10 December 2009

Oklahoma State University shelves study that would have killed 124 baboons

Today's Nature reports that Oklahoma State University has cancelled an anthrax vaccine study that intended to use baboons and could have killed up to 124 of them.

I applaud the OSU's decision. Strictly speaking, I am not an antivivisectionist. Yet, I don't tolerate the wanton use of animals in scientific research, especially vertebrates and especially when it involves a large number for an insignificant purpose. Who the hell needs an anthrax vaccine? Are people dropping dead from it like flies? Are they afraid anthrax spores will be used in terrorist attacks? Lock up the supplies. Stop the terrorists before they do any damage.

There is no justification to propose to kill so many animals for something that is not a major public health problem.

The principal investigator was Shinichiro Kurosawa of Boston University School of Medicine. According to Nature, the project is being funded by the NIH. It is hard to believe that the NIH is still approving the use of tax payers' monies to kill primates.

1 comment:

John said...

I agree. I could see a primate study for a common deadly disease if other models didn't work. Anthrax doesn't seem common enough to make that worth doing.