Reposted from Primfocus listserv:
Jane Goodall - 'To find other ways'
By JOEL MILLS of the Tribune
PULLMAN -- World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall on Thursday condemned
the use of animals in scientific experiments during a visit to Washington
State University, a school that performs such experiments.
"I think we have to find other ways of doing experiments, other than using
live animals, as soon as we can," said Goodall, 72, who earned fame for her
decades of up-close work with the chimpanzees of Tanzania. "And while we are
using them, they should be kept in much, much, much better conditions than
Biologist Kenneth Kardong defended WSU programs using animals for research.
He chairs the university's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee,
which reviews proposals for research involving animals.
"They (researchers) are required to explain why they must use animals, and
not some alternative means of testing the hypothesis that is in front of
them," Kardong said. "They cannot start testing until they get this
Kardong said the committee looks at factors like the levels of stress,
discomfort or pain an animal must endure during experiments. Such committees
are required by federal law, he said, but WSU goes beyond those
For example, the law requires two members of the committee review each
proposal. WSU uses four members for some of the more complicated proposals,
he said, so a wider range of opinion is considered. And the committee
includes a community member, a bioethicist and a veterinarian, requirements
not included in law.
During a morning news conference at the WSU Alumni Center, Goodall said
there is not enough incentive for abandoning animal testing. "Where are the
Nobel Prizes for the alternatives to the use of animals?" she asked.
"They're not there. And very often, there's a sort of implicit desire to
maintain the status quo, because it's easier that way."
But Kardong said all the incentives in animal research are pointing away
from its continued use. "In addition to the simple ethics of it, there's the
expense of it," he said, adding his belief that invasive animal research
would eventually be phased out at WSU.
Noninvasive research for teaching and species preservation will continue, he
said. Examples would be a veterinary student doing practice physical exams
on live cats or dogs, placing big horn sheep in pens with diseased sheep to
figure out how sicknesses are transmitted to wild populations, or performing
basic research on threatened species, he said.
"We're going to have to have basic data on those animals in order to develop
management programs that help us to save them."
Kardong said while he has a deep admiration for Goodall's work, he wished
she had chosen her words more carefully. "She's been very important in some
of the behavioral studies of some of these great chimpanzees in particular,"
he said. "I'm sorry it comes from a person who really should know better."
WSU has come under fire from animal rights activists several times for its
animal-based research. In 1991, research offices and animal holding pens
were vandalized. And it has been criticized for buying dogs scheduled to be
euthanized from shelters, and for using live, anesthetized goats to study
Goodall said she was raised in a Christian family that wasn't particularly
religious. But after her experiences in the forest at Tanzania's Gombe
preserve, she began to believe all living things have something akin to a
"I was there for a long time alone. And the sort of feeling that I got when
I was out in the forest is that there's a little spark of this great spirit
power in each living thing. And if it's a soul in us (humans), then I think
the chimpanzees also have souls."
Goodall was in Pullman to deliver the annual Lane Family Lecture in
Environmental Science. Speaking Thursday evening at Beasley Coliseum,
Goodall outlined her four reasons for hope the world can recover its
environmental heritage: humans are smart, young people are determined, the
human spirit is indomitable and nature is resilient.
The annual lecture is endowed by a gift from L.W. (Bill) Lane, former
publisher of "Sunset" magazine, and his wife Jean.
Mills may be contacted at [email protected] or at (208) 883-0564