Queen’s Journal article on dog haemophilia research

 

The Queen’s Journal published an article on “Fighting for transparency with Queen’s haemophiliac dog colony”, covering an issue that Queen’s Animal Defence has been dedicated for for a long time.

In the basement of Botterell Hall, below the scattered study spaces and underground lecture halls lie some of Queen’s more contentious research labs.

The live animal research facilities hold a range of companion species, including dogs. Most famously, a research colony of schnauzers, spaniels and beagles carrying the sex-linked gene for haemophilia  (a rare blood clotting disease) have been held and studied at Queen’s since 1981.

Although the research conducted on the colony has given rise to ground-breaking leaps in understanding the disease, it has met resistance around Kingston. In April 2014, The Kingston-Whig Standard published an article(link is external) citing lack of transparency in animal research at Queen’s. The Journal published articles in 2006, 2014 and 2015 citing an increased demand for accountability when it comes to live animal research on campus.

Read the entire article here.

Exciting News: the University of Windsor announces launch of Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM)

Dr. Charu Chandrasekera - CCAAM

Charu Chandrasekera is the founding executive director of the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods.

In a courageous and visionary step, the University of Windsor has recognized that the future of biomedical research depends on replacement of the use of animal models with a ‘human model’ that produces knowledge directly relevant to our understanding and treatment of human disease. CCAAM, under the direction of founder Dr. Charu Chandrasekera, will officially launch in October, and will move Canada to the forefront of the international movement to replace animal models with science that is human-centred, and humane.

According to the National Institutes of Health, treatments developed in animal models have a 95% failure rate in human clinical trials – representing a mind-boggling waste of resources that could be more effectively invested in alternative technologies and methodologies such as organoids, computer modelling, the development of human bio-banks, and other approaches.

Continue Reading

Evolve Our Prison Farms

eopf logo

Evolve Our Prison Farms (EOPF) is a Kingston-based initiative that arose during Correctional Service Canada’s public consultation concerning possible re-instatement of prison farms. EOPF proposes an “evolved farm” model of plant-based agriculture for prison farms. This model incorporates ecological sustainability, interspecies ethics, food security and public health, rehabilitation, and meaningful employment and community development opportunities.

To date, most of the grassroots organizing on the prison farm issue has focused on re-instating the old model of animal agriculture (dairy and egg farming), despite its ethical, environmental, health and financial costs. In particular, a highly sentimentalized (and euphemistic) discourse of prisoners engaging in ‘therapeutic’ and ‘caring’ relationships with animals has been promulgated, despite the realities of forcibly confining and inseminating animals, coercing them to work, separating cows from calves, and slaughtering and butchering animals. In what possible way is it ‘therapeutic’ for prisoners to be encouraged to ‘bond’ with animals while depriving, harming and killing them?

EOPF offers a truly progressive vision of ethical and ecologically responsible farming, and meaningful activity and life skills development for prisoners. Continue Reading

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.