Animal Research News Roundup: January 12, 2024

The Rise for Animals Team, January 12, 2024

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.

Researcher Suspended from USC Lab After Mouse Improperly Euthanized

Amanda Shaw, 1/10/2024

“The University of South Carolina reported that a researcher’s access to the Department of Laboratory Animal Resources was suspended due to violations last year . . . The violations involve a research project . . . [that] received more than $600,000 in funding from the National Cancer Institute in 2022.”

“The report says someone visiting an animal procedure room found a dead mouse in the chamber of an isoflurane vaporizer. The machine, which is used for euthanasia, was on and running but unattended. Video evidence reportedly confirmed the researcher carried the mouse by hand down a public hallway and left [him] unattended in the vaporizer. The individual did not wait to confirm the mouse’s death or return until the next day, the report states.” 

“The individual will be eligible for reinstatement after completing more training in the proper care and use of animals.”  🎥 Full Story →


New Docuseries ‘The Failed Experiment’ Reveals U.S. Dependence on Animal Testing

BNN Correspondents, 1/9/2024

“In a groundbreaking new docuseries executive produced by Bill Maher [and available on Prime Video], The Failed Experiment . . . casts a spotlight on the deep-seated issues plaguing the U.S. experimentation industry….”

“The docuseries also scrutinizes the inefficiency of the National Institutes of Health’s staggering $45 billion animal budget. A large portion of this budget is squandered on animal experimentation, a method proven to seldom translate into successful human treatments. This revelation underscores the urgent need for a shift in the allocation of these funds for more effective and humane research methodologies.” 📰 Full Story →


Watchdog Groups Speaks Out About Test Involving Beagles, Ticks at University of Missouri

Roger McKinney, 1/8/2024

“[A] document . . . lists $6.9 million in grant funding from NIH. The experiments involve strapping capsules containing ticks to the bare skin of beagle puppies, with the organization referring to them as painful experiments.”

“There were 40 dogs in the study . . . 22 developed illnesses during the experiment and were euthanized.”  📰 Full Story →


Whistleblowing Microbiologist Wins Unfair Dismissal Case Against USGS

Rebecca Trager, 1/11/2024

“A microbiologist has won her case for unfair dismissal against a US federal agency after she blew the whistle on animal welfare and biosafety failures.” 

“In July 2017 [Evi] Emmenegger . . . reported deficiencies in the care of aquatic lab animals that might affect the integrity of its experiments….” 

“Emmenegger suggests her story could have one of two effects on future whistleblowers. ‘It can embolden scientists, or it can make them more scared,’ she says. ‘I won on this, but it’s like five or six years that this has gone on, and there are so many whistleblower scientists that didn’t get hired back and I’m sure their cases are just as valid.’”  📰 Full Story →


‘Welsh Tidy Mouse’ Tidies Tiny Welsh House

Isabella Kwai, 1/8/2024

“There was something strange going on in Rodney Holbrook’s backyard shed. For several months, someone [] had been apparently tidying up after the 75-year-old retiree. Every morning when he checked on his workbench, miscellaneous items had been cleared away and placed in a small box nearby.”

“To investigate, he set up a night-vision camera and caught the mysterious visitor.

‘Lo and behold, I got a video of the mouse,’ he said. ‘Tidying up for me.’”

“‘Mice are willing to put in a lot of effort to work at something they find rewarding,’ . . . Welsh Tidy Mouse is disciplined: The animal has rarely missed a night of reorganizing the workbench since Mr. Holbrook noticed the behaviour in October.”

“‘I wish I had [his] motivation,’ Dr. Jackson joked. ‘Mice are amazing, complex creatures. I think we can learn a lot from them.’”  🎥 Full Story → 

The EPA’s Sellout to the Animal Research Industry

Rise for Animals, 1/9/2024

At the end of 2023, former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Andrew Wheeler spoke out against animal testing and in favor of “non-animal”, human-relevant methods for determining toxicity. Wheeler lamented that the measures he had put in place for the EPA to phase out animal testing by 2035 — “to spare animals, save tax dollars and protect public health” — had been dismantled since his departure from the EPA in 2021.  📰 Full Story →

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