Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Animal Experiments More Stressful Than Previously Recognized

Date:
January 14, 2005
Source:
Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine
Summary:
Mice, rabbits, rats, beagles, geese, and other animals all show measurable physiological stress responses to routine laboratory procedures that have been up until now viewed as relatively benign. The findings come in a new report published in Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science, based on an extensive review of the scientific literature by ethologist Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D., of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

WASHINGTON -- Mice, rabbits, rats, beagles, geese, and other animals all show measurable physiological stress responses to routine laboratory procedures that have been up until now viewed as relatively benign. The findings come in a new report published in Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science, based on an extensive review of the scientific literature by ethologist Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D., of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). For example, a mouse who is picked up and briefly held experiences several physiological reactions. As stress-response hormones flood the bloodstream, the mouse exhibits a racing pulse and a spike in blood pressure. These symptoms can persist for up to an hour after each event. Immune response is also affected. In rats and mice, the growth of tumors is strongly influenced by how much the animals are handled.

Dr. Balcombe's paper appears in the journal's current issue, Autumn 2004, available mid-December.

Until now, humane concerns focused mainly on the experiments themselves. The new findings suggest that routine procedures, such as blood draws and use of stomach tubes, are terrifying for animals. "In essence, there is no such thing as a humane animal experiment," says Dr. Balcombe. "Fear or panic ensues when the animal is touched or stuck with a needle."

The paper, a review of 80 previously published studies, is titled, "Laboratory Routines Cause Animal Stress," and focuses on three routine procedures: handling, blood collection and force-feeding. Independent of the invasive experiments themselves, these daily routines can cause an animal to experience elevated bloodstream concentrations of corticosterone, prolactin, glucose, and epinephrine, all indicators of stress. Impaired immune response has also been recorded in animals after anxiety-producing contact with lab personnel.

"Research on tumor development, immune function, endocrine and cardiovascular disorders, neoplasms, developmental defects, and psychological phenomena are particularly vulnerable to data being contaminated by animals' stress effects," notes Dr. Balcombe.

Dr. Balcombe's study follows closely a recent paper in the British Medical Journal, titled "Where Is the Evidence that Animal Research Benefits Humans?" The authors found that in many cases trials on humans were conducted concurrently with the animal studies and in other instances, clinical trials went ahead despite evidence of harm from the animal studies.

###

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, especially good nutrition. PCRM also conducts clinical research studies, opposes unethical human experimentation, and promotes alternatives to animal research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine. "Animal Experiments More Stressful Than Previously Recognized." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111163805.htm>.
Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine. (2005, January 14). Animal Experiments More Stressful Than Previously Recognized. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111163805.htm
Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine. "Animal Experiments More Stressful Than Previously Recognized." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050111163805.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins