Philosophy of AR > Animal Testing - Index > Anti-Vivisection Index

Animal Testing Lab Whistle-blowing

Several weeks ago, members of Animal Rights on the Farm held a demonstration outside the Animal Research Facility to protest animal experimentation on campus. Since then, the protest has sparked a debate on the Daily's opinions page.

As pointed out in Prof. Linda Cork's op-ed ("Stanford protects animal rights," Feb. 17), there is a complex system of checks and balances at various levels to prevent inhumane treatment of experimental animals. However, the current system fails to address one critical flaw: The status quo relies too heavily on self-policing. The reality is that many violations of these policies can easily go unnoticed without a robust policy of whistle-blowing in place. For instance, a laboratory rat can be sacrificed in an inhumane manner without any of the varied committees and subcommittees ever finding out.

But is the current system conducive to whistle-blowing? After all, scientists working in a laboratory setting face unique pressures that make it difficult to disclose incriminating evidence against their errant colleagues.
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Experimental animals cannot merely be seen as collateral damage in the quest for knowledge. Questions from animal rights activists should not be instinctively regarded as attacks on science; rather, scientists need to step up to the challenge and hold themselves to a higher level of scrutiny and accountability.

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full story: http://daily.stanford.edu/tempo?page=content&id=19646&repository=0001_article