Animal testing not on
Like many Australians of a certain age I'm spending most of my time at home, hoping a COVID-19 vaccine soon be available.
The CSIRO, usually at the cutting edge of science and technology research in this country, is wasting precious time squirting the virus up ferrets' noses! Ferrets don't go to protests or footie matches, so let's leave them alone!
Testing on non-human animals is not only unethical, it is scientifically unjustifiable. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that 95 out of every 100 drugs that test safe and effective in animals never make it through human clinical trials.
Tests on animals are no guarantee of human safety, and this was tragically illustrated in the 2006 clinical trial for the immunomodulatory drug Theralizumab, where six human volunteers suffered multiple organ failure after receiving a dose 500 times smaller than that found safe in animal tests.
Thankfully, medicines regulators - including the Therapeutic Goods Administration - are waking up to this and have decided that some COVID-19 vaccines can go directly to human trials without waiting for the results of certain lengthy and deadly animal tests.
Innovative, non-animal research methods, combined with responsibly conducted tests on human volunteers, are the surest route to effective treatments and vaccines.
Unlike humans, animals can't agree to being experimented on. They are born and die in a laboratory and spend the intervening time in small, bleak cages, denied all freedom and autonomy.
In these secret, high security institutions, they may be infected with the virus, force-fed or injected with drugs before being gassed to death and dissected.
Not in our name, not on our time. Stop this cruel, archaic wastage, and go straight to human tests.
Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia
Duck horror close to home
For the past several weeks I have had to listen to the blood curdling gunshots right outside my own front door and yesterday I had the very upsetting experience of finding a poor duck with a bullet in its chest on my own land.
It's bad enough that I have to see this barbaric practise happening right across the road from me, but to find a dead bird on my own land is just too much.
This is an extremely dangerous practise. Even though they were shooting on private land, they were shooting in my direction.
I walk the perimeter of my property every single day, and finding this bird just shows me that it is a possibility of a bullet landing on my own private land, where I do not condone such activities.
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