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Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes submission

ID: 
3
Personal Details
First Name: 
Janet
Last Name: 
Allan
C. Additional Information
Please add further information: 
Retired lecturer, Animal Welfarist
E. Submission
Types: 
Online Written Submission
Written Submission: 
Specific issues requiring particular consideration
After consultation with stakeholders during the initial phases of this review, specific issues have been identified as requiring particular consideration. Your comment is invited on these issues.
Comment on specific Sections, clauses or sentences of draft revised Code of Practice
Select if you wish to provide comment on specific Section, clauses or sentences within the draft revised Code of Practice.
General Comments
Select if you wish to make general comments about the draft revised Code of Practice.
Specific issues requiring particular consideration
2. Are the terms “should’ and “must” used appropriately in the document?: 

I would have thought that to have any sensible meaning a code of practice should always say "must".  However, the truth is that the "Code of Practice" exists, as all codes of practice on animal welfare do,  as a "cop out" to avoid being covered by the Animal Welfare Act which, if interpreted correctly, would make vivisection illegal.

3. Does the document clearly and concisely set out, and correctly attribute, responsibilities of all parties involved?: 

ETHICS COMMITTIEES

 

These are currently comprised mainly of the researchers themselves.  This is akin to having Dracula on the Board of the Blood Bank.

 

PROPOSAL:

 

Animal ethics committees should be comprised of two people involved in animal welfare work, one in animal rights work, one veterinarian and one person involved in research that does not use animals but alternatives.

5. Should the document include specific guidance regarding the responsibilities of Veterinarians and Animal Welfare Officers?: 

It is appalling that animals can be subjected to surgical procedures or anaesthesia by people who are not qualified vets.  If a householder committed such an act, they would be prosecuted.  Of course direct veterinary involvement in any research or "care" programs should be mandatory.

9. Is “animal” appropriately defined? Should the definition account for animals at the early stage of their development (i.e. embryonic, fetal and larval forms)? : 

The definition of animal should include animals at embryonic, fetal and larval forms.

Comment on specific Sections, clauses or sentences of the draft revised Code of Practice
Specific Comments: 
General Comments
General Comments: 

I find the whole discussion very depressing in that it reminds me of a group of fools discussing what sort of bandaid they will apply to a severely injured limb that obviously needs to be amputated.

 

Einstein, Schweitzer, Newton, Da Vinci, Pythagoras and virtually all the great minds throughout history have condemned vivisection as cruel and unproductive.  It is appalling to me that the small minds still prevail.

 

 

 

Below  are just a few of the thousands of  enlightened minds I could quote:

 

"..the study of human physiology by way of experiments on animals is the most grotesque and fantastic error ever committed in the whole range of human intellectual activity. " Dr GF Walker, Medical World, Dec 8 1933

 

"There will come a time when the world will look back on vivisection, in the name of science, as they do now to burning at the stake in the name of religion" Dr HJ Bigelow, Professor of Surgery, Medical School, Harvard University, 1849-1882

 

"Clinicians and the public often consider it axiomatic that animal research has contributed to the treatment of human disease, yet little evidence is available to support this view...Despite the lack of systematic evidence for its effectiveness, basic animal research...receives much more funding than clinical research."  British Medical Journal 28/2/2004

 

"In practise all animal experiments are scientifically indefensible, as they lack any scientific validity and reliability in regard to humans." Dr H Stiller and Dr M Stiller Tierversuch und Tierexperimentator, HIrthammer Verlag, Munich, 1976

 

"Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research." George Bernard Shaw

 

The last revision of this document claimed to insist that researchers, "Reduce, Refine and Replace" yet since then animal experiments in Australia have increased and just a few examples of recently published Australian research are:

 

  • Marmoset monkeys underwent tracheotomies and were then paralyzed and secured in a stereotaxic frame to measure eye movements during visual stimuli.
  • Kittens between one and four day sold placed in a chamber containing a mush higher than normal percentage of oxygen for four days to observe changes to the cells and blood vessels in their eyes.
  • Pregnant sheep infused intravenously with ethanol to investigate the effect of alcohol on the unborn foetus.  (The effects of alcohol on unborn human babies is already well known)

What possible purpose could any sane person impute to these atrocities?

 

Rather than endlessly redrafting this code, time would be better spent on enforcing the existing one because it is painfully obvious that it is being totally ignored by researchers anyway.

 

ETHICS COMMITTEES

 

These are currently comprised mainly of the researchers themselves.  This is akin to having Dracula on the Board of the Blood Bank.

 

PROPOSAL:

 

Animal Ethics Committees should be comprised of two people involved in animal welfare work, one in animal rights work, one veterinarian and one person involved in research that does not  use animals but alternatives.

 

 

Page reviewed: 1 March, 2013