Local News: Saturday, September 01, 2001 UW is accused by animal-rights group
Local News: Saturday, September 01, 2001
UW is accused by animal-rights group
By Seattle Times staff
The University of Washington is one of 50 institutions included in a complaint that a Cincinnati-based animal-rights group has filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The group, Stop Animal Experimentation Now, said Thursday that UW researchers are misleading the USDA, which monitors animal experimentation, by not accurately stating how much pain animals endure in experiments.
The USDA's pain and distress categories for experiments are C, for no pain or distress; D, for pain or distress relieved by drugs; and E, for pain or distress without relief.
The UW's Animal Care and Use Committee rarely sees applications for Category E experiments. But many experiments clearly cause such pain, said Wayne Johnson, a critic of the committee who has attended most of its meetings since 1988.
Johnson cited experiments at the Regional Primate Research Center, where animals are separated from their mothers, given AIDS, and have coils inserted in their eyes to track movement.
"These are grossly painful experiments," he said. "The University of Washington is underreporting what is going on in terms of pain."
William Morton, director of the primate center, disagreed. He said monkeys separated from their mothers are placed where they can socialize with other monkeys. Those exposed to AIDS are treated if they get ill and euthanized if they can't be treated. And the monkeys in eye experiments receive pain relief when the coils are installed and afterward.
Veterinarians also are involved in their care, Morton said.
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