Yesterday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture alleging that there were animal-rights violations occurring in classrooms at Arizona State University.
As we said yesterday, everything coming from PETA should be taken with several grains of salt, but ASU seems to confirm everything alleged in the complaint, only adding that the animals were always under anesthesia.
PETA claims that ASU is killing animals to teach undergraduate-level anatomy and physiology classes, when there are several non-animal methods to teach the same material in use at universities across the country.
In response to allegations that the university is drugging rabbits while they're still alive and watching how their hearts respond, ASU had this to say:
"In the experiment noting the use of rabbits, the animals are under deep anesthesia and are euthanized before they wake up. Small incisions are made in their necks (not holes in their chests) to deliver and monitor drugs, as well as monitor heart rate, respiration and blood pressure."
As far as allegations that students are sticking pins through the heads of frogs: Well, that really happens, too.
"In the experiment noting the use of frogs, the frogs are euthanized by immersing them in an anesthetic solution. Pithing (a pin stick to the brain) is then performed to ensure that the frog is dead," ASU officials claim in a statement issued last night.
ASU affirms the contention that none of these practices is used in any sort of research capacity, that each happens in undergraduate classes.
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The same information could be taught using computer programs, PETA says.
We agree with PETA on this one. Well, kinda.
Rabbits, if prepared correctly, can be delicious. To waste them on a bunch of college kids, who aren't using them on research to cure a deadly disease, is a culinary tragedy.
ASU should be ashamed of itself.