New Report: Animal Experiments More Stressful Than Previously Thought
A new study by PCRM research consultant Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D., shows that mice, rats, and other animals in laboratories experience enormous and quantifiable stress from routine laboratory procedures.
Dr. Balcombe analyzed the physiological reactions experienced by a wide variety of animals undergoing routine laboratory procedures in 80 previously published studies. He found that even the most benign procedure—such as a researcher picking up a mouse—can cause the animal to suffer blood pressure spikes, elevated hormones, and impaired immune responses. He also analyzed the animals’ response to blood draws and gavage, two other routine procedures.
“In essence, there is no such thing as a humane animal experiment,” says Dr. Balcombe.
The findings appear in the November issue of Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science. Dr. Balcombe will present his paper at an international scientific meeting in Buenos Aires this month. The paper has important implications for certain types of research, such as studies of tumor development, where changes in an animal’s physiological status can seriously skew data collection.
PCRM to Help Sponsor 5th World Congress on Alternatives
PCRM is helping sponsor the Fifth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, one of the primary international scientific conferences on the use of animals in research and testing.
Scheduled for April 2005 in Berlin, the congress draws together scientists from industry, government agencies, academia, and animal protection organizations. PCRM scientists will share their experience in promoting alternatives to the use of animals in medical education, toxicity testing, and diagnostic testing.