Choose what you want to loose or do something about it!

Whilst there is an undeniable success with pro animal research movements there are some serious concerns out there that require further and perhaps even more attention and I will get to them in the final paragraphs of this post. Let's start off with some excellent news.

We have just celebrated the 10 years of existence of Pro-Test, a UK based charity founded by Laurie Pycroft, a high school drop out whose story you can read here in the huffington post and who defended animal research at Oxford at a time when those opposing animal research where dominating the media scene and almost getting away with bringing down what others had taken years to build: bio-medical research . He was 16 years old at the time and has now a masters in Neurosciences and an undergraduate degree in Physiology. A great story and a job well done.

Together with other groups f.e Understanding Animal Research and Speaking of Research now, they have laid the ground work of much of the information that is now available on the net and as crucially, to the media. More importantly this information also became available to those who were targets by animal rights groups thereby constituting a line of defense when time and resources are scarce, not to mention knowledge. Let's face it when your business is being challenged and threatened by massive email campaigns, live demonstrations outside of your offices or even at employee's private homes and in some cases arson and vandalism, there is little one feels able to do other than being overwhelmed. But animal rights movements weren't the only ones that could rally large crowds to demonstrate and soon enough bio medical researchers and Universities got their act together. A larger movement emerged from the shared threat and united research in a way never achieved before, one that included civil society and politicians.

Whilst the UK and to some extent other EU countries felt the brunt of the animal rights movement's rage, anger and violence, the US too would soon fall victim to the insidious tactics and brutal actions of a largely out of control movement. Disguised under the large and ample mantle of those who declare to speak on behalf of animals, activists went after researchers at their homes, voicing threats and resorting to violence and arson. Here too researchers got their act together following the footsteps of their colleagues.

Not soon enough thereafter the US put in place AETA and as you may have read in previous posts, radical animal activists have been convicted and imprisoned for their wrongful acts. Of course these people are now on their own, as their maliciously over-funded 501C movement falls short of offering them a new life since their philosophy remains the same, no animal use whatsoever at whatever price. Those who do not want you to sacrifice animals to human activities, needs or priorities do exactly the same with humans. What an ethical bunch of moralists! That is not even mentioning all of the people out there who are waiting for a cure, a treatment or whatever medical progress possible to make their ordeal less of a burden. Their families too deserve to have a life that isn't spent in hospitals or caring for their loved ones in between painful treatments. That is the hope the animal rights movement wants to take away from us.  Because lets face it without animal research if it weren't for the researchers never-ending quest to rid us of disease and disorder who is going to cure us? Not Peta, not Hsus I can assure you. Long live to CRISPR, let's get rid of paralysis, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Huntington's, Parkinson, Alzheimer and whatever we set out to cure, but let us not throw out the baby with the water and continue to count on the many blessings obtained from animal based research.

Now is a good time to make sure you know your politicians including president candidates and where they and their party stand in the need for support towards animal based research. This is no time for bed time politics but real actions that will stop the eternal circle of a movement that can not accept No for an answer. 501CNOMORE or are you going to continue to accept the fact that almost a single air carrier is left willing to accept the transport of non human primates by air? Is that what we want for our society moving forward? Are we ready to loose the benefits that EARA's K. Leech mentions in his article? I don't think so.

copyright Nature America Inc. all rights reserved


Research gives me and many more Hope!

An interesting article on how animal research will help against the zika virus. You know transmitted via mosquitos as is the case for other diseases such as ebola or malaria. Animal research is much decried, rarely appreciated for what it does and mostly largely misunderstood by the general public.
That however does not mean it is useless, cruel or inadequate. You know when some say it, the type of research or results thereof, doesn't translate into human research or isn't applicable in humans they say it has no value. That is a wrong statement for through research we have learned about a disease, a virus or a physiological process or system.  That by itself is worth the endeavor. For some Hope is the only thing left in their fight for life! Let us not take that away too!

Now there is more going on behind the scene. Take a look at this 2008 article by Professor Colin Blakemore who teaches neuroscience at Oxford and Warwick Universities and is the former head of the UK's Medical Research Council. His conclusion speaks for itself: if we are to have any hope of treating such conditions (Alzheimer's, Multiple sclerosis,paralysis and schizophrenia), medical research needs every tool at its disposal. For everyone's sake, that must include animals. Today in 2016 this statement is as valid as it was when the article was written  and it shall remain so for the foreseeable future.
And as he did point out in the article those who oppose the use of animals in research are free to opt out from being dispensed drugs or treatments developed with the use of animals. Although I must say most of us, if vaccinated, have already been saved by animal research! Or as Lord Drayson has said it is time for us the public to ask ourselves the tough question about animal research Do I want those life saving medicines to be available to me, my family and friends? If yes then this research must continue to take place.

Another good read is this message by Hollis Cline President of the US Society for Neuroscience who reminds us the importance of basic research - such as in animal use research- in the drug development process. The eureka moment for drug development starts with a discovery in a lab. But basic research is also curiosity driven and therefore is able to produce unexpected results or greater understanding of biological processes. She warns that without a rich investment in basic research the drug development pipeline starves off.   I fully support her when she says that to accomplish the mission of improving human health we need to find the optimal balance of basic and translational research in the drug development pipeline and that means valuing and understanding every step in the process.
One of these crucial steps is animal testing let us not forget. Let us also take the time to understand its value and let us support it publicly. We all get to benefit from a healthy and well funded drug development pipeline.

I am not here to tell you what you should eat, wear, be sensitive about or not but as a father to two healthy kids and as a brother to a mentally handicapped child, let me tell you that in the light of the above hope I was referring to, it is by far not an exercise in futility to conduct animal research. It is a lifeline for many of us, who after years of giving care or of getting care have not given up the hope to one day see their loved ones, be they family, friends or total strangers cured from disease, disorder or affliction that has changed our and their lives forever. If that means conducting research on animals in an otherwise very regulated manner then you have my public support until the day it is no longer required. So let's make 2016 the year of public support to animal research. There are millions of us out there waiting for cures, a silent majority but not an immune one to the damages done by those opposing animal research. We have our voice and we will use it against you. Oh and if you happen to agree with me, please share this!