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Animal-protection supporters protest GRU's dog experiments

Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 2:56 PM
Last updated Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 12:41 AM
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With chants and homemade signs, about 30 picketers stood across from the 15th Street entrance to Geor­gia Regents University on Friday and protested the Col­lege of Dental Medicine’s use of animals for scientific research.

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Protesters gather at the corner of Laney Walker Blvd. and 15th Street to protest against GRU's use of dogs in medical research.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Protesters gather at the corner of Laney Walker Blvd. and 15th Street to protest against GRU's use of dogs in medical research.

Waving at the passing traffic, the protesters – a handful with pet dogs in tow – held signs that read “Humanity: not just for humans” and “Dogs should not die for dentures.”

The protest was sparked by a Humane Society of the Uni­ted States undercover investigation released Wednesday that showed GRU had purchased six dogs for dental implant experiments from a dealer repeatedly cited by the federal government. The dealer is under investigation for violating the Animal Welfare Act. The investigation also showed GRU might have not gotten proper approval for the experiments, required by law.

Several protesters said they understand that some animal testing is necessary for medical advancements, but they believe GRU’s experiment appears to have been for cosmetic purposes – not to save lives.

“This isn’t vital testing; this isn’t neurology testing; this isn’t anything that will prevent death for patients; this is pure vanity,” said Dennis Briatico, who took Jack, his 14-year-old terrier rescue, to the protest on the corner of 15th Street and Laney-Walker Boulevard. “They’re trying to make their product better than the competitor, and they should be ashamed of themselves.”

The protest was organized by the local group Helping Animal Rights Through Education. Briatico is organizing a second protest for Dec. 7, with participation being rallied through Face­book. Briatico said protesters will meet at 11th and Broad streets at 10 a.m. and march to the GRU dental school.

Evan Brown, 20, said he had an issue with the university’s conducting an experiment that is painful for the animals when there are already Food and Drug Administration-approved products on the market. If the university did not have the diligence to make sure their animal dealer was clean, Brown said, he doubted it would take the time to monitor pain management.

“Legal or not, it shouldn’t be done,” said Brown, with his pit bull terrier Scout by his side.

In a response to the controversy, GRU e-mailed a universitywide memo Friday stating that an undercover video released with the investigation “misrepresents the realities of scientific studies conducted at GRU.”

It also said the school recognizes its ethical and legal responsibility towards animals involved in research.

“GRU will continue to strive to provide the most humane treatment of animals in our care,” the memo stated.

At the protest, the group waved to passing cars for about an hour and a half and shouted pleas to end animal testing.

“Shame on you, GRU!” they chanted. “Let the dogs go! Let the dogs go!”

Breeda O’Mahoney, a member of the animal-protection group, said she believes there is no reason for animal testing with so many alternatives and advances in medicine today.

She said she hopes the protest will shed light on suffering and potentially persuade GRU to stop the practice altogether. O’Mahoney waved at cars and raised a sign with words that let people know why:

“Unseen they suffer, unheard they cry, in agony they linger, in loneliness they die.”

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TheGeorgian
403
Points
TheGeorgian 11/22/13 - 04:23 pm
6
4
Shame!

All that senseless blather about what to CALL the university and behind the scenes the hidden shame. Use the professors for guina pigs, not the animals!

RMSHEFF
15160
Points
RMSHEFF 11/22/13 - 05:15 pm
9
2
I drove by the protesters

I drove by the protesters this afternoon and one was holding a sign that said "stop the Holocaust ".
No one wants to see unnecessary suffering of animals however I wish these people had this same passion for the murder of 55 million unborn children. God help us because we have our priorities all mixed up.

Red Headed Step Child
4022
Points
Red Headed Step Child 11/22/13 - 05:19 pm
5
2
Alternative

Perhaps an alternative would be to do said testing on death row inmates? Oh....that won't work. That whole "cruel and unusual" thing...gets in the way every time.

Fiat_Lux
14984
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/23/13 - 02:52 am
8
2
The sheer stupidity of this is quite alarming,

especially given that these intellectual giants probably believe sincere, practicing Christians have regressive attitudes toward modern science.

Fortunately, all their uninformed drama and hyperbole won't make the slightest bit of difference.

"It is," to quote someone quite famous, "a tale told...full of sound and fury signifying nothing."

Dixieman
13821
Points
Dixieman 11/22/13 - 08:18 pm
9
7
Hmmmm.

I really like the sign (second photo above) that reads, "Humanity: Not just for humans," which makes no sense whatsoever.
But then, neither does this foolish protest.

Pops
7500
Points
Pops 11/22/13 - 09:17 pm
6
5
I love it

""At the protest, the group waved to passing cars for about an hour and a half and shouted pleas to end animal testing."" I saw them all later at McDonald's eating McNuggets.......

Stunned 2
3545
Points
Stunned 2 11/22/13 - 10:12 pm
3
2
Hosea 2:18

Hosea 2:18
In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety

Little Lamb
44796
Points
Little Lamb 11/22/13 - 10:54 pm
3
3
Hosea

Yeah, Stunned, that's Kingdom talk. It's not time yet. Perhaps tomorrow.

445
Points
Lakeside95 11/23/13 - 01:03 am
6
2
Yet not one

Yet not one of those 'protestors' understands or is concerned that the video evidence is propaganda. Just as a video done by GRU would be suspect, any video made by an animal rights organization should be looked at with the same questioning.

But alas, real research and investigations take time. We all know here in Augusta the guilty are guilty by media and innocence is a difficult thing to prove.

thauch12
6341
Points
thauch12 11/23/13 - 02:39 am
7
4
A village somewhere is

A village somewhere is missing its idiots...

Fiat_Lux
14984
Points
Fiat_Lux 11/23/13 - 02:58 am
4
2
I really hate it when someone distorts Scripture...

to push their own, narrow agenda, whether they are believers of some stripe or not.

I doubt you are protesting lions because they all, to the very last one, still obstinately refuse to view lambs as anything but lunch.

seenitB4
83988
Points
seenitB4 11/23/13 - 08:11 am
3
2
Now just think

If they would protest taxes at the same time...wow

South Augusta you might need to talk to them....2 birds & 1 stone kind of thing.

agustinian
678
Points
agustinian 11/23/13 - 08:16 am
2
1
Just Administrative Error?

GRU wants to write this off as just an "administrative oversight" -- but if they cut corners on vetting who they dealt with to procure the test animals, what other corners did they cut in the name of "medical research"?

Animal testing is necessary for much of our medical advancements, but because of prior abuses and concern for humane treatment of animals who will be sacrificed, the administrative processes put in place should not be viewed as just "bureaucratic paperwork" to pencil whip.

Get out front of this, and tell people how you will fix this!

FoxRox
13
Points
FoxRox 11/23/13 - 10:40 am
3
1
Big Improvement

Trust me, folks...GRU and MCG have always followed protocols and were within state and federal laws regarding use of animals in research. Fortunately they no longer allow medical students to participate in a surgery elective, performing splenectomy and various other surgeries on dogs, as they did in the late 70s. Even then when med students regularly used dogs to practice surgery, strict protocols were in place and nothing illegal or immoral ensued. These dogs were often in pounds and scheduled for euthanasia and if they could help researchers find better treatments for disease, then they did not die in vain.

grumpy123
17
Points
grumpy123 11/23/13 - 11:29 am
2
3
Animal Testing

I am an animal rights activist. I do not consume animal products because I do not believe in exploiting animals in any way, shape or form. There is absolutely no moral justification.
I'm fairly sure that the people that feel it is necessary are brainwashed by corporations and the media into feeling the way they do.
It's difficult to look at yourself in the mirror and acknowledge that you have caused any kind of suffering. I know it was extremely hard for me to admit that by accepting the information I had been spoon fed for years, I was contributing to animal suffering.
I have chosen animal rights as my primary focus because I feel like that is where I can do the most good. There are so many just causes to fight. I support many of them. I will live my life making amends for the blind suffering I have caused by my ignorant choices. Every time I see a cattle truck driving toward the slaughter house my heart sinks because I know what those beautiful beings are facing. Every time I purchase a product, I make sure that it contains no animal products and has not been tested on animals. I know that those simple actions are not enough. Therefore I use my voice and live my life to hopefully bring about change.
This planet is capable of supporting all earthlings. It belongs equally to each and every inhabitant. We must make the hard choice to accept what we have done and make the changes necessary to be a part of the planet - not the exploiter of it.

Stunned 2
3545
Points
Stunned 2 11/23/13 - 12:44 pm
3
1
My heart sinks when I see a cattle truck on the road, also.

My heart sinks when I see a cattle truck on the road, also. My parents & grandparents grew up on farms in nearby rural Georgia. They rarely ate beef. They mostly lived on vegetarian diets (farming). Beef and pork were not mass marketed or available at the town's grocery store. They grew up eating mostly their own farm-raised pork, if they had 'meat' at all, or fish from fresh-water rivers, if they had time to go fishing. Both were not daily staples on their dinner table. Not so many generations ago, refrigeration was not available. Big business (chain restaurants, grocery stores) has encouraged and promoted this horrible diet to fatten their own wallets.

Dixieman
13821
Points
Dixieman 11/23/13 - 07:43 pm
3
3
As soon as I find the organization called

Animals for the Ethical Treatment of People I might consider joining up!

Bizkit
30133
Points
Bizkit 11/23/13 - 08:45 pm
1
2
Right Stunned you'd be happy

Right Stunned you'd be happy living in a cave killing poor innocent plants-which are just as "alive" as any animal-and the basis of all food chains. It is the nature of our biology-we are omnivores. Not herbivores-and it is difficult to get a balanced amino acid protein mix with plants as most aren't complete like animal proteins-so you have to eat the right combination of plants to get all the essential amino acids you need. Nature and Biology can seem cruel-like watching a pack of coyotes take down a deer and they start eating him before he is dead. And how many dogs have turned on their masters killing them or their children. It's nature. I found a pack of dogs killed and ate one of their pack-these were pinned not wild.

Bizkit
30133
Points
Bizkit 11/23/13 - 08:49 pm
2
2
All the anti-science zealots

All the anti-science zealots lament for the ole days of no electricity or fossil fuels. The days of the depression when people were starving and had squat. Must of been great.

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