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

Media Coverage

Closed mouths don't ease minds with animal testing

In Our Opinion
Issue date: 2/8/07 Section: Forum

Monkeys dying on campus at UT. It should be a little alarming for UT students and administrators, but what should be even more alarming is that no one at UT or in the neuroscience department seems to want to talk about it or be willing to give any detailed explanation of what occurred.

According to an announcement made last Friday by the animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now, two squirrel monkeys died in May 2005 on the Health Science Campus.

UT is a research-based university, and studies such as the ones being done on the animals here are part of the landscape at such universities, and accidents are prone to happen over the course of time.

That part is understandable.

What is not understandable is the way in which this issue was handled.

First, there is no reason this should be coming to light just now. Something like this should not be kept a secret for almost two years. If what happened was truly an accident and simply an isolated incident, there would be no long-term harm in releasing the information to the public.

Second, there should be someone in the department who is knowledgeable about what happened and who is willing and able to talk about it.

It seems like those in the department would rather not talk about what happened because of the fear of dealing with animal-rights groups.

If the procedure that went wrong was truly done to minimize harm to the monkeys, then why would no one comment on exactly how the procedure attempted to help the primates?

We understand animal-rights groups sometimes go too far in their quest to protect animals, but situations like this are too important to sweep under the rug just because there might be some heat from one of these groups.

If UT is ready to conduct studies on animals, they had better be ready to be held accountable when things go wrong.

Accidents do happen, and mistakes are made from time to time, but avoiding the mistakes and having a proverbial gag order amongst researchers does not make the problems go away.

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