ANIMALEARN AND ARDF JOINT PROJECT
GRANTS PROGRAM FOR ALTERNATIVES TO REPLACE ANIMALS IN EDUCATION Animalearn, AAVS’s education division, in conjunction with our scientific affiliate the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation (ARDF), have launched their Alternatives in Education Grant Program. The special grant initiative seeks proposals to develop alternatives that can replace the traditional use of animals in education and medical training. Animalearn is the number one resource for humane education and operates The Science Bank, a free science loan program of dissection and training alternatives. ARDF is a leader in the field of alternatives and funds and promotes the development, validation, and adoption of non-animal methods of investigation in biomedical research, testing, and education. “With Animalearn’s expertise in humane education and ARDF’s leadership in the development and promotion of science alternatives, this joint effort makes perfect sense,” says Laura Ducceschi, AAVS Education Director. Ducceschi explained that the motivating factor behind the Education Grant Program is to not only develop alternatives for today’s students, but also to help instill the idea of humane science in future scientists. ARDF President Sue Leary adds, “This program also supports university faculty who need to ensure that alternative methods are robust enough to stand alone in an advanced curriculum. “Moreover, when they attract grants like ours, university officials begin to view alternatives development as a funding opportunity rather than a challenge. This is a great way to make a lasting impact on higher education.” The Alternatives in Education Grant Program is offering up to $10,000 in funding to support individual projects that demonstrate scientific merit, feasibility, and the potential to significantly reduce or replace animal use in education. Grant recipients will be announced in April.
AAVS Responds to Pet Cloning Expansion in South Korea: It is NOT for the Dogs AAVS condemns the recent news that South Korean company RNL Bio Co, Ltd has amassed exclusive rights to clone dogs, using various experimental techniques, through a court-ordered settlement, and will attempt to market cloned dogs globally. It also claims that it will open a dog cloning research center in April 2010. Despite several attempts by U.S. companies, pet cloning has failed to be successful, due in part to its harmful effects on the animals used in cloning laboratories. Concerns about animal welfare are among the reasons why one U.S. pet cloning company operating in South Korea shut down. The failed company’s CEO admitted that many cloned puppies, if they survive birth, suffer serious medical conditions, and/or do not have the desired physical appearance. He divulged that in some cases, multiple puppies were
born through cloning, but only one cloned dog was sought, leaving the lab with a “surplus” of unwanted dogs. Perhaps most disturbing was his suggestion that the surrogate mother dogs, after being surgically impregnated with clones and giving birth, might be slaughtered for food. AAVS has continually sought to educate the public about our strong concerns about animal cloning. We view the latest news not as progress but an expansion of a fringe industry that has been well-characterized as inhumane and controversial. There does not appear to be a strong law regarding the use of animals in laboratories in South Korea, and, therefore, these experiments will continue to proceed largely, if not totally, unregulated. AAVS urges pet lovers and the media not to be duped by false promises and quirky news stories, and to consider the ethical ramifications of such endeavors.
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