A research that makes an attempt to depend the variety of rodents utilized in lab analysis sparks an issue

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A controversial new study claims that more than 110 million of the mammals used for experiments in American scientific laboratories are either mice or rats – a claim that, if true, is amazing what it says about the keeping of humanity versus the tiny, intelligent creatures.

The paper, published last week in Scientific Reports, was written by Larry Carbone DVM PhD, who has specialty certifications in animal welfare and laboratory animal medicine. To explain how he got his shocking number, Carbone wrote to Salon that he was using a different method for counting laboratory mice and laboratory rats than Speaking of Research, an advocacy group that promotes the use of animals in scientific tests. He told Salon that he could not say for sure how many mice and rats were in these laboratories.

“The challenge I see with their method is that anyone using the types of Animal Welfare Act published by the USDA on its website still needs a way to go from that number to an estimate of the mice and rats that are the AWA does not cover, “Carbone explained, referring to federal law requiring research animals to be treated humanely but not extending to mice and rats. “I’ve been able to get mouse / rat numbers mostly from government institutions in states with open record laws. I couldn’t have got this data from private companies, and in 3-5 years there won’t be anyone to say either : ‘Even if Carbone’s estimate is wrong, we can still use his method to look for relative trends.’ “

Carbone emphasized that his research is important because while the Animal Welfare Act covers animals from dogs and cats to monkeys and hamsters, mice and rats “make up at least 95% of the mammals in US laboratories – my method found that at large academic institutions that percentage is more like at least 99%, not 95%. “Although he added that he personally believes that mice and rats should be covered by the Animal Welfare Act,” the purpose of this paper was to establish a number that would be the prosecution of Trends enables (something Congress passed in the Animal Welfare Act in 1970, but mice and rats are not covered so no one knows. “

Allyson J. Bennett, PhD, Senior Editor at Speaking of Research, disagreed with Carbone’s analysis.

“Our analysis shows that Carbone has provided no conclusive evidence that its results from studies at 16 universities would apply to the more than 900 universities and companies that conduct animal testing, and that its estimate, apart from other flags, is completely different than by experts with direct experience and broad subject knowledge, “wrote Bennett at Salon. She also questioned the idea that humans should focus on the number of mice and rats in laboratories, claiming that “the key issue for global public health and science policy is not the number of mice that are involved in research but whether human society can continue to act responsibly. ” and engage ethically in the scientific studies necessary to stop pandemics, reduce disease, and improve lives – humans and other animals. “

Bennett also referred to the Nuremberg Code and the Helsinki Declaration, Codes of Ethics, which, she argued, support animal research because it is necessary for further medical progress and is ethical as long as animal welfare is respected.

Research has shown that mice are able to experience pain and experience empathy, including a study published in Science earlier this month.

“I tend to see mice and rats in line with other rodents and, by most criteria, probably not as intelligent as dogs, pigs, and monkeys,” Carbone told Salon. “But scientists certainly study them in many psychological studies, in learning, in pain biology, in social behavior and in other areas in which they are similar to humans in important ways.”