The claims made in a new book, by medical sociologist Pandora Pound, that research using animals is obsolete and ‘thwarting medical practice’ has been questioned in a review, commissioned by EARA.
In his review of Rat Trap – the capture of medicine by animal research and how to break free, biomedical researcher Georgios Petrellis, asks whether Pound has been too selective in her examination of the facts.
Using case studies from EARA publications, Petrellis says in his review: “Pound persistently mentions basic research studies that have not yet been translated to cures and downplays the valuable contributions animals have made in understanding fundamental biological mechanisms, such as how cancer cells survive and spread.”
He concludes by adding: “Ultimately, Rat Trap feels like a textbook for opponents of animal research and activists, rather than a balanced narrative on the role and evolution of animal research in biomedical innovation.”
Commenting on the Petrellis review, EARA executive director, Kirk Leech, said: “Pound believes that social science and the Psychology of Resistance to Change will help to explain this ‘reluctance’ to transition to non-animal research.
“However, this resistance to change is not based on a vested interest standpoint, but one based on the available science, i.e. that a full transition cannot yet be currently met as the alternatives to animal use in many areas are just not there. The European Commission pointed this out in its recent response to the European Citizens’ Initiative petition.”