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Vivisection: Outdated, Cruel, and Unnecessary

It is estimated that at least 500 million animals suffer in labs throughout the United States. 75 million “excess” mice, alone, are destroyed without even being used by researchers per year. Massachusetts has one of the largest lab animal populations in the nation and the world. Every day, primates, dogs and cats, mice and rats, and other animals suffer horribly in experiments in Massachusetts.

Animals are burned, cut, maimed, addicted to drugs, starved, and given fatal diseases, often with no anesthesia. In fact, no federal law regulates what happens to animals during actual experiments. Even food, water, medical care and infant access to mothers are routinely denied if deemed to be necessary for experimental conditions. Law enforcement is notoriously lax, and ethical decisions are made by industry insiders, often co-workers and friends of the researchers.

Massachusetts has one of the largest lab animal populations in the nation and the world. Local MARC campaigns for lab animals include helping the more than 2100 primates at Harvard’s New England Primate Research Center in Southborough, Massachusetts; the animals that will suffer horribly at Boston University’s proposed BioTerrorism Lab in Boston, and the animals at the Tuft’s Vet School. MARC pickets the International Drug Company Conference, which is held yearly in Boston. Drug testing tortures and kills millions of animals yearly, yet fatal reactions to drugs "proven safe in animals" is the fourth leading cause of human death in America.

Animal Testing is cruel and unreliable. There are three main animal tests used on millions of animals each year: (1) the Eye Irritancy Testing which is also called the Draize test, which forces chemicals into the eyes of fully conscious, restrained rabbits. No pain relievers or anesthetics of any kind are used. The extreme pain often causes them to struggle so severely that they break their own backs—dying in agony needlessly. (2) The Skin Irritancy Testing, which places corrosive chemicals onto the shaved/raw skin of rabbits and guinea pigs. The caustic nature of these substances causes severe injuries to the animals. Gaping wounds and bleeding are common. (3) And the Oral Toxicity Testing, the LD50, which force-feeds strong chemicals to fully conscious animals for 14-28 days until they die. Viable alternatives exist and have been proven to be up to 100% more effective in determining human risk. Animal testing doesn't make products safe. For example, according to animal tests, cigarette smoke, asbestos, arsenic, benzene, and glass fibers were all found to be safe to ingest. Many household products, all tested on animals, are unsafe for us and our environment. And inaccuracies in cancer-causing tests occur up to 70% of the time. Animal testing only provides a legal defense for companies whose products could still harm humans. Test results are used to win lawsuits, not protect people. Some of these tests are over 50 years old and have never been required to be scientifically validated.

We support the AFMA position on animal experimentation which states: “AFMA (Americans for Medical Advancement) opposes animal-modeled research as a modality for seeking cures and treatments for human disease based on overwhelming scientific evidence that findings from animal models cannot be reliably extrapolated to humans. We seek to demonstrate, through rigorous research and analysis, that the reliance on animal-modeled research, as well as other pseudoscientific endeavors, harms rather than helps humans, and prolongs human suffering by inhibiting medical progress. It diverts research dollars that should be going to proven methods of curing human disease. We disclose how industry introduces and keeps unhealthy and often deadly products in the marketplace through animal experiments. As taxpayers, we deserve the best research our money can buy.”

MARC also conducts ongoing letter writing campaigns to express our opposition to researchers and decision makers both locally and nationwide. MARC supports only nonanimal research and testing methods and works closely with many national groups to disseminate information about the horrors that lab animals face each day.

What you can do right NOW!

Buy from Cruelty-Free Companies Only! Look for the Rabbit Label on products that are not tested on animals or for the words, No Animal Testing. Hundreds of great companies make products without animals testing. (See our Animal Testing page for a list of companies.) And choose charities that do not use or contract out animal experimentation or testing. Check out pcrm.org for charities that don't hurt animals.

If you are a student in Massachusetts being forced to perform disection, you have the legal right to use alternatives. Email us at the above Contact button for details.