Thursday 3 July 2008

Cat Experiments

Cats are used extensively in animal testing and cat experiments are conducted in universities all over the world. Physiologically cats have a lot of similarities to humans. The idea of carrying out nasty and injurious tests on cats does not bother many people. To others it is abhorrent and unforgivable. I am in the second category.

The examples are numerous. Two immediately come to mind. The beginning of the Bengal cat breed is indirectly founded on tests carried out on Asian Leopard cat hybrids (leukemia research). Jean Mill acquired one of the hybrids and bred from the cat to start the breed. Read about Bengal cat origins (this post has a different take on the breeding of Jean Mill). Another is the testing on Safari cats. The Safari cats concerned were killed (I don't know if these tests were carried out at university facilities).

You can go on and on. Testing often happens behind the respectable veneer of established and revered University facades. Here are some other examples of cat experiments at universities:

----University of Colorado Denver and Health Sciences Center (this is a PETA story, src: Peta). I am not sure of the date of this research. It concerns the work of a person named Moshe Solomonow. He was conducting tests on cats into back pain. He'd open up the cats back to the spine and attached hooks to the cat's spinal ligaments, having administered an anesthetic that is considered "archaic" and inadequate by modern standards. The indications are that the cats felt pain. It is claimed the test were worthless. This sounds like a form of medieval torture.

----Ohio State University - 2002 - Experiments carried out by Michael Podell a veterinarian (src: Singapore cats). Cats where used to test the effect of HIV positive humans abusing drugs. Cats were deliberately infected with FIV and injected with the drug "speed" (methamphetamine) and their brains cut into to check the brain response. The cats were then killed. Nice one Mr Podell.

----Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Texas (it is not clear if the following experiments were actually carried out at this college). The research was written up by Claudia Robertson, MD, Guest Editor, Department of Neurosurgery. The language of scientists is opaque. This is probably deliberate to make the work sound more complicated, important and special, which translates to the people conducting the experiments being more important.

In this case the method employed was "open skull experiments" on cats and monkeys under chloralose anesthesia. This anesthesia is apparently archaic. The objective of the cat experiments was as far as I can ascertain to study the incidence of Peri-infarct depolarizations (PID).

----University of Edinburgh, Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1QH, UK (1996) - This entailed researching the release of immunoreactive (ir-) neuropeptide Y (NYP) in the spinal cords of cats that were anesthetized. Yes, fine the cats were anesthetized but did they feel pain and did you check? And what happened to the cats after the experiments?

----University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia. The research was to investigate the effect on blood flow in the cat optic nerve by flickering light. The cat(s) were anesthetized. It looks to me as if electrodes were placed into the cat's head to take measurements.

As I said, I could go on. Some of these are freely available published results, usually on PDF format direct from the researchers and usually in the form of an article or research paper. The sources for the above came from a simple Google search. A lot of the research is almost invisible, I would think for the purpose of limiting attention to it.

Animal testing is immoral even if it is for the possible benefit of humans. There are two reasons:

1. We have an unwritten contract (a form of social contract) with domestic cats. The contract doesn't allow for one to experiment on the other.

2. We are not superior to cats and have no right to cause them pain in our ostensible interests. All animals whether the human animal or other animals should respect each other. Cats respect us, lets do likewise.

Photo: copyright Brian Gunn IAAPEA (published with his permission. All the photographs on this website are published with express permission of the photographer)

Cat Experiments to cat and animal cruelty

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