Image by Anke Gladnick
In 1981, Alex Pacheco went undercover at the laboratory of Dr. Edward Taub, a neuroplasticity researcher conducting experiments on macaque monkeys.
Alex Pacheco: The first activist thing I did in DC when I moved there was to do what I always did when I got to a new town, I’d go to the dog pound.
Edward Taub: Alex Pacheco was a student at George Washington University,1 and he came in one day and offered to volunteer.
Alex: The head of the dog pound, her name was Ingrid Newkirk.
Ingrid Newkirk: He was also a vegan, and I was not. I was a vegetarian, and he teased me about putting milk in my tea. I had a cup of tea every morning, and I put condensed milk in it and he said, “Do you eat veal?” And I said, “Of course, I don’t. We haven’t eaten veal in my house since I was seven.” And he said, “But there’s a little bit of veal in every glass of milk.” I looked at him as if he was crazy, and he explained, he said, “Do you think there are retirement homes for cows?” Well, I guess not. And he said, “Why do you think there’s a veal industry? It’s because you have to do something with the calves when you take them away from the mother so that you can steal the milk that nature intended for them and sell it.”2 “Uh-oh, can’t have milk in the tea then, can I?”
Alex: She was 10 years older than me, so she was more savvy than me. I was still 20 years old or something at the time, and we got along so well, we started dating. We became boyfriend and girlfriend full on for five years. We agreed on everything.
Edward: Why it was important not to buy things tested on animals, not to wear leather shoes, those kinds of things. Just-
Alex: All the critical stuff. And that’s why we started PETA.3
Ingrid: We were going to call it Justice for Non-Humans, and we ended up calling it People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.4
Alex: The first big case that put PETA on the map was when I decided to work undercover in an animal laboratory that was funded by the federal government.5 I’d read books about it and many articles about the atrocities committed against animals in laboratories, these torture chambers. But I’d never been in a laboratory myself. I wanted to be able to speak about the cruelty firsthand so I’m not just relying on something that I read in a book. I’ve seen them myself, I’m not exaggerating, this is exactly what I saw.
And so I thought, “Well, why don’t I just go work in a laboratory. Duh.” So I got a list of all the federal laboratories in the country. Went down that list trying to see if I could recognize any towns or any addresses. And sure enough, there was a laboratory in Silver Spring. So that was one closest to where I lived.
I was driving a really old white beat up Toyota. I remember driving this beat up car to the laboratory, and this was the first time I’d ever worked undercover in a place. So I started to get a little nervous. I was pretty much just winging it. It just looked like the back wall of a row of warehouses all adjacent to each other, and one of them just had a steel metal door that had a small sign on it that said “IBR.” That stood for the Institute for Behavioral Research, and that was the name of the laboratory. I remember knocking on this metal door. A man answered the door. He was in a white laboratory coat with glasses, well-groomed, short black hair, very soft spoken, and it turned out to be Dr. Taub.
Edward: Alex rang the front door of my laboratory.
Alex: I introduce myself.
Edward: He seemed like a personable young man.
Alex: I told him my real name, told him I was a student at George Washington University at the time.
Edward: He told me that he was interested in pursuing a medical career.
Alex: And I remember he put his hand on his chin and thought a bit and said, “Okay, come on in.” He took me into his office, which is at the front of the laboratory. I remember him saying, “Why do you want to, why do you want to do this?”
Edward: He wanted to find out what it was like to do medical research.
Alex: And I told him that, “Yes, I was looking for work. Are they hiring?” And he said, “Nope, we’re not hiring.”
Edward: However, if he was interested in volunteering, I would be glad to give him an experiment to do, give him an experience what research was like.
Alex: He then started to walk me through the laboratory. I had no idea what to expect. I’d never been in a laboratory before. The place smelled funny, but it didn’t, it smelled sort of just like a dog pound. But then he took me into this one room. The stench was so strong, it almost knocked me out. Three sides of the room are just cages from floor to ceiling. The animals were way worse off than I was expecting. They had huge injuries, big lacerations.6 I was just totally fucking shocked. It was just, I didn’t expect that at all. When we got closer to the cages, I could see that they were all [inaudible 00:06:09] macaques. They’re used in laboratories to a great extent.7 And the reason why they are used is because they are hard to kill. You don’t want the animals to die until the experiment is finished.
Yeah. So if you, if you could tell us what’s the actual sort of research that you were doing in the 70s and up to 1981. Tell me about the laboratory. Just describe what it looked like and then if you could describe the research being done with the monkeys.
Edward: Well there are cages and the monkeys are in the cages. It’s a colony room. There’s the central open area, and then outside of the colony room, there are experimental rooms where the monkeys are taken, and we trained them. Otherwise, it was a standard monkey laboratory. I mean, honestly I’m not, it may be that it’s years ago, but I’m close to it, and I don’t understand what there is to describe.
Alex: This is exactly what happens. They would get a group of monkeys, and they were crippled intentionally by Dr. Taub.
Edward: We had a neurosurgical suite.
Alex: Dr. Taub puts the animal under anesthesia and puts the animal on an operating table.
Edward: Neural innovation of the arm-
Alex: Face down-
Edward: Enters the spinal cord in two roots-
Alex: And then he cuts open the back of the neck.
Edward: They’re segregated at the spinal cord-
Alex: With a scalpel, of course, and then cuts nerves in the neck.
Edward: If you sever the dorsal root, you can eliminate sensation without affecting the motor innovation.8
Alex: An entire arm goes dead or a leg or both arms or one arm and one leg. Each animal was surgically mutilated in a different way.9 10 He would always use the word deafferentation. He always spoke in very clinical terms. So he intentionally crippled the animals.
Edward: Then the monkeys were kept in cages. We took them out. Each day we put them in a restraining chair.
Alex: It’s like an electric chair. Imagine a man in an electric chair.
Edward: While they were in the restraining chair-
Alex: Totally strapped down.
Edward: And we did our training procedures.
Alex: They had modified a refrigerator to give electric shocks. So they would put the monkey in the electric chair, and they would put a tube of toothpaste in his crippled hand, and then they would roll the chair into the refrigerator, shut the door, and start giving electric shock. Only way he could stop it was to squeeze that toothpaste tube with his crippled hand.
Edward: The monkey had to learn to flex it’s deafferented arm in order to avoid electric shock when he heard the sound of a buzzer.
Alex: And it wouldn’t stop until he did that.
Edward: After the monkeys got shocked once, twice, they never experienced that again. They avoided the negative consequence by learning to flex the deafferented arm.
Alex: Sometimes they would break their arms, their own arms when they were in the chair trying to stop the electric shocks.11
Overall, the big picture, the big experiment was to find ways to get these animals to use their crippled arms, to take a crippled, useless arm and make it so that the monkey could use it for something, to grab a piece of food or anything like that in the hopes that we would be able to teach a human how to regain the use of their crippled arm. That’s the whole idea.
Edward: Sure. Now I should point out that these animals were deafferented, so there was no pain in the arm no matter what happened to the arm the animals could not experience pain.12
Alex: The more time I spent there, the worse and worse it got.
Paul was probably the oldest monkey there. I came in one day, Paul was collapsed on the floor of his cage unconscious. So I ran and got my boss. My boss pulls him out of the cage, puts him on the floor and we see, Oh, holy crap, he’s bitten off every finger on his hand, right at the palm.13 These perfectly circular blood patches where a finger used to. And if that wasn’t bad enough, then were bones sticking out of the palm of his hand.
Edward: The discomfort of those monkeys, and there was no discomfort gave rise to the development of CI therapy, which has now been used with over a million patients after stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and other types of damage to the nervous system.14 This approach has improved the lives of many thousands of children with spinal bifida who would have had a tremendously diminished quality of life without it.15 My 1993 article introducing CI therapy16 is the most cited article in the field of rehabilitation in the last 30 years.17 That paper is now recognized as being one of the foundational papers of rehabilitation psychology. There are now seven such papers. This research is responsible for the treatment that has resulted in the benefit 18 of millions of people worldwide.19
Alex: While I’m working in the laboratory, less than 10 miles away I’m speaking at demonstrations and protests and rallies which are being covered by the news, so I thought it’s just a matter of time before they put two and two together. I remember seeing an issue, a copy of Lab Animal on top of the filing cabinet in the hallway. Lab Animal is a magazine that sells guillotines and electrodes, that sells all the instruments of torture. In that magazine, there was a picture of me leading a protest, so that really put the pressure on to figure out a way to get these animals out of here as fast as possible because any minute now I was convinced they were going to figure it out, and I’d be caught.
Ingrid: When he went in and he saw how hideous it was, it was quite clear we needed to take some kind of action and in order to do that, we needed to document it so that we could take our photographs to the police and to experts.
Alex: We have to now start building a case.
Ingrid: Day after day after day, this is the hell those monkeys are living in.
Edward: One day he came to me and said that he needed to work for pay during the day to pay for his tuition for the next year. He thought that he could do the work I had assigned him at night and would I give him the key to the laboratory? I agreed because earning money for tuition seemed like a very worthy objective.
Alex: Yeah. So I would just come up with reasons why I would need to be in the laboratory at night. When I would go in at night, I would just bring in great big old cameras. The problem was that they had a silent alarm in the laboratory. A couple of times I triggered the silent alarm. So I’d quickly hide my equipment, make my way to the back door, open up the back door and there would be two cops. I simply told them, “Hey, I’m working here. And I triggered the silent alarm by accident. Sorry.” And each time they just said, “Okay.” So it got to the point where I decided I needed a look out. So Ingrid, my girlfriend, she agreed to be the lookout.
Ingrid: My role was actually to sit in a parked car.
Alex: My old beat up Toyota.
Ingrid: Out by the dumpster.
Alex: Right by the door.
Ingrid: In a huge cardboard box with slits for the eyes and a Radio Shack walkie-talkie.
Alex: These walkie-talkies that are like two feet long and in order to get it to work you’ve got to pull out the antenna. The antenna is like three feet long. So in all this things like four or five feet long.
Ingrid: And if anybody came along to the back door, then I could try to reach him inside to warn him that someone was entering the building.
Alex: Plus Ingrid knew a guy whose name I won’t disclose who we’ve, I took this, oh, I just call him Mike. That is his name actually. So she knew this guy Mike, and he was able to disarm the silent alarm. That made life a lot easier.
Ingrid: When we thought we had enough, then we went to see the Montgomery County Police.20
Alex: The first time going into the police station with the affidavits and the photographs, our attorney, they pretty much laughed us out of the room. “You want us to arrest a doctor over some monkeys?” Heard that a lot. It was back in the days when there was pretty much just what’s called animal welfare. It’s okay to slaughter and butcher animals, just be nice about it. And animal rights pretty much didn’t exist back then. We were constantly heckled and ridiculed with people saying, “Oh, you mean you want to give dogs the right to drive a car or dogs the right to vote.” We were shown no respect whatsoever for the positions we were taking.
Ingrid: There was a lot of hesitation to take any action because they just didn’t know, but the violations were so cruel, so obvious. There’s a statute, article 27 section 59 I remember it as I’m sitting here and it violated every part of that causing unnecessary suffering.21
Alex: After a couple of weeks we were able to get them to do the right thing and enforce the law. I remember the raid took place on September 11th. We were riding to the laboratory early in the morning to do a surprise police raid.
Edward: My wife called me to the phone. I was just shaving. It was a research assistant and he told me he thought I had better get down to the laboratory. So I went down. What I found was extraordinary. There was a media circus.
Alex: There are like 50 television cameras and 50 reporters.
Edward: Every conceivable media outlet was there. CNN, CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
Alex: Standing at the back of the laboratory, the police just knocked on the door. They went into the laboratory and gave him the affidavits and started to confiscate the animals.
Ingrid: To see them come out into the sunshine for the first time in all that time and look up at the sky and look around them. They’d been taken from the jungle. They had lived with their family ,and yet they have been locked in this barren room and those tiny cages for years and years. It was highly emotional to imagine what they must have been going through.
Alex: When the police finally agreed to confiscate the animals, it was actually us who physically carried the monkeys physically out of the laboratory, put them in these large cages and put the cages into a big truck and then drove them off. The next problem is where are we going to put them? We had a volunteer who had a basement big enough and empty enough where we could fit all of the cages because there was absolutely no place else to put the animals. The police agreed, “All right, we’ll let you put them down there.”
Ingrid: And then the police decided after being pressured heavily by the National Institute of Health,22 the police got scared. They’re just county police, and they decided they had to return the monkeys. They were told, “Oh, experiments will be ruined if the monkeys don’t come back,” and at that time the monkeys disappeared.
Alex: The police went down to the basement and found the basement was empty. Yes, my official public position is that I have no idea where they went. I have no idea who took them. It’s silly, but yes, that’s been the official position.
Ingrid: The monkeys had to be looked after on the road as they were traveling away from that area, and they had to be kept safe and looked after while we negotiated with the police for their return.
And what happened to you that day? Was that the same day that you got arrested?
Edward: Well, that’s a rather dramatic term. I voluntarily went to the police department because I was asked to. I was fingerprinted, photographed and released on a $500 bail.
What were you charged with?
I was charged with providing inadequate care to the animals and cruelty to animals.23
Alex: It was getting worldwide coverage, everything from the Soviet Union’s major newspaper called Tass all the way over here in the US to with things like Life Magazine was covering it.
Ingrid: Everybody had descended from the experimentation community to say, “Leave this man alone. This is science. You don’t understand what you’re doing. You can’t prosecute a scientist. Who are you?
Alex: You had all the biomedical groups in the country, and you had all the animal groups in the country, each lined up against each other. The NIH, the Justice Department, the American Medical Association.[Good Morning, Your Honor.]
So it was a clash of the Titans.[The State will show…]
Probably the thing I remember the most about the first day of the criminal trial was that on one side of the courtroom where the vivisectors, 24 the experimenters.[ … unavoidable consequence of the experiment. If you were to look at…]
But they had no people, there was no audience behind them. And then on the other side of the courtroom was the one prosecutor, one guy, but behind the sole prosecutor, the courtroom was packed.25 [Well, apparently this case has generated a lot of interest.]
Standing room only, filled with public supporters who were there to try to protect the monkeys.[One, there’ll be no demonstrations in this courtroom of any kind. Two, when I…] [I’d like you to tell us your full name…]
They designated me as the star witness for the prosecution.
My name is Alexander Fernando Pacheco and I spent one or more days on the witness stand testifying.[And generally what were your observations of those monkey cages?]
Extreme filth that the cages were in.
Very positive and liberating. I felt justice was being done.
Yes. That’s a picture of [inaudible 00:23:26] in his cage. It shows his tail how it has almost no hair on it.
I was able to put a lot of evidence in public view and on the official record.
The piles of the feces had mold growing off of them, heavy gauge wire sticking straight up from the floor, the bandage is rotting off, and it’s just all ragged. That shows the exposed, the open wounds where his fingers used to be and it shows, the reason you can see the fingers…[… less than one centimeter, perhaps a half a centimeter. Do you agree that the ends of the digits are missing?]
Edward: Yes, I do agree.[Do you agree that four digits appear26 to be dissolving perhaps by infection?]
I agree that the distal phalanges appear to be dissolving, and one conceivable process might be infection.[Okay. Do you agree that the conditions which we have been talking now are of a chronic nature?]
My laboratory was set up, and the raid was immoral and unconscionable.[And to perform this function, have you endeavored to provide your animals with proper air in their environment?]
Yes, I have.
What was I feeling? I was feeling…
Yes, I have.
Angry.[Have you tried to provide necessary veterinary care?]
As needed. Yes.
There are dozens of researchers who have done what I have done.27 [Have you ever permitted anybody to abuse your animals?]
Edward: Never. Never.
Every major medical breakthrough of the last century has involved research with animals.28 Small pox vaccine,29 diptheria and polio vaccines, the development of insulin injections for diabetes,30 blood transfusions,31 discovery of antibodies,32 organ transplantation.
Alex: Something like over 50% of all the tests done on animals do not apply to people 33
Edward: Cancer chemotherapy,34 cardiac pacemakers.35
Alex: But even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Edward: Coronary bypass surgery,36 in vitro fertilization,37 the artificial heart,38 the list goes on and on. 50 million Americans today 39 would be at risk of death from heart attack, stroke or kidney failure for a lack of medication to control high blood pressure40if it weren’t for animal research.[I think that to try out procedures on human beings that haven’t been first tested on animals is the height of inhumanity. And what follows is a very brief finding of what I believe to be the proper decision in this case.]
Alex: Hundreds of people are waiting in the hallways, in the court waiting for a verdict to come in.[Number one, I don’t intend to make a hero or a saint of anyone. On the other hand, I don’t intend to tar anyone needlessly, but I do intend to follow my oath and make a decision which I believe to be the proper decision.]
The courtroom is packed shoulder to shoulder.[Accordingly, I find the Doctor guilty of those six charges, which I will correlate to the actual information in a few moments. And having found the doctor guilty of six counts-41]
Alex: The day that Dr. Taub was convicted of cruelty was, it was indescribable. There was just a, we couldn’t believe that it actually happened. I think everybody was shocked on both sides. The vivisectors were shocked because it’s the first time in history that had happened.42 We were shocked, not only because it was the first time it had ever happened, but I really thought we were going to lose. It was very liberating. It restored my faith in the courts. Finally felt, wow, there is some justice after all.
Ingrid: That story hit the news internationally. We began to get sacks of mail and those letters said something wonderful over and over again. They said, “What can I do to help?” And those are the magic words that allowed us to write back to them and say, “You can do a lot. You may not be able to raid a lab, but you could stop eating animals, stop wearing them, stop buying cosmetics that are tested on them. You can educate others and that’s just a terrific thing.”
Alex: Finally, there was some respect being given to the belief that animals have rights and that really came about because of the Silver Spring monkey case. That was the turning point.
Pam Anderson: Hello, I’m Pam Anderson with PETA. You probably have heard of the Colonel’s secret recipe, but you probably have no idea that goes into making a bucket of KFC chicken.
Bob Barker: Bob Barker here on behalf of PETA.
Pam: Sadly, the main ingredient is cruelty.
Bob: if you’re thinking about a trip to Sea World, please reconsider.
Pam: Many chickens are conscious as their throats are cut.[These are captive animals, and they are suffering and you have to know that.]
Bob: Life in cramped tanks is no prize for orcas and dolphins.[These wonderful animals that you’ve come to see, they’re in pain.]
They want to be free with their families in the ocean. Many have died prematurely at sea after swimming in endless circles…
Alex: Taub was convicted of cruelty to six animals. Then he appealed it. Every time we would win something in court, the other side would always, always appeal, and we would be back in court again, and every time we would lose, we would appeal. So it was just never ending courthouse hearings in courts all around the country and at all levels. It was like a roller coaster up, down, up, down, over something like 15 years.
Edward: Well, I didn’t have money to hire lawyers after the first trial, so I have to be my own lawyer and Prepared briefs. I was out of work for five years. My wife is an opera singer. She had to stop singing professionally, and she started teaching voice, and she was earning a living. Nevertheless, with the expenses that I had, the legal proceedings, it wasn’t enough. When we started out the trials, I had a $104,000 in the bank. Now when I wound up, there was $4,000 in the bank.
Alex: The final appeal. They said they’re going to reverse the conviction. They’re going to make Taub completely innocent. The laws against cruelty in Maryland, because he’s doing a federal experiment, the cruelty laws don’t apply.43 He is above the law.
Edward: I was exonerated of all charges. When I received the decision, it was delivered to me by a police officer of the Silver Spring, Maryland Police Department, who at the same time returned my $500 bail check. Now, I kept that check for several years, and I didn’t cash it, kept it as a memento. I had to cash it finally because I ran out of money as a result of the years of legal trials, and that’s too bad. I wish I had it now as a memento.
Alex: We had put years of our life into this case. We were very emotionally connected with these animals, trying to secure their freedom, knowing the misery they had gone through. It just made me think, “Oh my God, if we can’t get justice for these animals, I don’t think justice is possible whatsoever for any animal.”
Edward: I was out of work for five years when finally I was exonerated and I was hired here at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It took me two years to get started, so altogether, eight years. In those eight years, there is perhaps a million people who could have benefited from CI therapy.
Alex: There has never been another arrest of an experimenter for cruelty to animals. This arrest was the first arrest of an experimenter, and the last time an experimenter was ever arrested and charged with cruelty. 44 It’s horrifying when you think about it. There’s just absolutely no justice for these victims. Absolutely none.
Edward: All of these people who could have been helped by CI therapy interrupted by the raid on the laboratory organized by the animal activists, and that is the final irony, cruelty to humans.
Nick van der Kolk, Host and Director
Noam Osband, Producer
Julia DeWitt, Producer
Original score by Steven Jackson and Phil Dmochowski
- https://www.animallaw.info/case/taub-v-state-maryland This laboratory was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under a series of grants outlining the specific animal research to be done by the laboratory.
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/magazine/1991/02/24/the-great-silver-spring-monkey-debate/25d3cc06-49ab-4a3c-afd9-d9eb35a862c3/ There were 17 of them, each in a small cage that hadn’t been cleaned for days. Several of the monkeys had bitten off fingers, and some had chewed into their limbs, leaving raw, open wounds the size of silver dollars, wounds that were covered with filthy bandages or not covered at all. One look at the colony room and several cops immediately retreated to their squad cars to put on rubber gloves for fear they’d catch some horrendous disease.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198805/#!po=31.2500; https://snprc.org/primates/macaques/
- Each of 9 animals was operated on. Nine were part of the control group not operated on. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/magazine/1991/02/24/the-great-silver-spring-monkey-debate/25d3cc06-49ab-4a3c-afd9-d9eb35a862c3/He soon learned that they were monkeys — 16 crab-eating macaques and one rhesus, to be specific — and that nine of them had been surgically crippled.
- Dr. Taub does not recall this ever happening, though he does say it is a ‘reasonable possibility.’ He further asserts he would have cast a broken arm if a monkey did break it during experimentation, but he does not remember ever doing any such medical procedure on any of the deafferented monkeys.
- They were responding to some kind of sensation, but it is difficult to know exactly what that sensation was.
- The intervention has been used successfully to substantially improve motor deficits after stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, with cerebral palsy in a pediatric population, and for language impairment in poststroke aphasia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3501420/ [Taub article, Behav Anal. 2012 Fall; 35(2): 155–178. doi: 10.1007/bf03392276]
- We could confirm that this therapy is definitely in use for children with Spina Bifida, but were unable to confirm the number of children it’s successfully been used one. https://www.seattlechildrens.org/clinics/orthopedics/services/ortho-rehab-clinic/
- One Cochrane study we found disagrees with the assertion that this therapy is as beneficial as Dr. Taub asserts, “The 42 studies assessed different aspects of recovery from stroke, and not all measured the same things. Eleven studies (with 344 participants) assessed the effect of CIMT on disability (the effective use of the arm in daily living) and found that the use of CIMT did not lead to improvement in ability to manage everyday activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting. Twenty-eight trials (with 858 participants) tested whether CIMT improved the ability to use the affected arm. CIMT appeared to be more effective at improving arm movement than active physiotherapy treatments or no treatment.” https://www.cochrane.org/CD004433/STROKE_constraint-induced-movement-therapy-upper-limb-arm-recovery-after-stroke
- Dr. Taub was ultimately not found to be in violation of ‘every part’ of this code. “The issue in this case is whether the animal cruelty statute, Maryland Code (1957, 1976 Repl.Vol.), Article 27, § 59, is applicable to a research institute conducting medical and scientific research pursuant to a federal program. For reasons to be discussed herein we hold that it is not. ‘Any person who (1) overdrives, overloads, deprives of necessary sustenance, tortures, torments, cruelly beats, mutilates or cruelly kills; or (2) causes, procures**821 or authorizes these acts; or (3) having the charge or custody of an animal, either as owner or otherwise, inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon the animal, or unnecessarily fails to provide the animal with proper food, drink, air, space, shelter or protection from the weather, is guilty….’” (https://www.animallaw.info/case/taub-v-state-maryland)
- When later asked to confirm this assertion, Ingrid Newkirk, speaking through a PETA representative, said that “the police officer who was in charge of the case was summoned to the NIH and told to make a deal to get the monkeys to NIH Poolesville, and that’s where they went.”
- “Dr. Taub was arrested and charged with seventeen counts of violating the Maryland anti-cruelty statute. Each count related to one of the seventeen primates and each count contained seven separate allegations of wrong doing. For each of the primates, Taub was charged with infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, failure to adequately feed, failure to provide adequate veterinary care, failure to provide proper drink, failure to provide proper air, failure to provide sufficient space, and failure to provide proper shelter. The Maryland district court convicted Taub of failing to provide veterinary care to six of the animals, and acquitted him of all other charges. On appeal, the Maryland circuit court overturned five of the convictions while upholding the one pertaining to Nero. Taub won on appeal of this one remaining conviction to the Maryland Supreme Court.” (https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/46711628.pdf)
- We were not able to confirm exactly how packed the courtroom as or where exactly these those in attendance were sitting. There is a courtroom recording of the judge explicitly noting the public’s interest in this case and asking that people keep it down which suggests there was a large number of people in the courtroom.
- Earlier in the story Alex says that Paul bit off all five of his fingers. We allowed this discrepancy to stay in as we considered it a reasonable flaw of memory.
- “Vivisection was practiced only on a small scale prior to World War II. Since that time, it has mushroomed into a major industry which consumes 80 million animals per year in the United States alone.” (https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/46711628.pdf)
- We cannot confirm that every single major medical breakthrough of the last century has involved research with animals
- The smallpox vaccine was tested in animals, but previous to that a way of innoculating humans was worked out without animal testing. “Smallpox was a deadly disease caused by the variola virus that was present before Christ in certain parts of the world. It was one of the world’s most devastating diseases known to humanity. It reached Europe certainly by the sixth century – Bishop Gregory of Tours mention in 582 an epidemic with vesicular eruption which began with sickness, fever and back pain. The fever abated with the copious eruption of hard, white vesicles which were very painful. Against this background, it is not hard to understand the search for a prevention or cure; in this case the development of the technique of inoculation (or variolation). This was the deliberate placing of pustular matter, collected during a mild epidemic, into an incision in a healthy child. This practice stemmed from the clinical observation that one attack of smallpox conferred protection against the disease. Jenner’s experiments, published in 1798, were the first step towards the eventual eradication of smallpox and obviated the need for variolation. Jenner, like others was intrigued that individuals who came in contact with the comparatively rare disease of cowpox were immune to smallpox and wouldn’t develop symptoms, even when they were inoculated with the virus. “ Vaccination” with cowpox resulted in immunity to smallpox. Vaccination, even today is the only prevention used against the virus – no specific treatment is available. (http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/news/research-medical-benefits/smallpox/)
- “The earliest reference to antibodies came from Emil von Behring and Shibasabura Kitasato in 1890. In a landmark publication they showed that the transfer of serum from animals immunized against diptheria to animals suffering from it could cure the infected animals. The potential for treatment in humans was immediately apparent and Behring was later awarded the Nobel Prize for this work in 1901.” (https://absoluteantibody.com/antibody-resources/antibody-overview/a-brief-history-of-antibodies/)
- “A notable systematic review, published in 2007, compared animal experimentation results with clinical trial findings across interventions aimed at the treatment of head injury, respiratory distress syndrome, osteoporosis, stroke, and hemorrhage. The study found that the human and animal results were in accordance only half of the time. In other words, the animal experiments were no more likely than a flip of the coin to predict whether those interventions would benefit humans.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594046/)
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1421602; https://lemelson.mit.edu/resources/robert-jarvik
- The CDC says about 75 million people have high blood pressure and 54% of those people have it under control, so it depends on how you look at this >> more people would benefit from the medication but fewer people actually take the meds and have their BP under control.(https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_bloodpressure.htm)
- “Thereafter, in January, 1982, the county State’s Attorney filed a seventeen count information against Dr. Taub charging him with violation of Maryland Code (1957, 1976 Repl.Vol.), Article 27, § 59, with regard to seventeen different monkeys. Following a trial in the District Court, Dr. Taub was found guilty of failing to provide necessary veterinary care for six of the monkeys and was acquitted of all other charges. Upon appeal to the circuit court, a jury found Dr. Taub guilty of one charge of failing to provide necessary veterinary care for one monkey known as Nero.” (https://www.animallaw.info/case/taub-v-state-maryland)(https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/46711628.pdf)
- The first time in history that a lab experimenter was charged and convicted for harming animals. (https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/46711628.pdf)
- “…being a recipient of an NIH grant, the laboratory became subject to pertinent regulations thereof governing the care and treatment of animals used in the research which was the subject of the grant (U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, NIH Publication No. 80-23, Guide for the Care and Use **822 of Laboratory Animals (rev. 1978, reprinted 1980).” (https://www.animallaw.info/case/taub-v-state-maryland)
- According to the American Law Reports, “A board of education was held not to have violated a state statute prohibiting cruelty to animals for allowing a high school student to conduct a scientific experiment using live chickens in New Jersey Soc. for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v Board of Education (1966) 91 NJ Super 81, 219 A2d 200, affd 49 NJ 15, 227 A2d 506, where the experiment was shown to have educational value, and was conducted under the careful supervision of qualified instructors. The student had developed an award-winning science project involving the use of live chickens as the subjects of a cancer-inducing experiment. The chickens were injected with a virus which produced cancerous tumors in several of them. The student prepared slides of the tumor sections and studied the remains of the deceased chickens. Throughout the experiment the chickens were properly fed and cared for. Construing the statute as only prohibiting acts of cruelty to animals that involved unnecessary pain or the needless mutilation or death of an animal, the court said that educational and scientific achievements might well represent the redeeming quality that would constitute the justification for inflicting pain or suffering on animals. The court concluded that the student’s experiment could not be characterized as imposing unnecessary cruelty and needless mutilation or death upon the chickens, given that the animals were part of a scientific experiment which was conducted for the purpose of furthering the education of a young, gifted student, and was subject to the close supervision of a certified instructor.”