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The University of Bradford claim to stick to the policy of the 3R’s; Reduction, Replacement and Refinement of the use of animals in research. However, looking at the evidence of experimentation conducted by them we can say that this is nothing more than a PR guise to attempt to justify their ongoing vivisection programme. The majority of experiments conducted at Bradford University could be replaced by conducting sociological studies (gathering information from various sources and analysing the correlation between various factors and inputs).

A lot of research conducted at the University of Bradford is into addiction to various substances, for example cocaine and alcohol, by studying small animals such as rodents and guinea pigs.

However, looking at the experiments in respect to the principles of the 3R’s there was no need what so ever to use animals as there is ample data amongst the medical community, and available publicly, to see the effects of various addictions. It would merely have taken the researchers concerned to have contacted various hospitals, rehabilitation centers and so forth to gather the data needed to complete their study. However, this was not done and animals were used when they need not have been.

With regards to the certain criteria of some studies, for example that in particular focusing on whether suckling mothers preferred cocaine or their pups, the data collected from the various sources mentioned above could have been refined to focus primarily on information concerning those addicted to cocaine who are nursing.

Reduction & Refinement – It didn’t need to happen, so could have been reduced to zero animals used

Replacement – Conducting sociological studies could have replaced the use of animals completely.

The researchers concerned stated “Weight gain caused by some anti psychotics is not only confined to adults but can also adversely affect both children and adolescents. Indeed, Olanzapine and Risperidone have been associated with extreme weight gain in adolescents even greater than that reported in adults”, thus showing through the language used that they know the effects of the stated anti-psychotic drugs in the human model, so in effect the study in rodents was pointless and a waste of funds. These funds could have gone into other research of use, not animal experiments.

Secondly, it is a know fact that a number of anti-psychotic drugs have absurd side effects on patients, which has been shown when the said products were placed on the market for human consumption. So, why is it that they were passed as safe via pre-clinical trials on animals, then are being re-tested (for the 2nd time) at Bradford on animals? A) The results of the initial animal research should be available, thus more animal lives were wasted, and B) The initial studies in the animal model failed to detect those traits of many GSK, Merck Sharp Dohme, Roche etc anti-psychotics such as anxiety, further depression and suicide which have been shown when teenage patients have taken them.

Thirdly, all these pharmaceuticals are already on the market, being taken by people this very second. So, we can truthfully conclude that they have been through all the stages of Pre-clinical (animal) to Stage 3 testing. In order to determine the effects a) in rodents, and b) in humans. Why have Bradford not just asked the study sponsor for copies of all the said relevant data and thus examined that?

Fourthly, as patients nationwide will be taking the said products, why couldn’t human clinical observations be done in order to determine if these drugs cause weight gain? That way, not only could data be gathered in relation to this individual study, but other useful information could be gathered.

Below is an analysis of the drugs tested and already available information from the manufacturers:

RISPERIDONE (Janssen Cilag, followed by Teva Pharmaceuticals) has been associated with minimal to moderate weight gain, with one study finding that 26 to 38 percent of participants on the drug experienced weight gain. [Source]
Note that other serious side effects had been documented, which would not have been taken into account by the Bradford researchers in their focused study concerning weight gain.

OLANZAPINE (Manufactured by Eli Lilly & Co, tested by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) has information available in a study conducted in 2005 which revealed a long list of side effects, details of which are available here. However, it was noted that various factors such as the method of ingesting the product may influence its effects on weight gain

Ample information was available for the University of Bradford researchers to access (only a fraction of which we have focused on here due to resources) and analyse, so if they were truly dedicated to the Reduction, Replacement and Refinement of animals in research why was an alternative means of testing not used? It is clear that the use of vivisection at the UoB is for the benefit and convenience of the researchers, ie it is easier to dose a rat in a laboratory daily and document the effects than it is to contact the various institutions, manufacturers etc of the said pharmaceuticals then analyse the data concerned, followed by writing the relevant report.


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