Ellen DeGeneres Speaks Out to Protect Dogs in Taiwan
When the Taiwanese government announced plans to infect beagle puppies, mice, and ferret-badgers with a deadly rabies virus last summer, the news caused international outcry. Celebrities Maggie Q and Alec Baldwin—along with Taiwanese entertainer Liu Han Ya (Aya) and model I-Hwa Wu—urged the government to cancel the cruel experiments, which would produce no benefit for public health. Now, the host of the 2014 Academy Awards and longtime animal welfare advocate Ellen DeGeneres has spoken out in a letter to Taiwanese officials.
“I understand that the proposed experiments…are neither humane nor scientifically necessary,” DeGeneres wrote. “I respectfully ask that you avoid using animals in rabies tests.” Her letter was sent to Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji and the Taiwanese legislative members of the Economic Affairs Committee.
Physicians Committee experts are maintaining pressure on the government to stop the experiments. This May, viral immunologist Sarah Cavanaugh, Ph.D., and medical research specialist MeiChun Lai, Ph.D., traveled to Taiwan to meet with journalists and the scientific community at a press conference and public hearing to promote effective alternatives to animal tests, such as in vitro tests.