Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Suffering is the Same Everywhere

Larry Carbone, DVM, PhD, is the Associate Director of the University of California San Francisco's Laboratory Animal Research Center. He is the author of What Animals Want, (Oxford, 2004). See my review here.

When I was working at In Defense of Animals, a small national animal rights organization based in (at the time) San Rafael, just north of San Francisco, UCSF may have been the most cited facility in the country for its repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act. USDA continued to make unannounced inspections because employees continued to contact us with concerns that we passed on the feds. Every visit resulted in more citations. Larry Carbone was working there at the time.

As I pointed out in my review, this bodes darkly for animals in the other labs around the country. Carbone claims to care and is responsible for the care of the animals at his institution. And yet, the suffering there, the violations, and overall disregard for the animals is again in the news.

UCSF lapses mean research animals suffer USDA cites research lab lapses over many years SF GATE. November 25, 2012.

The details are chilling, even gruesome.

Due to negligence or errors, laboratory mice at UCSF had toes removed without anesthesia. Several animals, including birds and a squirrel monkey, received little or no pain medication after surgical procedures. In one instance, a primate starved for weeks. In another, mice died of thirst. And for nearly two years, a rhesus monkey remained in a brain study despite chronic and painful complications...


At the University of Wisconsin Madison, animals dying of thirst seems almost routine. Monkeys remained in what the vivisector herself claimed to be the most invasive brain experiments on monkeys in the country even though the oversight committee tried to close her lab because of the brain infections and her slipshod methods.

The use of animals at every large university I've take the time to learn about has been very much the same. Lots of suffering, multiple USDA violations, trivial justifications, calloused vivisectors, and a protective administration claiming that everyone using animals at their university loves and respects animals and that there are more laws protecting animals used in research than there are laws protecting humans participating in research.

The only difference I can see between the large universities is a willingness of local reporters to investigate and write about what's going on in the labs.

In Madison, there have been a couple of reporters willing to write about the issue. Right now, there are none; and so, the public takes no notice. In San Francisco, the interested reporters have come and gone as well, and in Portland, OR., Seattle, and Boston, and Atlanta, just about everywhere a large university exists. The waste of tax dollars is the same everywhere. The coverups are the same everywhere. The suffering in the labs is the same everywhere.

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