Animal Protest

By  | 

The animal welfare activists say they braved the heat with signs in hand to make a point to the public.
The debate began more than a year ago when university professor Dr. Hussein Hussein reported animal abuse at the farm to the US department of Agriculture.
Dr. Richard Simmonds, the school's veterinarian, says they can account for the investigations.
"The USDA has done three inspections and one very thorough investigation. And, the investigation resulted in the citations we received, none of which was labeled abuse or mistreatment. The majority of citations related to record keeping, the function of our animal care committee and non-animal welfare issues."
The investigation may be complete, but these protesters say they still want answers.
Geraldine Ruvgen, a protester, says most say they want better access to school records and meetings... none that we spoke to had even visited the farm.
"How are the animals being treated? Are they being mistreated, abused? Are they being neglected? Those are important issues and they're also a violation and that's something the public should know about."
But, veterinarian Dr. Simmonds says animal research is responsible for medical advancement dating back to 1900.
On this farm, one research project aims to learn more about curing skin cancer.
"This is a very unique strain of miniature pigs. It's called a sinclair miniature pig, but in fact it has a lot of wild boar genetics. That's why they look a little wild boarish. This particular substrain, and these are the only ones in the world, develop a tumor called melanoma. In humans it can be a fatal tumor. The unique things about these pigs is they self cure."
But, Michael Budkie, with Stop Animal Exploitation Now, says looking for these answers isn't worth the toll to an animal.
"We believe animal experimentation, on a whole, is a waste of federal funding. Because we're in a situation right now where people in the US can't get because they can't get treatment for disease... we already know how to handle. We would like to see the useless money going to animal research..."
Dr. Simmonds sas there is nothing useless about saving lives.
"We could stop. If we do, this all stops too."