Animal research runs amok in an ethical and regulatory black hole

ITR Labs Montreal - screenshot

Many readers will have watched the CTV-W5 Report the on ITR labs in Montreal, with its heartrending undercover footage of the appalling treatment of animals used for scientific testing (most of it perfectly legal and ‘business as usual’ under Canadian law). We urge you to take a moment to sign this petition being circulated by the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society of BC.

For readers who might be wondering how this animal-abusing ‘culture’ of science has taken such deep root in universities and research labs, we strongly recommend a recent memoir published by John Gluck, a former primate researcher who now works to protect animals used in science. In Voracious Science & Vulnerable Animals: A Primate Scientist’s Ethical Journey, he dissects the process by which he transformed from a reasonably sensitive and ethical young man, into a budding researcher who quickly fell “under the influence of institutions that systematically set aside ethical considerations and often put laboratory animals into the same category as glassware and latex gloves.” He became insensitive to animals’ “vulnerability and potential for suffering”, seeing only his “own scientific needs and the active approval of [his] colleagues”. Animals became his “ticket to discovery and academic promotion”. The overwhelming message of Gluck’s memoir is that change will not emerge from within this secretive and self-deluding research culture, but must be imposed by external regulation.