COLUMBIA, Mo. - Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research and Experiments has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service requesting that the USDA investigate the University of Missouri.
The complaint alleges that the university failed to comply with the Animal Welfare Act and corresponding regulations after carrying out a series of experiments to study corneal wound healing in dogs.
The experiments consisted of inflicting lacerations and chemical burns on dog's eyes to study corneal wound healing and fibrosis. At the completion of the tests, the dogs were killed.
"We found the database search to be wholly lacking in any non-animal methods to study corneal healing," said CAARE's president Barbara Stagno. "A range of methods are available."
"What is most disturbing is the PI's claim that computer simulations or in vitro studies would not be in adequate for the study. However, we could not find a single review of a non-animal method in their database search to support this conclusion."
"The MU animal research oversight committee should never have approved these experiments. MU had many choices besides conducting invasive, painful, permanently disabling, and ultimately lethal experiments on young, healthy dogs."
The University responded to the claims by saying, " All studies were performed in accordance with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Statement for the use of animals in Ophthalmic and Vision Research and were approved."
Animal research is only done when scientists believe there is no other way to study the problem, and our researchers respect their research animals greatly and provide the utmost care, the University said.