Saturday, January 18, 2003

"If there is a need for animal experiments, it will have to be accepted." By this logic, couldn't you say that we should accept more human experiments because we need the better data they would provide? Likewise, should we accept a rapist's justification that he has a "need" to rape? It just does not follow that a need gives a right, when the act is morally reprehensible. Further, there is no need for chimpanzee experimentation - it's bad science.

INTERVIEW WITH PRIMATOLOGIST GOODALL

TALKING WITH JANE GOODALL
‘We’ve landed on the moon, can’t we research without hurting animals?’

You just can’t keep the ‘‘Chimp Lady’’ down. Living up to the sobriquet the world has given her, Jane Goodall has been in India for the past few days.... Goodall, whose discoveries in chimpanzee behaviour in Gombe in Tanzania changed the contours of primate research, argues that experimentation on animals is ‘‘morally unacceptable’’ and that it’s entirely possible to conduct research without dragging animals in. The 69-year-old designated UN Messenger of Peace spoke to Sreelatha Menon....

Man cannot do without animal experiments for advancement in medicine, the testing of life saving drugs. Can there be a meeting point between the researcher who’s trying to save humans and the conservator who’s trying to save animals?

If there is a need for animal experiments, it will have to be accepted. But I hate it. It is morally unacceptable. It started in the West and now all over the world, this road of cruelty to animals for the sake of scientific progress is being embraced without a second thought....

Are experiments on primates closely supervised in the United States?

There is terrible research going on in the United States. Activists are continually fighting it. But there is no control on research....

Are chimps suitable for HIV research? They are being used for SIV (Simian Immuno Deficiency Virus) research at the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

SIV research has been abandoned in the United States and in Holland as it has proved to be useless. Both strains 1 and 2 of HIV originated from chimps but the virus mutated when they jumped into man. So research on them will yield nothing. In the West, they are phasing out chimps except in research for Hepatitis C. Often, researchers justify the use of animals just to get their hands on grant money....