Thursday, July 7, 2011

Laboratory Workers Indicted

Last year, Professional Laboratory and Research was shut down by the USDA after a PETA investigation revealed rampant neglect and cruelty. Around 200 animals were taken out of the vivisection facility and placed with rescue agencies.

The agency tested flea medication that I'm sure some of you use on your own animals.These medications induced seizures, vomiting, and death in the animals tested. No one is charged for causing the suffering that comes with seizures, vomiting and, you know, that whole death business.

But, four workers have been indicted because of the undercover footage. Two of the workers face two counts of animal cruelty, while the other two face five.

It is an interesting conundrum. While I am impressed these four alleged (ha) animal abusers face charges, I am left unimpressed that no one is being charged with anything related to the actual research - the kind that leaves animals physically devastated and behaviorally/emotionally traumatized.

Look at this dog. She was renamed Marsha. Her face speaks of fear and concern, of unsureness in what should be a sure and safe world. She is the face of dogs everywhere who are used for human-drug/procedure and nonhuman drug/procedure research.

I don't have a simple answer regarding animal testing. We are moving closer to a world in which nonhumans are no long unwillingly subjected to experimentation for human or nonhuman benefit. But we are not there yet. We are still throwing caustic chemicals into the eyes of rabbits, still knocking out specific genes of mice and rats so they exhibit exceedingly abnormal and often deadly behaviors or diseases, still infecting other primates with AIDS and other deadly human diseases, still using pigs in trauma trainings, and apparently still exposing cats and dogs - who are JUST LIKE the companion cats and dogs you know and love - to lethal doses of flea medication.

Do a Pubmed search for fipronil-(S) methoprene - that's Frontline, folks. It's some nasty shit. It's a toxic insecticide that is deadly to a whole host of species. Rabbits can't be used to test it, because hey, it's toxic to them. It kills bees, like whoa, and is highly toxic to certain bird species. It's been considered a possible source of bee colony collapses. Yet not only do we throw that crap on and into our dog's bodies, scientists are still researching it's use on animals. We know how it works, know it's lethal dosages and its acute toxicity, yet little Beagles are still being bred and sold, covered in ticks and mosquitoes and treated with this toxic insecticide to find out that, hey, it still kills fleas and eventually kills ticks (it won't save your dog from any of the tick's diseases, yo, but great to know it will suffer a slow, prolonged death, amirite?)

I don't know, that seems just as awful and cruel as what these low-level workers are being charged with. Only difference is it's still considered socially acceptable to inflict suffering on dogs and other species, just don't try and declaw them with a chainlink fence, I guess.

Again, I don't have the answers (I mean I get this is a complex issue) except I know it's stupid we're still purpose-breeding Coonhounds and Beagles so they can be infected with toxic shit we already know is toxic. It's disappointing.

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