Target: National Institute of Health
Goal: Withhold funding from academic institutions that permit animal cruelty in research.
In Ivy League research labs across our country, animals are being unnecessarily abused out of pure negligence. At Yale, careless use of heating pads on baboons has resulted in burning and blistering. At Princeton, primates have been repeatedly found victim to purposeful water restrictions below the legal minimum of the Animal Welfare Act. At Harvard, a tamarin monkey was found scalded to death after having been left in a cage as it progressed through a mechanical washer. These stories represent only a small sample of the myriad of tortures that have been swept under the collegiate rug in recent years. It’s worth noting that these victims of animal cruelty were primates, the closest evolutionary cousin to humans. It’s been clearly demonstrated that primates have a strong capacity to experience pain, fear, and distress.
In spite of these countless violations, hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for research continues to be awarded to the very facilities that shirk their responsibilities towards animal welfare. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the top eight worst offending universities received over one billion dollars in funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2011 alone. NIH is a government agency that receives funding directly from our country’s annual budget, meaning that these are our tax dollars at work. Should our money be used as continued support for unchecked and unscrupulous practices in the science labs of our nation? Is this an appropriate use of one billion dollars in consideration of the national debt?
By signing the petition below, you can urge NIH to withhold funding until higher standards for ethical behavior are met in Ivy League research facilities.
Dear National Institute of Health,
In Ivy League research labs across our country, animals are being unnecessarily abused out of pure negligence. Despite this continued misconduct, NIH continues to award hundreds of millions of dollars in research funding to the very schools that ignore their ethical responsibilities. At Princeton, primates have been repeatedly found victim to purposeful water restrictions below the legal minimum of the Animal Welfare Act. Princeton received over $35 million in funding from your institution last year. At Yale, careless use of heating pads on baboons resulted in burning and blistering in 2010. You awarded Yale almost $350 million last year.
I am urging you to stop enabling these research programs by funding their negligence. By withholding grant money pending a cleaner animal welfare record, you can directly influence the standards that these schools are held to. Please take action to reinforce animal protection laws and cease the allowance of sub-standard research practices.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: me and the sysop via Flickr.