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Pro-Test: standing up for science
Pro-Test: Standing Up For Science
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Archives for: October 2006, 22

22/10/06

Permalink 05:59:57 am, by iain Email , 269 words, 1603 views   English (UK)
Categories: News

Looking round the labs

Laurie and I (thanks to our grammar consultant on this point - they know who they are) took a look round some animal research labs. It was really interesting to see exactly what goes on inside research facilities. We took a look at mice and rats who were being used to develop drugs to treat arthritis; they seemed unaware of the role they were playing in helping people, instead prefering to do the usual rodent stuff, running on exercise wheels and burrowing in sawdust. Suprisingly spacious cages as well, we pointed this out to be told that aside from very specific cage dimensions being a regulatory requirement, if the animals are cramped or unhappy it messes up the test results. We should really have worked this one out ourselves. Also cages considerably cleaner than most people's pet hamster's ever was, again because it's a regulatory requirement and it leads to bad results otherwise.

Most of the technicians we met had always wanted to work with animals, and started off helping out in vetinary clinics and the like. They also wanted to trap us in corners and tell us about their pets again, and again....and again. I suppose if you like animals then looking after them for a job is ideal. We were really struck by the huge difference between the way animal research is actually conducted (remember that this was in the US, where the regulatory framework is not as tight as in the UK), and the way it is portrayed by anti-research groups, with their placards showing photos from work done in the former USSR in the 1960s.

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