Why Protest Vivisection?

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Why Protest Vivisection?

From Igraine Pendragon, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN)

This message was an email sent to encourage people to attend anti-vivisection protests at the November 13, 2010, Neuroscience Convention in San Diego...

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For those of you who are attending the protest in San Diego at the Neuroscience Convention and for those who are undecided/need more persuasion that this is an important event, please see the experiment descriptions below of just a few of the vivisectors attending.

Please educate yourselves on this issue so we can all be the best representatives possible for the animals. Please feel free to circulate.

See you there!

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Robert H. Wurtz has been carrying out the same experiments for over 10 years receiving untold millions of dollars in grants.

Experiment description: Using adult male monkeys (Macaca mulatta) weighing from 8 to 11 kg, to study the rapid eye movements our eyes make every minute, Wurtz implants scleral search coils for measuring eye position into monkeys eyes, recording cylinders for accessing the frontal eye field and superior colliculus which is in the monkeys brain, and a post for immobilizing the head during experiments.

In one experiment alone he conducted 18 experiments on one monkey. In each experiment a recording electrode was injected into the brain for only some periods of the experiment an injection of lidocaine (local anesthetic used in dentistry) was used to see what results that had on the neuronal activity. Using “liquid reward”, meaning that the monkey had been deprived of food and water for a number of hours, enough to make the monkey perform the test under extreme stress and pain, it was made to “fixate” on a screen with visual stimulus.

The monkey was only given water if it moved its eyes to the location on the screen that was “required” for the experiment. A recording cylinder was also implanted over the frontal eye field and superior colliculus (located in the brain) so electrodes could be used on the brain. Cylinder implants are cemented in place with dental acrylic with additional acrylic to secure the eye coil wires and to attach to the titanium support screws. The fate of the monkeys used is unknown.

J.K Rowlett has received $3,148.584 in grants from taxpayer’s money for experiments using squirrel and rhesus monkeys to study addiction to anxiety and sleep disorder medication (Benzodiazepines)

Experiment description: Using rhesus monkeys who have been subjected to food and water deprivation, Rowlett attaches i.v’s of addictive drugs such as benzodiazepines (valium) with the “hope” that he will uncover brain mechanisms that control the beneficial effects as well as the abuse of anxiety and sleep disorder medication. Rowlett also uses electric shocks to the feet of monkeys to “train” them to perform certain duties during the experiments.

Michael Conn is the Director, of the Office of Research Advocacy, Senior Scientist in Reproductive Sciences & Neuroscience (Oregon National Primate Research Center), and Professor of physiology and pharmacology, cell biology and development, and OB/GYN at OHSU, where he served for eleven years as special assistant to the president and as Associate Director of ONPRC.

The infamous ONPRC has been cited for animal welfare violations, issued an “Official Warning for Violations of Federal Regulations” and been the subject of multiple critical reports and whistleblowers. Various reports from the ONPRC state that there is a high turnover of poorly trained and unskilled technicians. Newborn monkeys were prematurely weaned and put in isolation cages, which led to psychosis and self-mutilation later in life.

Cages were hosed with animals still in them (an animal welfare violation), epidemic outbreaks of diseases in hundreds of monkeys, strapping monkeys down and using electrodes on their penis to induce ejaculation. Reports of unnecessary cruel handing of animals by inexperienced technicians who were forced to work at breakneck speeds, high rates of fatalities, severe traumatic injuries, self mutilation and psychological abnormalities. But received over $146 million in taxpayer’s money for grants.

Okihide Hikosaka – Funded by NIH (tax dollars) and supported by Johnson and Johnson

Experiment description: The monkey was anesthetized with intramuscular injections of ketamine HCl , diazepam , and glycopyrrolate and then maintained at a general anesthetized state with isofluorane. After the skull was exposed, acrylic screws were installed to fasten the dental acrylic head implant to the skull. A plastic head holder and recording chambers were placed stereotaxically and secured with dental acrylic. Eye coils were implanted subconjunctivally into both eyes. Craniotomy was performed after the monkey had been well trained for behavioral tasks described below.

During experimental sessions, the monkey was placed in a sound-attenuated room and seated in a primate chair with its head immobilized. It was then subjected to behavioral tasks using visual stimuli. Water reward was delivered upon a monkey’s correct response through a spigot under the control of a valve, which was placed outside the sound-attenuated room. The monkey was trained to perform several eye movement, including rapid eye movement tasks using rewards (meaning monkey would have been deprived of food and water previously and taught that if it performed a certain task water/food would be “rewarded”) All trials started with the presentation of a white spot of light at the center of the screen on which the monkeys had to fixate.

At the end of the experiments, the monkey was deeply anaesthetized with an overdose of pentobarbital sodium, and was injected into the heart with saline followed by 4 % formaldehyde. The head then was fixed to the stereotaxic device, and the brain was cut into blocks in the coronal plane parallel to the electrode penetrations. Frozen sections were cut every 50 μm using a microtome and were stained for Nissl using thionin.

The conclusion to this experiment provided no conclusive data or medical advancement for brain research. It concluded that two brain nucleus in the primates “ play important roles in switching from automatic behavior to deliberately controlled behavior. But whether the switching function in these areas extends beyond the motor domain, such as thoughts and emotions, is an interesting question for future research.”

As the world falls into recession we have an amazing opportunity to call into question the billions of dollars spent on futile animal experiments. It is time for each and every one of us to do what we can to bring this controversial issue back into the public eye.