Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Animal Abuse at My School

I'm distressed to learn that some researchers at UW-Madison, my school, have been abusing animals. A orange tabby cat named Double Trouble had metal coils implanted in her eyes, holes drilled on her skull, ears deafened by toxic chemicals, and was imprisoned, starved, and forced into cruel experiments for several months in the name of science that they claimed would improve the human life. The anesthesia was also not strong enough that Double Trouble woke up during the surgery of opening her skull. The wounds from surgery were inflamed and Double Trouble's health deteriorated. As the results she began to twitch and became deeply depressed. The researchers eventually declared the experiment as failure and killed the cat.

This experiment of determining how the brain locates the source of sound is regarded by people as "useless" since results have already been collected by other researchers using modern and noninvasive methods on human volunteers. However, about 30 cats per year have been treated the same way and died. PETA has sued the UW experimenters and compelled the school to release the photos taken during the experiment process.

As a student of UW-Madison, I'm saddened by this news as I thought bioethics is a field of interest in my school. We can take courses on bioethics and the topic is addressed in various other life science courses. Sometimes I can see signs promoting animal rights around campus. This shouldn't happen here. Many people are indignant or distressed because the experimental subjects were cats, and they think cats' are humans' good companions. I think I'd feel bad for any animal if it was treated like this. There shouldn't be any excuse to mistreat animals even if they are less related to us than cats are.

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