Fight for humane treatment

Kathleen Conlee, Senior director Animal Research Issues, The Humane Society

New methods that replace animals in research are establishing a way forward in the scientific community. This is an improvement, but until the day animals arenâÄôt used, we have an obligation to mitigate their suffering for the sake of animal welfare and the quality of science.

Despite numerous requests, the University of Minnesota has failed to adopt a moderate policy that would protect animals in its care. Simply, animals used for research should not be subjected to severe suffering and distress, and the University is overdue in establishing such a policy.

Extremism by a radical fringe should not be confused with legitimate concern from law-abiding citizens about inhumane and fiscally wasteful types of research. The Humane Society of the U.S. has consistently and publicly condemned violence and intimidation in the name of animal protection. They even offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for threatening researchers.

Such tactics are ethically wrong and do fundamental damage to the credibility of the humane movement. Advanced science and humane treatment of animals are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, that is clearly scienceâÄôs future.