French Veterinary Academy supports animal research!

I recently read a report called: Scientific research and animal experimentation – the state of the question or taking stock if you prefer. It was written in May this year and issued by the Veterinary Academy of France. The conclusion of the report was issued as an opinion to the General Assembly of the Veterinary Academy of France and adopted by it on the 21st of June, 2012.

The report is well written, concise yet articulated enough to take the reader through various aspects of animal research and why it is needed.  The report is unapologetic although accommodating in tone, if not spirit and an important step in the right direction by a scientific body in support of those that over many years are under attack by animal extremists. One can only wish that more entities will join the effort and stand up to animal research and highlight its contributions to society.  

The report contains a summary, an introduction, three chapters, a conclusion, bibliography, some annexes and a glossary, for a total of 109 pages. For those of you that master the French language you can read or download the report from here:http://www.recherche-animale.org/lexperimentation-animale-evaluee


From its summary one can read that in accordance with the societal needs of longevity and health, research in biological and medical sciences builds largely on animal research. In a society where the place of an animal has considerably evolved, the use of animals for research purposes is increasingly questioned despite its historical justification. The controversies, that oppose researchers to a part of society, have as origins convictions and beliefs that cannot be modified or changed by means of rational arguments. These beliefs are furthermore strengthened by a global sentiment of defiance towards science even though paradoxically expectations towards (medical) progress and safety (health) have never been as high.


The first chapter is called a societal debate and talks about the necessity of biomedical research to our societies of yesterday, today and tomorrow. It points to animal research as a fundamental aspect of the scientific approach towards health. Further subsections deal with the historical background to animal research and the different medical milestones achieved naming the animal species used and the resulting benefit. The positions of both researchers and their opponents are further discussed and elaborated upon. Regulatory instruments, oversight and amount of animals used are also provided. Not surprisingly here, rodents continue to be the flagship species and primates the exception rather than the norm.

In the second chapter animal models are discussed, as are replacement and alternative models in research. The conclusions from this chapter cast a light on animal research that is often overlooked, ignored or deliberately obscured by those that oppose animal use.

The complexity of organisms cannot be modeled through the addition of elementary biological systems. It is the highly integral nature of life that leads the disciplines of biology in general and the biomedical discipline in particular to the use of more complex systems found in animals that are similar to those in humans.

Furthermore results found through in vitro models must necessarily go through in vivo tests when integrated into an entire system.  This is true for fundamental research, be it physiological, immunological or genetic in nature and also applies to research concerning knowledge or understanding of physio-pathological mechanisms, the basis of surgical and medical therapies.

From the preceding two chapters, four main principles emerge to form the third chapter and that are cast as potential foundations of academic behaviour. These would be:

·         To re-affirm an undeniable preamble: in the current state of science, the use of animals in research is essential to progress knowledge and the advancement of medicine.

·         To express respect towards research animals based on their character of sentient beings and their common phylo-genetic origins with mankind.

·         To recognise that the experimental process in biology in general and bio-medical research in particular, uses without any preference and in an objective manner, the whole of the methodological possibilities created by it.

·         To define the conditions of a societal debate based on knowledge and mutual respect.

In its opinion on animal research, its role and perception in society the Veterinary Academy of France considers that (not an exhaustive enumeration- see document for full details):

In human and animal health, society expresses an increasing demand which in turn requires a considerable effort from research;

That animal research has played and continues to play a decisive role in the accumulation of biological knowledge and in contributions to the progress of medicine;

That experimentation on humans can only be envisioned on a limited number of situations, strictly defined by bio-ethical principles such as in clinical trials indispensible to the evaluation of new treatments and that as a consequence the use of laboratory animals in research remains unavoidable, in particular when evaluating harmlessness and efficacy of any therapeutic innovation.

The academy further re-affirms the irreplaceable role of animal models in research of life sciences, fundamental and biomedical; a research that would only rely on in vitro and in silico models would limit itself whilst ignoring the complexities of the biological processes at the organism level. 

In its recommendations the academy supports the further optimal and reasoned use of animals in research and that the societal dialogue continues in order for biomedical research to proceed with determination and in line with societal expectations whilst considering the concept of an evolving man to animal relationship.

As I said at the start of this post the report is a welcome step by a credible scientific body. As important is the need to refute animal extremist claims that are based on half truths, misinterpretation or simply spin. Whilst the popularity of fending for animals is undeniable so are the multiple actions undertaken by research to save the lives of us all, including animals. What prevents you to claim your right to fame or to simply stand up for the valuable work you do?

You can join the action by reading the posts on the blog roll (on the right), follow tweets by like minded organisations or individuals, educate friends, children and colleagues around you about animal research, contribute by writing a guest post on a blog, start a discussion on a Linked in forum or leave a comment on a web page when you see wrong or one sided information. Work with your industry associations and inform regulators of the importance of your work. Sign petitions in support of medical advancement and medical charities.

Of course as always nothing beats a real life time example of medical progress as is illustrated here by my colleagues of speaking of research http://speakingofresearch.com/2012/12/17/brain-machine-interface-success-allows-paralysed-woman-to-feed-herself-for-first-time-in-a-decade/

Remember that without your informing the public what it is you do, ignorance will prevail and animal extremists will continue to claim high moral grounds unopposed!


Animal rights ID card and Research Chimpanzee Colony Valuable !

American Physiological Society Research Chimpanzee Colony is Valuable Resource


Why would you care about animal research? Why not simply speak on behalf of animals, show compassion and decry animal use as torture, vile and useless? Join the masses of self-proclaimed politically correct thinkers: our society should treat animals on an equal basis as humans.

These two articles above should make you think. Medical progress isn't a result of chance, it is a difficult process that involves many brilliant and dedicated minds. It is true that not all research leads to a drug, the vast majority does not but it certainly isn't an exercise in futility. Some discoveries are indeed a result of chance or are the basis for other research. It is a building process where knowledge and understanding are building blocks -each scientist being able to build on the knowledge and foundations of the others. That doesn't mean there is no room for disagreement but indeed little room for ignorance.

You may decide for yourself that you can not live with such a process and you prefer to opt out. That is perfectly fine when that decision affects you and only you. Whilst opting out as an animal rights activist and as the Americans for medical Progress suggests you should  sign and carry this card that specifies:

Animal Rights Identification Card

Animal Rights Identification Card

I, ____________________________________

hereby identify myself as a supporter

of animal rights and agree to live my life in

accordance with all animal rights principles.


So as not to violate my animal rights principles, I

hereby request that in the event of an accident or

illness, all medical treatments developed or tested on animals be withheld, including but not limited to:

blood transfusions, anesthesia, pain killers,

antibiotics, insulin, vaccines, chemotherapy,

coronary bypass surgery, reconstructivesurgery, orthopedic surgery, etc.

©1992–2010. Compliments of Americans for Medical Progress: (703) 836-9595


Urge Your Senators to Oppose the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act!

Urge Your Senators to Oppose the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act!

FASEB and NABR are asking you to contact your Senator and the congress to oppose this legislation. Here's why explained by FASEB President Judith S. Bond. You can also follow the link below and send a letter or email to your Senator by giving your zip code! Think of research on, and medical progress for those affected by,  HIV/AIDS - EBOLA MARBURG VIRUS ETC.
Dear Colleague,
We need your help to counter a serious threat to the humane use of animals in research. The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S 810), which would prohibit the use of chimpanzees in medical research, may be voted on in the Senate this week (it was approved by a Senate committee in July)! Passage of this bill could have devastating consequences for ongoing research into human diseases such as hepatitis C, as well as studies benefiting the great apes themselves. Even if you do not work with great apes, you should be concerned about this bill because it would end research deemed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to be ethically sound and scientifically important and could pave the way for legislation to ban research with other species
Those who oppose the use of animals in research are making an aggressive effort to get this bill passed before Congress goes home for the year. We must let them know that chimpanzees are important animal models for research. Please take action now by going to http://capwiz.com/faseb/issues/alert/?alertid=62215781 to send an email to your Senators urging them to oppose the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.
Judith S. Bond, PhD
FASEB President


Warning this medical progress is not supported by those that oppose animal USE such as PETA, BUAV and HSUS!   

If you prefer to write directly as opposed to using the FASEB site, here is some text you can use from the same site.
As a constituent and biomedical researcher, I am writing to urge you to oppose the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S 810). This legislation, which would ban all invasive research involving great apes, ignores the scientific advice of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), would halt valuable ongoing disease research, and could severely compromise human health in the face of a rapidly spreading infectious disease for which no other animal or non-animal model is appropriate.
The IOM does not endorse a ban on the use of chimpanzees in research. In its recent report, "Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity" the IOM recognized "how disruptive an immediate outright ban would be, affecting animal care and potentially causing unacceptable losses to the public's health." Its report concluded that chimpanzees may be needed to treat new, emerging, or reemerging diseases or disorders; to complete development of monoclonal antibodies aimed at treating cancers and autoimmune diseases; and for behavioral and comparative genomics research. Many of the IOM committee and numerous other scientists and physicians believe that chimpanzees are necessary for evaluating hepatitis C vaccines. 

The Ebola virus is ravaging wild populations of chimpanzees and gorillas. In 2010, the first studies were conducted on laboratory chimpanzees to test the safety of a potential vaccine that could be used to protect these animals from this deadly disease. This and other research aimed at protecting wild apes would have to come to an end if this bill is adopted.
The claim that the bill will save money is false. The Congressional Budget Office recently determined that the legislation will actually cost $56 million to implement.
Passage of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act would ignore the recommendations of the IOM and inhibit our efforts to improve human and animal health. I strongly urge you to oppose S 810, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.
NABR issued the following ALERT for US Constituents to act upon:
Urgent Alert:
Please Contact Your Senators Today to Oppose S.810,
The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act
Late last week, a few members of the Senate attempted to take a step forward in bringing S. 810, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (GAPCSA), to the floor for consideration. The attempt failed, in part because many Senators had already left for the weekend. However, supporters of the bill are likely to continue these efforts in the waning weeks of the 112th Congress so it is crucial that you IMMEDIATELY contact your members of Congress in opposition to GAPSCA. THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!
  • The legislation would take the unprecedented step of prohibiting the use of a research model, allowing public comment about the merit of specific research projects and protocols and opening the door for future prohibition of other research models.
  • Legislation is unnecessary as NIH is in the process of implementing the recommendations of the IOM study, which was requested by NIH.
  • Despite the fact that the bill claims to be a "Cost Savings" the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined the legislation would actually cost $56 million over the 2013-2017 period.
This legislation has serious implications for ALL biomedical research involving humane and responsible animal research, which is dedicated to improved treatments and cures for the many diseases afflicting both people and other animals. Not only will S. 810 prohibit the use of chimpanzees as a model for vital life-saving research, but it will subject scientific research (both private and federally funded) to the approval of the Secretary of Health & Human Services. Simply put, this legislation will put the future of biomedical research on dangerous ground.
Please click here to visit NABR's Capwiz page to send a letter to your representatives in Washington. If you would like to call your Senator, please click here to find their phone number. Please urge your family, friends, and fellow researchers to do the same as soon as possible! 
To find out more about the importance of research on Pan Troglodytes , read this fact sheet here!!

This post follows a previous alert / post I wrote 26.07.2012 that you can read here: