Animal research

Animal research advocate offers ‘reality check’ on monkey truck crash (Your Letters)

For the editor:

In response to the story “Pa. Monkey truck crash spawns conspiracy theories after woman at scene falls ill” (January 26, 2022):

The January 21, 2022 truck accident in Pennsylvania, which unfortunately resulted in the deaths of three research monkeys, understandably received widespread media attention. Nor is it surprising that those who oppose animal research – despite the fact that it benefits both humans and animals – have been quick to seek to take advantage of the situation.

Here’s a reality check.

First, the risk posed to humans is minimal. Only a handful of people approached the animals. No one appears to have been bitten or scratched. Also, stories that a local resident got sick are false. That’s according to the woman herself, who told her local newspaper, “I want people to know I’m not sick despite what they read in the media.” She is wisely following the advice of federal health experts and receiving preventative treatment as a precaution.

Moreover, as unfortunate as this accident is, we must not lose sight of the simple fact that studies of the health of animals – including monkeys – are an essential and necessary part of the research process. They enable new treatments and remedies. For example, all Covid-19 vaccines have been developed and tested on animals. Simply put, we would not be able to effectively fight the current pandemic without animal studies. It is a fact that animal rights groups looking to capitalize on this sad event, like it or not.

Paula Clifford

Executive Director

Americans for Medical Progress

washington d.c.

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