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ARCHIVE - NIH Animal Testing Fairytale Targets Kids

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Christine Bruske Flowers, Director of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

P.O. Box 12233, MD NH-10
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709-2233
ph: 919-541-3665; fax: 919-541-2260
additional public liaison staff:,,
SOURCE: NIHID=0011850382

Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, Director
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

111 T.W. Alexander BG 101
P.O. Box 12233, MSC B2-01
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
ph: 919-541-3201; fax: 919-541-2260
SOURCE: id=12529

Raynard S. Kington, M.D., NIH Director (Acting)
National Institutes of Health

Building 1 - Shannon Building, 126
1 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
ph: 301-496-7322; fax: 301-402-2700
SOURCE: NIHID=0010804157

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Dear Ms. Flowers, Dr. Birnbaum, and Dr. Kington:

Please permanently delete "The Lucky Puppy" from all National Institutes of Health (NIH) websites. Young children may not realize that this coloring workbook is a tall tale about animal experimentation.

The Lucky Puppy presents a distorted view of animal research:

"She had mice in her lab. They lived in nice, clean cages." Mice, rats and birds are not even protected under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Lab animals typically don't receive veterinary aid or pain medication. Lab technicians are unskilled in surgical procedures or animal care. Animals are deprived of food, water and hygienic housing. Their enclosures are overcrowded (with mice, this can lead to cannibalism and smothering). Environmental enrichment is rare. Record-keeping is often haphazard.

But the NIH knows this, since the examples above are drawn from the agency's own documentation on labs that have failed to comply with federal law.

"Mice were fed good food. But they were sick with the same disease Lucky had." Lab mice are not sick. Experimenters artificially induce human disease and injury. In this contrived setting, animal stress alone "can influence the researcher's understanding of scientific discovery." Results may be inapplicable to human health and safety, according to a report in Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science.

"'But how can animal medicine be good for children?' Matt asked. Dr. Smith smiled and answered, 'The mice in the lab, puppies like Lucky and children like you are all animals. Our bodies might look different, but we really are very much alike under our skin!'" Anatomical, physiological, cellular, genetic and psychological variations between species make accurate correlations between animals and people unlikely.

Animal experiments delay progress rather than accelerate it. For example, researchers recognize primates do not contract the human strain of AIDS or develop its clinical symptoms. Of 85 HIV/AIDS vaccines tested in animals, each one failed in 197 human trials. Furthermore, U.S. deaths or injuries linked to drug therapies more than doubled from 1998 to 2005, according to findings in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Each recalled drug had proven "safe" in animal tests.

Still, animals are mutilated, paralyzed, and burned. Toxins are poured into their eyes. Corrosives are smeared on shaved skin. Poisons are forcibly ingested. They vomit, convulse, hemorrhage, and die.

In reality, animal experimentation makes a lousy kids book. Why not flaunt advances in animal-free technology? "Nowadays, Mr. Cell and his in vitro friends, Cell Lines and Cellular Components, let scientists try out medicine in stuff that actually comes from humans! That's how we make sure the medicine works and is safe for children, instead of just mice."

I urge you to remove The Lucky Puppy and similar propaganda from the biomedical research industry.

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source of information & references
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
PCRM Director of Research Policy, Hope Ferdowsian. M.D.
NIH Lies To Kids In "The Lucky Puppy"
Urge the NIH to Remove the "Lucky Puppy" Coloring Book

Above photo shows the cover and two excerpted pages from "The Lucky Puppy," a misleading children's workbook about animal experimentation (produced by North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research) at the National Institutes of Health website. The Lucky Puppy
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