Friday, July 30, 2010

Want some water? First, do this . . .

Didn't know it goes on at Princeton University and now sorry to learn it does. The "it" is animal experimentation (or "research," the carefully chosen word used in recent news stories).

Media reports indicate that Princeton has been cited for 11 violations of USDA rules (through the Animal Welfare Act of 1966) for treatment of laboratory animals. The university spokesperson offered "spokesperson-speak" in response: "We're aware of it and working on it. . ." and stressed that the animal laboratories there are "immaculate."

Hey, that's great! But within that notable cleanliness, animals sometimes did not get water till they participated in "research," they were not routinely given painkilling meds after surgery, but only "as needed"; and "researchers" performed more surgeries than research proposals had spelled out. Among other violations.

All this sounds like a "tip of the iceberg" situation, especially since the USDA report found its way to the media not from Princeton, but from a group called SAEN, or "Stop Animal Exploitation Now."

To me, a really big question that newspapers probably can't answer is, why, in more than 30 years of living in "greater Princeton," did I never hear or read a word about the university's animal "research"? Could it possibly be that it was just a teeny bit hush-hush?


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