And AGAIN another reason to educate the general public about the realities of biomedical research involving animals – the Vancouver Sun now reports that animal rights activists are getting more curious about the animal-based research at UBC and affiliated hospitals.
I had heard news of this through the grapevine a few weeks ago actually and I’m not surprised it broke popular media. Science does a very poor job of explaining why animals need to be used in research. Often, the only time it gets publicity is when bad things happen. Couple this with the extreme lack of education provided to many animal handlers, the fact that many studies actually shouldn’t be or don’t need to be using animals, and the lack of public education on the issue… you have a bad situation all around.
Part of me is sympathetic. There are a lot of things I don’t agree with when it comes to animal research in Vancouver. When I worked in the field, there were things that definitely should not have happened. And those need to be fixed, without a doubt. Certainly those aspects of research played a big part in my decision to change careers. But at the same time, I understand the reasons for using animals in certain types of research when used correctly and ethically. The sad part is when this does not happen 😦