Guest Opinion: Claims of University of Iowa animal abuse are unfounded


Gaoyuan Pan

The Carver College of Medicine is pictured on April 4, 2018.

The University of Iowa has shown a commitment to abiding by animal-welfare laws when performing research.

The animal-rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now is working overtime to generate headlines about the University of Iowa. But before rushing to judgment, consider two things.

First, a full examination of the already publicly available documents distributed by the group do not support its claims of abuse. Instead, they illustrate an intense, ongoing commitment by the university to provide good animal care. Take for instance the most significant document, which accounts for 82 percent of the animals that the group raises concerns about. It explains the reasons behind the unfortunate loss of a school of fish being used for health studies. In this case, an animal-care technician proactively sought to reduce high pH levels in the tank in which the animals were living and made a mistake in doing so. Most readers will likely agree that an error by a well-meaning employee who spots and attempts to fix an issue is regrettable … but not abuse.

RELATED: The UI is accused of neglecting the death of 244 animals in lab experiments

Second, that there are a large number of documents pertaining to animal care at the university and available to the animal group and anyone else, also demonstrates something. This large volume of information shows that the university is committed to meeting and even exceeding our nation’s many animal-welfare laws and regulations that help ensure research animals are treated with care and respect.

— Jim Newman

Communications director

Americans for Medical Progress

RELATED: University of Iowa research facility scrutinized by animal rights activists for dead ferrets

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