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GRU to stop buying dogs from questionable dealers

Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 10:41 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 2:09 AM
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To maintain access to federal research funding, Georgia Regents Uni­versity officials said Monday that they will no longer purchase dogs from controversial Class B dealers, who pick animals from shelters or free-to-good-home ads and sell them to laboratories.
The National Institutes of Health began a plan to phase out the practice in 2011 and announced in December that it would not fund research involving dogs from Class B dealers beginning Oct. 1.

The NIH issued a similar rule for cats beginning October 2012 and said labs must obtain these animals from other legal sources, such as Class A dealers that breed animals specifically for research or animals participating in veterinary clinical trials.

GRU’s announcement comes almost two months after the Humane Society of the United States published findings from an undercover investigation into dental implant experiments on dogs at the school. The Humane Society showed GRU had for years purchased dogs from a Class B dealer who has multiple federal citations and is under investigation for allegations of violating the Animal Welfare Act.

Humane Society officials called for the university to stop buying from Class B dealers and to end “frivolous” and “cosmetic” dental implant experiments.

Kathleen Conlee, the organization’s vice president of animal research issues, said Monday that she was happy about the new policy but that more aggressive change is needed.

The experiments witnessed by the Hu­mane Society last year were privately funded and would not have been affected by the NIH rule. Conlee said she wants the university to discontinue the use of Class B dealers no matter the funding source.

“It’s a good step in the right direction, but there’s still a lot of things we’re trying to see change,” she said. “We
want the dental experiments to end.”

Since at least 2010, researchers have been using dogs to develop an antimicrobial coating that would prevent infection from colonizing dental implants.

University officials have vehemently defended the research as an effort to solve a serious medical issue.

In the experiments witnessed by the Humane So­cie­ty, six dogs had their teeth removed and dental implants surgically placed in their mouths. They were euthanized eight weeks later so their jaw bones could be studied.

Dogs are used because their jaw size and teeth allow for a better comparison to humans, and the type of disease and bone loss they experience is similar to what humans would experience, university officials said.

According to documents obtained by The Augusta Chron­icle, GRU most recently purchased four dogs in October from Class B dealer Kenneth Schroeder, who is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

On Monday, Conlee urged GRU to relinquish these four dogs to local rescues “so they can be placed in loving homes.”

Although GRU officials have not said they will end dental experiments on dogs, a local movement has budded from the issues revealed by the Humane Society.

The organization also published an investigation that showed about 50 primates were being denied social housing and that many showed signs of severe psychological distress from a lack of enrichment.

Dennis Briatico, 36, of North Augusta, helped organize a Dec. 7 march of about 100 protesters from the Augusta Judicial Center to the GRU College of Dental Med­icine to demand the school end the experiments.

He is planning another rally for Feb. 15 at Augusta Common to raise awareness about animal testing at GRU and to promote animal rescue and adoption.

He said while there is still much work to be done, the testing at GRU has sparked more awareness about animal welfare in the community.
“There’s no number I can put on it, but the protest has saved a lot of animals,” he said. “It has spread awareness about animal adoption, and it caused animal lovers in the community to come together and foster shelter dogs. It has really all been worth it.”

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nocnoc 01/07/14 - 07:35 am
I see MCG threw ASUS/PETA a Bone.

But it is a 1/2 bone I have to agree with.

Former Family Pets have no place in Animal research.
But then neither does killing a family pet because someone decided they picked wrong, or that cute little fuzz ball grew up, is not right for them either.

Some type of $$$$ and moral responsibility needs to be accepted by pet owners that DUMP their pets. At the least insuring the pet does have a good 2nd home.

An NO, a New Law is not the answer.
No Law teaches morals, responsibility or social behavior.
Such Human Traits have to be taught at home.

On another Note
Anyone else fed up with all the Animal Misery picture Ads being used to collect donations over the holidays? To me, when you boil it down, aren't these Animal people profiting from Abused animals in using such ads wrong? eg. When someone draws a $50K++ ASUS/PETA annual salary and the $$$ comes from Pictures of Animals neglect and torture aren't they PIMPING Abused animals for self gain?

grumpy123 01/07/14 - 07:56 am
Animal Testing

Congratulations to GRU for taking a small step in realizing the errors of their ways.
Now, look further. NO ANIMALS wish to be used as test subjects. Animal testing is completely unnecessary.
The practice of medicine is supposed to be about healing. It is hypocritical to harm.
End the Animal Holocaust Now!

GiantsAllDay 01/07/14 - 11:39 am
I watched the movie

I watched the movie 'Blackfish' over the weekend. Another example of greedy humans profiting from defenseless animals.

WalterBradfordCannon 01/07/14 - 11:54 am
The real impact of this is

The real impact of this is being hidden. Class B dogs are dogs that were not bred to be used in research. They are leftovers and castaways that would otherwise be euthanized. Class A dogs are dogs bred for research. Banning the use of Class B dogs GUARANTEES that more dogs will be euthanized, not less. In addition, for projects in which Class B animals are suitable. they cost much less.

The net effect of these efforts is that MORE dogs will be killed, and it will cost MORE money to do research. Win, win!

Esctab 01/07/14 - 06:09 pm
The NIH investigated the use

The NIH investigated the use of random source dogs and Class B dealers; their conclusions are available in report that can found at:

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