PETA response to animal research

By Shalin G. Gala

University experimenter George Fahey may call what he does to dogs a “surgical modification,” but anyone who reads the description in The New York Times isn’t fooled – they are mutilations, plain and simple (“Professor defends animal research,” Sept. 21). Fahey’s specialty is ileal cannulation – a bizarre surgery in which plastic tubing is run from the dog’s intestines to a spout outside the dog’s body.

Fahey claims that it’s essential for measuring metabolism and nutrient absorption, but most pet-food manufacturers produce food without conducting any invasive nutritional studies. At PETA’s urging, Iams, which has worked with Fahey in the past, has established a corporate policy banning the procedure.

The University should end these outdated experiments right now. Instead, it’s hiding behind its Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which oversees the use of animals in the University’s laboratories. Like so many of these committees, UIUC’s appears to “rubber stamp” proposed experiments, even when the science is outdated and the animals will suffer. According to a scathing U.S. Department of Agriculture report, most animal care and use committees aren’t doing their jobs properly. As a result, animals are used even when better alternatives are available.

UIUC’s “business as usual” attitude and failure to use available alternatives to its dog mutilation experiments exemplify the flawed system condemned by the USDA. To learn more, visit