Yep, rats and mice are finally having their day. Saturday’s Wall Street Journal (the second-largest paper in the country and the most respected) features a front-page article about the work of PETA and others to gain protection for rats and mice in laboratories.
Shockingly, even though rats and mice comprise more than 95 percent of the animals used in experiments, they are specifically excluded from the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the only federal law that protects animals in laboratories. According to the U.S. government, in its infinite wisdom, rats and mice (as well as birds and “cold-blooded” animals) are not “animals.” (It’s nonsensical, we know.)
That’s why PETA has been doing end-runs around the
worthless AWA by going straight to the companies that are required to test their products and pointing out the benefits of using effective and humane alternatives. We also monitor the various government agencies’ testing programs and object every time we learn about a proposed test on animals that is redundant or for which non-animal alternatives are available. By doing this, we have been able to get dozens of tests on animals stopped (or the number of animals used greatly reduced), which has saved tens of thousands of animals’ lives.
We think it’s about time that our elected officials thought about rats and mice, don’t you? Send a message to your members of Congress demanding that rats and mice be treated like the sensitive animals (not vegetables or minerals) they are.
Written by Alisa Mullins