Animal Research News Roundup: December 15, 2023

The Rise for Animals Team, December 15, 2023

Here’s a roundup of this week’s biggest news stories related to animal research—all the recent media coverage you need to know right now to be the most effective activist for animals in labs.

Elon Musk’s New Monkey Death Claims Spur Fresh Demands for an SEC Investigation

Dhruv Mehrotra & Dell Cameron, 12/13/2023

“For the third time this year, the US Securities and Exchange Commission is being urged to investigate allegations of whether Elon Musk made misleading claims to investors about the deaths of primates used for research by Neuralink, his brain-chip startup.”

“The latest claims center around his recent statements at the New York Times DealBook Summit that primates who died after implant surgeries were selected for experimentation because they were already close to death. In a letter sent to federal regulators today, an animal rights advocacy and research group claims that Musk’s statements are inaccurate and amount to ‘possible securities fraud.’”

“At last month’s Dealbook Summit, Musk likened Neuralink facilities to a ‘monkey paradise.’ A WIRED investigation published in October found that Neuralink primates survived for weeks after enduring experiments with names like ‘cranial heat dissipation study’ or ‘electrode insertion survivability study.’ The primates used in Neuralink experiments at UC Davis can live up to 40 years in captivity, yet most of the animals that Neuralink euthanized in its experiments had not yet reached adulthood.”  Full Story →


PETA Launches Animal Welfare Violation Tracker for Va. Schools Using Animals in Research

Sarah Vogelsong, 12/7/2023

“[PETA] has launched a website cataloging violations of federal animal welfare rules at five Virginia public universities that use animals in their research.”

“The launch comes as some Virginia lawmakers push for greater transparency about animal welfare violations at testing facilities in the commonwealth.”

“The website . . . includes information on the five public universities in Virginia that experiment on animals as part of their scientific and medical research: Eastern Virginia Medical School, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech.”  Full Story →


Tail Necrosis and Failed Euthanasia: Animal Rights Group Flags USC Experiments on Rats, Mice

Ian Grenier, 12/12/2023

“Issues with experiments on animals led the University of South Carolina to report multiple cases of its own regulatory noncompliance to the federal government in 2023 . . . USC officials reported the use of an unapproved euthanasia method on mice, improper handling of hazardous materials, failure to euthanize sick rats, improper sanitation and use of an unapproved procedure on mice that might have led to tail amputations.”

“Those issues follow the November 2022 halting of a university experiment that administered cocaine to rats and then subjected them to electric shocks, which was stopped amid concerns that the shocks went beyond what had been approved by the university’s animal research oversight committee. The experiment was still awarded another $248,216 in federal funding in May….”  Full Story →


Trump Put EPA on Course to End Animal Testing; Biden Has Started It Up Again

Stephen Dinan, 12/13/2023

“ . . . the EPA scrapped a Trump administration plan that would have cut animal testing by 30% in 2025 and ended it altogether by 2035. Instead, the agency says it won’t be bound by any time limits….”

“‘ . . . President Biden’s EPA has scrapped this plan and, at the behest of bureaucrats in white lab coats and environmental and social justice groups, is butchering bunnies and sentencing millions of other animals to painful deaths in what’s likely the largest resurgence of taxpayer-funded animal testing in the history of the U.S. government,’ said Anthony Bellotti, president and founder of [the White Coat Waste Project].”

“ . . . cutting animal testing is an issue that unites Republican and Democratic taxpayers, pet owners and both parties on Capitol Hill. What it doesn’t have, the EPA says, is the support of the agency’s scientists . . . who have a predilection for animal testing.”  Full Story →


Heartwood Haven Rescues 10 Pigs from Lab

Brandon Hansen, 12/12/2023

“The Roy-based sanctuary [Heartwood Haven] said tens of thousands of pigs worldwide endure cruel tests in research labs before meeting their end through euthanasia.”

“The Gottingen pigs, the smallest in the world, weighing only 75 pounds fully grown, are particularly favored in medical testing for their convenient size and reduced drug requirements.” 

“The rescued Gottingen pigs from the research laboratory are set to undergo extensive rehabilitation at Heartwood Haven, where they will receive comprehensive medical care and proper nutrition, along with love and attention from the caregivers.”  Full Story →

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Animal Research and Media Spin

Rise for Animals, 12/14/2023

Last March, The Daily Mirror quoted a professor and research expert who said that “[a]n immense body of empirical evidence has supported the position that animal models offer no predictive value for human response to drugs and diseases.” 

Despite the truth of this statement, pressure from a pro-animal research group forced The Daily Mirror to publish a “correction” earlier this month. Even more disturbingly, the revised version of The Daily Mirror’s article features the pro-animal research group’s entirely unsupported and uncited assertion that “[d]ogs alone predict the safety of drugs in stage 1 human trials with up to 96% accuracy.”  Full Story → 

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