Letters: Animal experiments belong in rear-view mirror
I am a neuroscientist, former animal experimenter, and current research associate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and am hoping you would be interested in publishing another viewpoint on the use of animals for COVID-19 vaccine research. (See Jan. 14, 2021 “Thank animal research for COVID-19 vaccines.”
Two vaccines are being distributed globally to millions in the battle against COVID-19, each developed with a minimum of costly and cruel animal testing. Yet a paid lobbyist for the animal experimentation industry would have you believe that science somehow needs more animals to torment to prepare for future medical emergencies.
The facts: To speed development of COVID vaccines, both the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health greenlit landmark human clinical vaccine trials without first requiring extensive animal tests, knowing they squander time and resources when both are in short supply. More, Moderna and Pfizer stated that the virus takes a different course in monkeys than humans.
So on one hand, millions of humans inoculated against the largest pandemic in a century, in record time, without extensively tormenting animals. On the other, the continued torment and exploitation of monkeys, which have failed to yield marketable vaccines for HIV, TB, Malaria, Zika and other deadly diseases. The choice is clear and it leads to a new era of research.
Matthew Bailey and his ilk are coal in a solar world. The development of a COVID-19 vaccine has shown that research has already put animal experimentation in the rear-view mirror, where it belongs.
Emily R. Trunnell, Ph.D.
Research Associate and IACUC Liaison
Laboratory Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals