epidermis, called Episkin, is used in tiny samples to test cosmetics, avoiding the need to use animals. This is significant because, from next year, the EU Cosmetics Directive will ban the use of animals in testing cosmetics and their ingredients.

L’Oréal, the cosmetics company that runs the lab, secured a breakthrough last May when Episkin, which has taken more than 20 years and £500 million to develop, was awarded validation by a European Commission regulator as an official alternative to animal testing for skin irritancy. The regulator ruled it as at least as good as a rabbit test.

Click here for the full article.

US to replace animals with robots in toxic chemical tests

February 15, 2008

 

US regulators have announced plans to reduce the number of animals used to test the safety of everyday chemicals.

Instead of using animals such as rats and mice, scientists will screen suspected toxic chemicals in everything from pesticides to household cleaners using cell cultures and computer models.

According to the Home Office, more than 3.1m experiments in the UK were carried out on animals in 2006. Of these more than 420,000 were done to test the safety of chemicals. According to the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), more than 100 million animals are used annually in experiments in the US, of which 15 million are used in toxicity tests.

The plans to replace animals in the US, announced yesterday in Boston, will see researchers from the national institute of health and the environmental protection agency develop robotic machines to screen the chemicals. They said if successful the robots could test a greater number of chemicals more quickly.

 Click here for the full article.

New animal-testing alternative shows potential, and Europe set to outlaw cosmetic testing on live animals

January 7, 2008

test-bunnies.jpg

As pressure rises to eliminate animal testing in the cosmetics industry, a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of California have announced a potential alternative.

The scientists have created the DataChip and MetaChip, which mimic the reaction of the human body and reveal the potential toxicity of chemicals. The biochips also could be used in the development of pharmaceuticals.

“There’s a desperate need in some industries, like cosmetics, to have technologies that can replace animal testing,” said Jonathan Dordick, a professor of biochemistry engineering at RPI.

Click here for the full article.

______________________________

Tests of cosmetic products on rabbits and mice will soon be banned after European scientists announced that most experiments can now be carried out using non-animal alternatives.

The switch will spare almost 20,000 rabbits a year and 240,000 mice from a life of misery in the laboratory.

Scientists say the new tests will actually provide a more reliable way of checking the safety of chemicals in everyday products such as makeup and washing-up liquid.

Yesterday, the scientific advisory committee of the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods approved five new tests which make the use of live rabbits and mice unnecessary.

Click here for the full article.

What happens when a rat stops dreaming?

January 3, 2008

rat.jpg

 What happens when a rat stops dreaming? In 2004, researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison decided to find out. Their method was simple, if a bit devilish. Step 1: Strand a rat in a tub of water. In the center of this tiny sea, allot the creature its own little desert island in the form of an inverted flowerpot. The rat can swim around as much as it pleases, but come nightfall, if it wants any sleep, it has to clamber up and stretch itself across the flowerpot, its belly sagging over the drainage hole.

In this uncomfortable position, the rat is able to rest and eventually fall asleep. But as soon as the animal hits REM sleep, the muscular paralysis that accompanies this stage of vivid dreaming causes its body to slacken. The rat slips through the hole and gets dunked in the water. The surprised rat is then free to crawl back onto the pot, lick the drops off its paws, and go back to sleep—but it won’t get any REM sleep.

Step 2: After several mostly dreamless nights, the creature is subjected to a virtual decathlon of physical ordeals designed to test its survival behaviors. Every rat is born with a set of instinctive reactions to threatening situations. These behaviors don’t have to be learned; they’re natural defenses—useful responses accrued over millennia of rat society.

The dream-deprived rats flubbed each of the tasks. When plopped down in a wide-open field, they did not scurry to the safety of a more sheltered area; instead, they recklessly wandered around exposed areas. When shocked, they paused briefly and then went about their business, rather than freezing in their tracks the way normal rats do. When confronted with a foreign object in their burrow, they did not bury it; instead, they groomed themselves. Had the animals been out in the wild, they would have made easy prey.

Click here to read the full article

The Vancouver Humane Society has issued its recommended top 10 New Year’s resolutions to make life better for animals

December 26, 2007

chicken_sc3.jpg

Here are the society’s 10 suggestions:

– Don’t buy eggs from caged hens. If you choose to buy eggs, buy certified organic eggs instead. They’re guaranteed to be free-range and have the highest welfare standards (www.chickenout.ca).

– If you’re looking for a companion animal, adopt a homeless animal from a local shelter. Don’t buy exotic pets or animals sold in pet stores or by breeders.

– Eat less meat, starting with one meat-free dinner a week – or, better yet, go vegetarian!

– Get your dog/cat spayed or neutered and tell everyone who has a pet to do the same.

– Don’t patronize zoos, animal circuses, rodeos or any other event exploiting animals.

– Don’t buy fur – not even fur trim.

– Switch to cruelty-free and non-animal-tested products.

– Become a supporter of an animal charity.

– Report animal cruelty to the ASPCA.

– Do something kind for animals every day – take your neighbour’s dog for walk, write a letter to the editor supporting animals, hug your cat.

Click here to read the full article.

This is another one of those posts that I may or may not personally agree with, but feel that the information should be available for discourse. For example, I don’t believe that zoos and rodeos inherently exploit animals, and I myself do not choose to be a vegetarian. But like I’ve said before, one of the major goals of Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo is to provide a starting-point for discussing animal-related issues.