Sunday, April 24, 2022

April 24: World Lab Animal Day


April 24, annually is observed as World Day for Laboratory Animals. I am writing this post commemorating this. 

Laboratory animals do not get the respect they deserve in the service of biotechnology and medicine. I am not sure an approach that completely eliminates lab animal testing will work any time in the near future. Therefore, I wish to commemorate the day marking with due respect, the role they play in the advancement of science, from pediatrics all the way to geriatrics. 

Countless Animals and Dozens of Species

From monkeys to mice and cats to dogs, myriads of animals have sacrificed their lives in the service of science. This also includes species of near intelligence, such as Chimpanzees. We deserve to remember that not a single one of them had a choice in participating in studies. Countless humans will forever owe our lives to lab animals everywhere. As practitioners of science and engineering, we need to keep this foremost in our minds. 

Professing Humane Treatment of Lab Animals

1. Tests should go through IRBs. Only testing that is absolutely needed should be approved. 

2. Throughout the testing process, animals, regardless of species, be they naked mice or C. elegans, should be treated humanely. 

3. When a laboratory animal has the chance of being adopted or otherwise set free following an experiment or study, the animal should not be sacrificed. 

4. At the appropriate time, especially with acute studies, animals that cannot survive should be sacrificed. The same principles should apply to chronic studies. 

5. Study administrators, clinicians, and others should be examined. Animal cruelty in lab settings, above all, should not be tolerated and punishments must be swift and people convicted of cruelty in lab settings must not be permitted to engage in further studies or settings involving animals. 

6. Wherever possible alternates to animals should be used for studies. I have used a substrate myself and it was an excellent substitute for sacrificing a significant number of animals. Not only was the material effective, plant-based, and inexpensive, it also allowed for testing at a much larger scale than would be possible with animals in the midst. 

7. You may choose to sign this petition to end unnecessary lab studies:

8. Read, educate yourself and spread awareness through sites such as this, even if you don't agree with everything they may have to say:


Whether you are a medical doctor, a research scientist, an engineer, a lab tech, a clinician or a consumer, treat lab animals with the respect they deserve. 


Cover Image, Courtesy Sipa, Pixabay:

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