Animal Rights (Point Counterpoint) by Kevin Hile

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By Kevin Hile

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Point1 30 1/14/04 6:56 AM Page 30 ANIMAL RIGHTS named Washoe to use some sign language during the late 1960s at the University of Oklahoma’s Institute of Primate Studies. In another example, in research that was designed to develop ways to improve the communications skills of mentally handicapped children, Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, a Georgia State University professor at the Yerkes Regional Primate Center, has worked with chimpanzees, orangutans, and bonobos (a close relative of the chimp), training them over the last several decades to use a computer keyboard that allows them to synthesize spoken English.

The Silver Spring Monkeys case exposes laboratory conditions. Laboratory conditions are another big concern for animal rights groups. While many researchers keep clean labs and properly feed their animals in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act, this has not always been the case. An infamous example of researcher abuse of animals has come to be known as the Silver Spring Monkey Case. PETA cofounder Alex Pacheco, who in 1981 was studying political science and environmental studies at George Washington University, decided to gain some laboratory experience by volunteering at the Institute for Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.

In addition, chemical companies are unlikely to submit data from previously conducted animal tests that show their chemicals to be harmful. It is more likely that companies will conduct new tests with the hope that the results will be more positive this time around. 5 Another large-scale testing program that is similar to the HPV program but even greater in scope is the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP), which tests industrial chemicals for the specific purpose of seeing how they affect human hormones.

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