Animals in Research

You may think me silly, but I cannot perfectly convince myself that I am authorized in nature, or religion, to do these cruelties – for what? – for anything else than a little egotism or self-aggrandisement; and yet, what are my experiments in comparison with those which are daily done? And are done daily for nothing. –Charles Bell (1744-1842)

As physiologist Charles Bell (quoted above) noted long ago, animals who have the misfortune of being the subjects of scientific research often live lives full of what can only be described as torture. The recognition of the horror and suffering in these animals’ lives coupled with the repulsive common defense – that it is all done for our benefit, in our name – has led to this issue remaining in the forefront of animal activism for hundreds of years. While the methods of torture sometimes change (instead of being nailed alive to boards, dogs are now fed harsh chemicals in toxicity studies), the disregard for the dignity and rights of the animals remains the same.

The Alliance for Animals has been fighting for the animals in area labs since its inception. Naturally, this work has centered on the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Covance, Inc. In Milwaukee, a lesser amount of research is conducted by the Medical College of Wisconsin.


We can peek into the labs through small windows provided every now and then by reading their published papers, through the efforts of whistle-blowers, through federal inspections, lawsuits, and public records requests. When we get this glimpse, the images and stories are always chilling.

The justification for every moment of suffering in the labs is that the experiments will lead to advances in human healthcare. But this claim is suspect on two fronts.

Animals are very poor often misleading models of human disease and drug response. An insightful report on this point is available from the Medical Research Modernization Committee (MRMC). A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation.

Even if animal experimentation offered us some small hope it would still be immoral.

To get involved in our animals in research committee email us at

UW’s Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) meetings are public.

Click here to see the meeting schedules for the IACUCs: Note that meeting times, dates and location are subject to change, so it never hurts to call and confirm at 265-9241 or 262-1238.

Monkeys in Dane County

More monkeys are used in Dane County than in any city or other county in the United States. More monkeys are used in Madison than in any European nation.



The photograph used above shows one of the elderly female rhesus monkeys being used in UW vivisector Ei Terasawa’s experiments. One of her victims died when the research assistant who was required to monitor the experiment took a lunch break. The jar of artificial spinal fluid that was being pumped into and out of her brain ran dry; her death would never have become public if a USDA inspector had not randomly asked to see the notes from the Terasawa lab.

Local Breeders Supplying Dogs to Labs

Beagles are the preferred dog breed for canine animal experiments because of their docile natures. Ridglan Farms, LLC of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin breeds and raises beagle puppies by the thousands to be sent to research facilities.

That’s right. Puppies, beagle puppies.

Visit their website.

Ridglan Farm, Inc, is a USDA Class A dog breeder in Mt. Horeb, WI.

Another dog breeder for laboratory use is trying to open a breeding kennel in the town of Spring Green. For more info and to find out how to get involved in stopping them, see Dane4Dogs.