Terrible torture

Laboratory rat

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Last week I started telling you about the terrible torture that rats undergo in laboratories. Stuffed into metal cages and drawers in dark “animal rooms”, they are taken out into the light only to be tormented. All of it is kept secret by so called scientists with the excuse that they are torturing these little creatures in order to help humans. This makes it difficult for someone to protest – just in case they are thought to be anti-human.
But, it is time the DGCI looked at the wasteful and cruel usage of mice in experiments that have no value at all.
Here are some examples:
In 1989 a study was done to determine the carcinogenicity of fluoride. During a period of two years, daily doses of fluoride were given to about 520 rats and 520 mice. Not a single mouse was adversely affected by the fluoride, but the rats experienced health problems like cancer of the mouth and bone. This study shows how test data cannot be accurately extrapolated from one species to another.
Drugs like thalidomide, Zomax and DES were all tested on animals and judged safe but had devastating consequences for the humans who used them. More than half of the prescription drugs approved by the Food & Drug Administration between 1976 and 1985 were withdrawn from the market or re-labelled because of the serious side effects they had on humans. They had all been tested on animals.
-Procter & Gamble is engineering nano soot particles to develop products that can penetrate skin and hair in ways that naturally occurring molecules do not. Thousands of hamsters, mice and rats were killed in tests where they were placed in sealed containers and forced to breathe in air contaminated with ‘nano’ particles. These “tests” are done to produce better hair spray, hand lotion and makeup.
In order to determine young rats, who are bullied, feel stress, babies were exposed to daily aggressive acts from aggressive male residents. Each rat received pins, kicks for 10 min per day for 10 days. Researchers then killed the rats and discovered “stress-evoked CORT levels were significantly higher, and adrenal gland weights were significantly heavier in dominated rats.”
In tests that many people don’t realize are still being conducted, animals are forced to breathe cigarette smoke for up to six hours straight, every day, for up to three years. Rats are forced into tiny canisters, and cigarette smoke is pumped directly into their noses. In other tests, mice and rats have cigarette tar applied directly to their bare skin to induce the growth of skin tumours. Many die during the study. Other mice have their skins peel off, and they develop skin tumours. All the surviving animals were killed and dissected.
Every time a cigarette company wants to add new ingredients like honey, sugar, molasses, corn syrup, plum juice, lime oil, chocolate, cocoa, and coffee extract to cigarettes, thousands of rats go into these canisters that pump smoke directly into their noses six hours a day for 90 consecutive days. They are then killed and dissected to examine the harm caused to their bodies. This is inspite of the fact that tobacco products and their ingredients are not required to be tested on animals because effective in vitro (non-animal) tests exist that use human lung tissue to test.
A thousand rats were killed in a study in which they were forced to breathe either diesel engine exhaust or cigarette smoke for six hours a day, seven days a week, for two years to compare the relative effects of exposure on their lungs.
Footage from laboratories shows rats being decapitated with a guillotine and moving during operations. Rodents are also heard squealing as parts of their ears are cut off with scissors for biopsies.
In the course of manufacturing an anti-wrinkle treatment, scores of mice are injected with a powerful toxin in order to determine the dose that will kill 50 percent of the animals. The animals experience nausea and a wave of muscle paralysis, leading to severe distress as they slowly suffocate to death over the course of the three to four day procedure.
In a study, rats were placed in a swimming pool and, without any warning, an escape-proof wire net was placed over their body, forcing them underwater for 30 seconds at a time to create an experience of “underwater trauma.”
In another test, experimenters measured the time taken for male rats to mount females, insert their penises, and ejaculate. The experimenters then restrained the rats, cut into their skulls, implanted tubes into their brains, and pumped in a chemical that would block the rats’ ability to process sexual pleasure. The experimenters then watched the rats having sex, withheld sex from the rats for seven to 28 days, and noted the rats’ increased interest in an amphetamine reward. All the animals were killed, and their brains were dissected.
Many vivisectors come to India, because in their own countries they cannot get away with doing the type of animal testing they can do here. Every year, research facilities across India – including the Animal Research Centre, the Patel Chest Institute, the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)– squander valuable time and millions of rupees conducting useless experiments.
-Animals are yelled at, hit, left to suffer after surgery without any painkillers, crammed into small cages, denied veterinary care and more. In India, one of the largest animal suppliers, the National Centre for Laboratory Animal Sciences (NCLAS) in Hyderabad, supplies approximately 50,000 animals to laboratories every year and to 175 institutions in India, including pharmaceutical companies and educational institutions. Both NCLAS and the NIN have been under fire for years for not maintaining basic animal welfare standards.
The worst innovation in cruelty to the mouse is the custom made transgenic lab lab rat. Genetic material is implanted in female mice. When the mice give birth, the pups are checked to see if they carry the right genes, and then moved to a special population to breed. Breeding facilities offer specially designed animals to experiment conductors. In 2009, German researchers announced that they successfully implanted human genes associated with language into the brains of mice, causing neurological differences. Ever since then, companies have been expanding the kinds of human genes that can be transferred into mice, allowing companies to study their effects, and drug effects on them, without the danger of testing on humans or the expense of testing on apes
Diabetes on demand is another mouse model. A gene is knocked out of the mouse, causing it to gain more weight and metabolize glucose badly. This, in turn, causes the mouse to develop diabetes when fed a high-fat diet and is sold to scientists fiddling around with diabetes.
Scientists use mice to test depression medication by ordering mice that cannot properly manufacture serotonin. These tend to be both anxious and depressed. Other labs can order rats that are prone to drug addiction. Rats with deficient livers or intestines are available. Rats with different coloured neurons in their brains are available. And more standard animals are being created all the time.
Not one experiment on rats / mice has any bearing on human suffering. It has to be done all over again on humans every time. Why do we do this to them? No idea. Tradition?
What a horrible race we are. I hope I am reborn on a different planet next time.
To join the animal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in, www.peopleforanimalsindia.org