Controversy over animal transport

January 14th, 2013 No Comments

Animal transportI’ll be honest: I had never given much thought to how animals are transported to laboratories for scientific research projects.

It was only when animal rights groups began to put pressure on airlines and ferry companies to stop transporting laboratory animals that this came to our attention.

Researchers are concerned that research on non-human mammals, as well as studies involving frogs, insects and fish, could be hampered if companies refuse to transport animals which will be used in labs. This, according to scientists, could even disrupt the fruit fly research used to study genetics.

Interestingly, scientists and policymakers in India managed to convince Air India to reverse an earlier decision to stop transporting animals.

From a European perspective, one wonders whether researchers and politicians in India are more willing to publicly support medical research by working with transport companies and animal welfare groups to find solutions.

What do you think?

Now that the issue is on the agenda, it prompts a number of thorny questions. If animals could not be transported to labs, resulting in a decline in medical research, would this be a price we’re willing to pay?

Should animal welfare campaigners focus on the conditions under which animals are transported – and the length of the journeys they take – rather than on banning transport altogether?

Let us know…

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