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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Media Coverage

It’s not a dog’s life at Brooks AFB

from the San Antonio Current

The research laboratory at Brooks Air Force Base has been named “the most painful laboratory in the U.S.” in a recent report by Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!

The animal-rights watchdog group based its findings on federal documents that show 43 percent of 2,091 animals in Brooks AFB labs experience “unrelieved pain during experiments,” because they’re “conducted without the benefit of anesthesia.”

Brooks’ spokesman Ed Shannon replied that Air Force researchers “make every effort to ensure animals are treated humanely during all stages of research.” He added that Brooks “uses primarily rats and mice” and is “seeking alternatives to animal use,” including computer modeling.

SAEN alleges that Brooks is violating provisions of the 1966 Animal Welfare Act, which regulates the treatment of most warm-blooded animals held by zoos, laboratories, and pet stores. The report stated that between 2004 and 2005, 15 dogs, five primates, 685 mice, and 202 rats experienced “unrelieved pain” at Brooks AFB. In “Protocol 2003- 06” at Brooks, eye damage was inflicted on six primates to assess recovery time from laser-induced retinal injury.

According to the Department of Defense’s Biomedical Research Database, Brooks’ laboratories receive almost $5.4 million a year in funding to conduct “a different kind of research,” SAEN’s Michael Budkie explained. Military research focuses on laser injury, irradiation research, microwave, and chemical-weapons analysis to gauge human thresholds.

Research labs throughout Texas, including those at UTSA and Southwest Research Institute, experimented on more than 33,000 animals in 2003.

The SAEN report states that the “research projects do not appear to be unique in nature” and that “many of the projects are potentially duplicative [and] appear to be very long lived.”

The United States Department of Agriculture is charged with enforcing the Animal Welfare Act; however, the USDA also experiments on animals.

SAEN said the reason a large number of animals are being experimented with is, “for most federal facilities, the lack of independent oversight is a problem. It can take years to get data about what’s going on because you have to go through the Freedom of Information Act.”

Budkie likened the USDA and Brooks AFB to “the fox guarding the henhouse but with Brooks, the fox isn’t even allowed in.”


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