Animals in laboratories
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1995:
The USDA hopes to soon replace the present system of
classifying animal dealers, Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service officer Steve Smith told ANIMAL PEOPLE on January 3.
All commercial animal breeders other than farmers now receive Class
A permits; those who sell animals they do not breed themselves are
issued Class B permits. A common misperception is that “Class B
dealer” is synonymous with shadowy characters who sell stolen pets to
laboratories, but in fact about three-fourths of the 1,280 current Class
B permit holders are in the pet trade; no more than 75, according to
Smith, sell dogs and cats to labs, and of those, fewer still sell “ran-
dom source” animals. Under the anticipated regulatory amendment,
there will be nine different permit categories, each of which is specific
to the nature of the permit-holder’s business.
Ohio State University Institutional Laboratory Animal Care
and Use Committee chair Richard Tailman said January 20 that some
researchers had left the faculty because of a December 21 Ohio state
supreme court ruling that OSU must disclose the names of the estimat-
ed 450 animal experimenters on campus, who in 1994 used 39,540
animals in about 1,500 projects. About $28 million was spent on ani-
mal research at OSU, of which $3.8 million went toward animal care.
Magananin Pharmaceuticals is now testing an anti-impeti-
go drug derived from peptides produced by the African clawed toad.
Megananin hopes to duplicate the success of ACE inhibitors, a class
of heart drug synthesized in emulation of a substance found in the
venom of Brazilian pit vipers. The first ACE inhibitor to be marketed,
Capoten, entered use in 1981. It earned $1.8 billion last year for the
maker, Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Researchers from the British Medical Research Council
and Osaka University in Japan announced on January 19 that they
had hybridized human and crocodile hemoglobin molecules, an
important step toward creating an oxygen-enriched form of artificial
blood, under development by the Colorado-based pharmaceutical firm
Somatogen. Crocodilian blood absorbs far more oxygen than the
blood of most land animals, enabling them to stay underwater for
longer without breathing.
A January 22 expose in the London-based S u n d a y
Express revealed that Shamrock Farm, a laboratory animal supplier in
West Sussex, England, has at least once accidentally imported the
deadly hepatitis-B virus along with shipments of crab-eating
macaques. Reporters Mark Porter and Helene Feger warned that the
even more lethal Ebola and Marburg viruses could arrive the same
way. Both have crossed from apes to humans in Africa. However,
said Charles River Laboratories United Kingdom managing director
Alan Smith, Shamrock Farm has handled only purpose-bred
macaques from Malaysia and the Philippines since 1993. Shamrock
Farm is a subsidiary of Charles River, which is in turn a subsidiary of
Bauch and Laumb, a leading maker of optical products.