As you may know, a new animal facility is being built in Portugal (Azambuja) to breed animals for research purposes.
It will have between 20.000 to 25.000 cages of which animals will be raised and sold to universities, investigation institutes and pharmaceutical companies.
It will cost 36 million euros, where 27 millions euros are coming from the taxpayers.
This money should not be invested to delay the progress of science but should instead be invested in investigation and implementation of alternative methods, that are more accurate, inexpensive and ethic.
Please show your indignation to Champalimaud Foundation against the construction of this animal breeding centre sending the message below by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and a copy to email@example.com .
If possible, also send the same message by letter to: Fundação Champalimaud, Praça Duque de Saldanha n° 1-9 D, 1050-094 Lisboa, Portugal.
You can also show your discontentment by phone (00 351 213 568 160) or fax (00 351 213 568 169).
Dear President of Champalimaud Foundation
Dr Leonor Beleza
I have recently heard through the media that the Champalimaud Foundation along with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Lisbon University are planning to build one of the biggest animal facilities in Europe to breed animals for research purposes. This news shocked me and made me angry, since I have always believed that the Champalimaud Foundation was all about promoting scientific development and not of making profit out of unnecessary animal suffering.
- According to American Food and Drug Administration (2004) 92 out of every 100 drugs that successfully pass animal trials and go into human clinical testing fail during the human clinical trial phase;
- Drugs that were considered safe after animal testing proved to be harmful and even deadly once used in humans (e.g. Vioxx, a popular prescription for arthritis disease in 2004 caused 27,785 heart attacks and strokes, 6,946 of which were fatal);
- Well-known scientists like Dr Richard Klausner, former Director of National Cancer Institute, admit the lack of reliability of animal testing. Quoting Dr Klausner in a Time magazine interview in May, 1988 "The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse... We have cured mice of cancer for decades - and it simply didn’t work in humans";
- The European Union recently proposed reviews on the directive 86/609/EEC because according to the "Eurogroup for animals", since 1986 alternatives to animal use in biomedical research were found, leading to more restrictive laws regarding animal use in several countries as well as an increase of the criticism amongst European citizens regarding animal experimentation;
- Even though there is still no deadline for the end of all animal experimentation in Europe, the European Union is moving in that direction. The European Environment Commissioner Stravros Dimas, said to the press very recently (5/11/2008) "It is absolutely important to steer away from testing on animals. Scientific research must focus on finding alternative methods to animal testing";
- Animal experimentation is, from my point of view, ethically unacceptable and a humane NGO should unit efforts to abolish it instead of promote it.
Considering all the above, I would like to express my deep disapproval for this initiative of The Champalimaud Foundation and kindly ask you:
1) to reconsider the animal facility’s construction;
2) to use alternatives rather than animals in the new research centre.
City and Country
Pelo direito à vida Animal
In Defence of Animal Rights