Campaign update: End radiation experiments on animals at MCW

July 25, 2106

CAARE’s investigation continues into appallingly cruel radiation experiments on animals at Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW).  

Many hundreds of caring people have written to MCW to protest these terrible experiments and call for their end.

If you have not done so yet, please send your letter to the Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) at Medical College of Wisconsin to ask that this research be suspended.

In multiple experiments, rats were subjected to high doses of radiation, resulting in slow and agonizing deaths. Animals suffered for weeks before they died after prolonged suffering, struggling to breathe from lungs that were severely scarred from radiation. Post mortem analysis showed that the so much fluid had accumulated in the rats’ lungs that the weight of their lungs more than doubled.

Some experiments simultaneously subjected rats to skin irradiation, causing extensive burns as shown in photos from the published research. No pain medication was administered in any of these experiments.


Photo: Medical College of Wisconsin

The radiation experiments at MCW have received nearly $2.5 million from tax-payers since 2013 and are scheduled to receive additional funding through 2017.

Last week, CAARE submitted a detailed, seven-page letter to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at MCW describing how these experiments duplicate years of previous research, failed to administer proper pain-relieving medications to suffering animals, and failed to euthanize animals in a timely manner. A copy of this letter was also sent to the federal Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), to investigate these experiments and suspend them for their multiple failures.

While rats are not protected under the Animal Welfare Act, they are covered under the Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy), which is overseen by OLAW and requires that any research receiving federal grant money comply with certain requirements.
rat_view_from_above.jpgThese include requiring the use of pain relieving drugs in experiments that are anticipated to cause more than momentary distress, and applying humane criteria for timely euthanasia.

Additionally, under the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, which directs PHS policy, researchers are required to avoid unnecessary duplication of experiments and to consider alternatives to the use of animals.

CAARE’s letter presented information on cutting-edge science and technology that enables research into developing treatments for radiation poisoning without cruel and ineffective animal experiments.

Please send your letter today to the oversight committee at Medical College of Wisconsin so that we can keep the pressure on to end these egregious experiments. Please keep all comments polite to foster productive communication.

Thank you for taking action for animals today!

Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research (CAARE), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization,  established to highlight and promote research without animals.


Your donation of $10 or more helps carry out our mission to speak up for animals in laboratories, and to reduce animal suffering by disseminating information about the power and progress of research without animals.