Since Stop UBC Animal Research was formed a little more than a year ago, we have exposed the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) extensive animal research programs. Every year, UBC conducts thousands of research projects involving animals, including pigs, mice, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and others. Some of that research employs extremely painful and ultimately, lethal procedures. Nearly all the experiments are done with little public scrutiny.
Stop UBC Animal Research’s months-long investigation of UBC has revealed disturbing details about the university’s research. For instance, one UBC researcher has experimented on cats for 30 years. In his papers, the researcher described how he had cut open the backs of cats to expose their vertebrae, inserted titanium screws into the cats’ spinal columns to inhibit movement, and built restraint chambers around the cats’ exposed vertebra to give researchers access to the cats’ spinal columns and to fix the animals in a sitting position for recording sessions. Stop UBC Animal Research also discovered UBC researchers have:
· Repeatedly poured saline solution into newborn piglets’ lungs to induce respiratory failure
· Captured wild songbirds in mist nets, withdrew their blood then decapitated the birds
· Exposed mice to cigarette smoke for up to six months in emphysema research
· Injected toxins into monkeys’ brains to simulate “parkinsonism”
· Administered electroconvulsive shock to monkeys to induce seizures
· Blinded monkeys in vision deprivation studies
Equally troubling is UBC’s lack of transparency. To date, UBC has denied Stop UBC Animal Research’s freedom of information act requests and has yet to provide the organization with any details about its research. Since much of UBC’s animal research is funded by taxpayers, Stop UBC Animal Research believes the public has a right to know what UBC is doing to animals with that money, and whether the research correlates to real improvements in human health.