Animal research is essential for three basic purposes: To explore basic biology To develop treatments for diseases and disabilities To promote health and safety for animals, people and the environment
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Research labs are held to comprehensive laws and rules through oversight from the U.S Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health, and others.
The university accepts responsibility for the stewardship of all animals under its care, conducting the kind of careful, ethical studies that can improve human and animal health.
Animal research is an indispensable tool for understanding complex living organisms, and many University of Wisconsin–Madison research programs study animals as models of human disease and to explore basic biological processes. The university’s commitment to responsible and ethical research conducted under the attention of skilled veterinarians continues a long history of improving human and animal health and well-being.
Recently, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has been on the receiving end of a harsh campaign that criticizes our research using animal models. The critics are using a graphic picture, taken out of context, blown up to billboard size, and displayed on Madison’s public buses to try to turn public opinion against the valuable medical research conducted by faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Once again, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is sparing no expense to continue a campaign distorting and misrepresenting important UW-Madison research. The animal rights organization is spending thousands of dollars on a graphic eight-week advertising campaign using Madison Metro buses. Because many of the claims the organization makes about the science and how the animals in the studies are treated lack substance, PETA necessarily resorts to stunts and outlandish behavior to draw attention to its cause. While it is disturbing that PETA is intent on making misguided emotional appeals using public venues such as Madison Metro, the university has every confidence in the importance of the research, its oversight, and the treatment and care of the very few animals involved. We will continue to provide support for the research and researchers and respond to PETA’s campaign of misinformation as appropriate. One thing we cannot do, and that …
I write regarding coverage of the efforts of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to demonize research at UW-Madison, using disconcerting images of a cat given a cochlear implant. Contrary to PETA’s claim, the experiments are important and relevant. In many fields, including auditory science, research on animals provides an essential scaffold on which we build knowledge that can then be translated into clinical applications. With cochlear implants, animal research is required prior to attempting any new invasive approaches in humans.
As predicted, PETA’s ongoing campaign against scientific research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison continues, escalating this week with a striking advertisement on 100 Metro buses. The ad calls for an end to UW research aimed at better understanding how the brain processes sound. A central question is how sound arriving at both ears is combined to allow us to determine the direction of its source with respect to our body.