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Maggie Q Urges Taiwan: Halt Proposed Rabies Experiments on Beagle Puppies

Maggie Q, star of long-running television series Nikita, is urging the Taiwanese government to immediately halt proposed experiments to inject beagle puppies with rabies.

“Having lived and worked in Taiwan, I know it to be a place of progressive ideas and practices. I am concerned that these experiments are a step backward, not forward,” Maggie writes in her letter. “I strongly believe that the lives of animals matter and that we must not cause harm to one to protect another when the only result will be to prove what has already been repeatedly demonstrated.”

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Read Maggie's letter in English (PDF) and Chinese (PDF):

September 12, 2013

Minister Chen Bao-ji
Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, R.O.C.
37 Nanhai Road, Taipei, Taiwan 10014, R. O. C.

Honorable Minister Chen,

You may know me from the films Mission: Impossible III and Live Free or Die Hard or my long-running television series Nikita. I share your concern about the recent finding of rabies virus in ferret-badgers, but I must ask you to halt plans by the Council of Agriculture to expose unvaccinated beagle puppies merely to prove the danger of the virus. This experiment will cause the puppies unnecessary suffering and death and will only provide information that is already known among scientists – that all variants of the rabies virus are able to infect warm-blooded animals.

Having lived and worked in Taiwan, I know it to be a place of progressive ideas and practices. I am concerned that these experiments are a step backward, not forward. Vaccination of both domestic animals and wildlife has already been proven to be the most effective method of controlling rabies. I urge you to instead direct the COA’s efforts and resources towards an aggressive rabies vaccination campaign to make sure that all citizens of Taiwan have their dogs and other animals vaccinated by World Rabies Day on September 28. Vaccination of both domestic animals and wildlife has already been proven to be the single most effective method of controlling rabies.

I strongly believe that the lives of animals matter and that we must not cause harm to one to protect another when the only result will be to prove what has already been repeatedly demonstrated. The World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health state that cell-based methods are preferable to animal-based tests. Infecting beagle puppies with rabies virus for testing vaccines is no longer considered necessary or ethical by rabies experts.

Please stop these tests, Minister Chen.

Sincerely,

Maggie Q

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Maggie Q

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