PCRM Spinal Injury Campaign Forges Ahead: How You Can Help
Although animal experiments have done little to help people suffering from spinal cord injuries, Ohio State University continues to promote more of the same, in one of the cruelest classroom exercises ever devised.
Last summer, PCRM research staff discovered that the university was offering a class on how to systematically injure the spinal cords of mice and rats by major surgery and blunt trauma.
OSU rationalizes the course by claiming that more standardized techniques are needed among researchers. The three-week Spinal Cord Injury Training Course subjects hundreds of mice and rats to multiple painful surgeries, laboratory procedures, and distressing behavioral exercises after the injuries.
A review of the literature shows that years of animal experiments in this field have yielded little useful information. Instead, spinal cord injury patients continue to wait for a miracle.
Working with spinal cord injury specialists and local activists, PCRM mounted a campaign last summer calling on OSU to replace these crude exercises with some of the more exciting nonanimal research currently under way. Ads, petitions, and a local letter-writing campaign have gotten the attention of OSU president Karen Holbrook but the administration has yet to do the right thing.
PCRM is now asking OSU to meet with a group of our member physicians. Please join us in petitioning President Holbrook. If you haven’t yet written, please do. And if you have already written, please write again. Please also forward our latest action alert to your colleagues.
It’s crucial that we move ahead with real progress for spinal cord injury patients—both for their sake and for the sake of the thousands of animals used in needless research each year.
PCRM Online, January 2005