An investigation was launched today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture into possible animal abuse in classrooms at Arizona State University that results from a complaint filed this morning by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Normally, we tend to take anything from PETA with several grains of salt, but it may actually have a legitimate argument here.
In the complaint, PETA asserts that ASU is inhumanely killing animals when there are several non-animal methods that could be used to teach the same information.
PETA claims that in basic anatomy and physiology classes, students inject rabbits with drugs after a hole has been cut in the animals' chests -- so the undergraduates can watch the reaction of the rabbits' hearts and blood pressure. PETA claims the animals are then killed.
In another cuddly experiment at ASU, PETA alleges, students sticki pins through the heads of frogs and then dissect them while their hearts are still beating.
ASU did not immediately respond to phone calls placed this afternoon, but we're hoping a representative does, because if this stuff is true and it's not being done to cure cancer or AIDS, it seems sick.
"Killing animals in these archaic experiments is unjustifiable, especially when humane alternative methods are available," Kathy Guilermo, PETA vice president of laboratory Iivestigations, says in a statement. "Arizona State University has shown an apparent disregard for the letter and spirit of animal protection law and guidelines."
Justin Goodman, a research supervisor at PETA, says there are better, more humane ways to teach the information, like computer simulations and experiments on classmates.
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Hope the latter don't involve holes in the chest and pins in the head.
"Most animal experiments are a result of archaic traditions and personal bias," he says. "New non-animal methods are state of the art."
Goodman says PETA found out about the experiments when several students complained to the organization.