Conference to feature live dissection of animals


WHAT: This week, animal rights advocates will be protesting a national animal research conference in Toronto that activists claim promotes the “cruel and unnecessary use of animals for teaching purposes.” From May 14-17, the Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Science (CALAS) – an association of lab technicians – will be holding its 50th Annual Convention at the Sheraton / Best Western Convention Centre in Richmond Hill. Many of the workshops at the convention will be using animals in demonstrations and hands-on training, including live dissections on animals. Animal advocates urged CALAS to shift away from the use of animals in testing and teaching to non-animal alternatives.

WHEN: Protest will be held Sunday, May 15, Noon-3PM. The four-day conference is scheduled for May 14-17.

WHERE: Conference Centre at the Sheraton/Best Western Parkway, Toronto North Hotel, 600 Highway 7 East, Richmond Hill (Highway 7, near Leslie St).

WHY: Animal advocates will be protesting the conference because they claim the event promotes the cruel and unnecessary use of animals. Many of the workshops, which will be held off-hotel grounds at area research facilities, will be using animals in demonstrations and hands-on training, including live dissections on animals. Conference workshops include demonstrating “appropriate handling, sexing and basic examination of” live mice, rats, and rabbits. Conference participates will also “implant transmitters in laboratory rats.” One workshop on pigs gives attendees “a chance to perform endotracheal intubation, place the animal on a ventilator, IV line placement and anaesthetics monitoring.” In another, “each participant will perform a splenectomy on a rat.”


“Mice, rats, rabbits, and pigs are sentient animals who experience physical and psychological pain much the same way humans do,” said Anna Pippus of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Many people are opposed to vivisection, supporting instead humane alternatives.”

“These are animals are being tortured and killed for frivolous purposes. If any one of us did this to a cat or dog, we would face animal abuse charges,” said Paul York of STOP University of Toronto. “This conference should be promoting humane alternatives to the use of animals, not more animal testing, which is cruel and unnecessary.”

“Experimenting on animals is at odds with Canadians sense of compassion,” said Brian Vincent, Director of the Canadian Coalition Against Animal Research and Experimentation, a national network of animal advocates. “It is time Canada moves away from such cruel research to more humane, non-animal alternatives.”


Click here for conference details.

Click here for CALAS conference schedule.