U of T researchers performing painful experiments on animals? Well, maybe, maybe not.
Animal rights defenders handed out literature on the campus Tuesday (September 12) focusing on the 42,000 critters -- from dogs taken from the pound to lowly crayfish -- used in labs at U of T.
The standards for research developed by the Canadian Council for Animal Care (CCAC), they say, don't protect creatures at all. CCAC's own documents show that in 1997 over 100,000 animals were used in Category E experiments (severe pain in unanaesthetized operations.)
Activists single out Barry Sessle, dean of the dentistry faculty. But does Sessle's team really not use painkillers?
Not exactly, says Johann Heersche, associate dean of research at the faculty and chair of the local animal care committee. He says anaesthetics are used in all their experiments.
"It is our duty to make sure the animals do not suffer," he notes.
Not good enough, says Rosemary Amey of Freedom for Animals. The group is demanding an immediate halt to all animal experiments and access to all records of such research.