Sparing animals from cruel vision experiments | CAARE
November 2017 E-News
Last month CAARE launched our campaign to expose horrific experiments on cats at SUNY College of Optometry, where they are cutting into the brains of living cats and putting them through vision testing trials that go on for hours. These experiments have gone on since 1985 essentially unchanged, claiming to map the activity of neurons in the cat’s brain. I want to thank everyone who has signed our letter to protest the SUNY cat experiments. If you haven't yet signed it, please do so right away. I believe we can end the experiments at SUNY – though it will take much work – because they are a glaring example of research on animals that is hideously cruel, archaic and has no purpose other than to generate data for scientists to publish.
I know it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by constant requests to sign and send letters, but we can’t let compassion fatigue set in. Without our protests, these terribly abused animals suffer and die without anyone speaking up for them.
Thank you for joining with CAARE to demand animal-free research.
For the animals, Barbara Stagno President, CAARE
NY College of Optometry must end horrific cat experiments
At the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry, a team of scientists has been maiming and killing cats by conducting brain experiments to study the science of vision. Trusting and loving cats, some as young as 4 months old, are purchased from suppliers and brought into labs at the SUNY College of Optometry where they are cut up and tortured in lengthy procedures that go on for hours.
These deplorable experiments continue what was started over thirty years ago in 1985. Funded by a federal grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI), these arcane and useless experiments are killing and maiming helpless cats merely to create esoteric maps of neurons involved in visual processing. Please click here to send a polite letter to the director of the NEI and to officials at the SUNY College of Optometry to end funding for these abominable experiments without delay.
In September, CAARE filed a complaint with U.S. Department of Agriculture against the University of Missouri (MU) for failing to consider alternatives to using live dogs in painful and lethal experiments that damaged and burned their eyes with caustic chemicals to study corneal healing. The dogs were killed afterwards. Several local media outlets recently reported on CAARE’s complaint, describing how it demonstrates the many ways these experiments could have been replaced with non-animal methods such as clinical studies, 3D organ cultures and ex vivo cultures. (More coverage here and here).
Under the Animal Welfare Act, researchers are required to conduct a search for alternatives to animals. CAARE obtained MU's search through Freedom of Information and found it to be entirely lacking in non-animal methods. CAARE has requested that USDA take remedial action against the University of Missouri and its animal oversight committee for failing to properly investigate and implement procedures that can replace animals in experiments that may otherwise cause pain or distress.
The winning model of a “retina-in-a-dish” uses human-derived retinal neurons printed in layers to simulate the structure of the human retina. Five other teams received honorable mention for their animal-free retina models. The 3-D ROC program demostrates the NEI’s confidence in the ability of organoid models to deliver results where animal models have failed.
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