Advertentie

Court: Animal experiment needs to be reassessed

A young jackdaw being measured. Photo by Reyer Boxem

Court: Animal experiment needs to be reassessed

The Central Committee on Animal Testing (CCD) was wrong to forbid UG biologist from doing an experiment on wild jackdaws, the court has determined. The decision will have to be reassessed.
10 March om 11:09 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 10 March 2021
om 11:22 uur.
March 10 at 11:09 AM.
Last modified on March 10, 2021
at 11:22 AM.

Door Christien Boomsma

10 March om 11:09 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 10 March 2021
om 11:22 uur.

By Christien Boomsma

March 10 at 11:09 AM.
Last modified on March 10, 2021
at 11:22 AM.

Christien Boomsma

Achtergrondcoördinator en wetenschapsredacteur
Volledig bio

Achtergrondcoördinator en wetenschapsredacteur
Full bio

Verhulst has been in conflict with the CCD for nearly five years. Back in 2016, the committee forbade the biologist, who specialised in ageing processes, from injecting young wild jackdaws with the IGF-1 growth hormone. 

He wants to see if the increased growth rate negatively affects the birds’ health. He would check this by measuring their telomeres, which are a kind of protective cap on the end of chromosomes. These telomeres get shorter as you age.

In the lab

However, the CCD banned the experiment on wild animals. The committee said the research should be done in the lab, if necessary on animals that were caught in the wild. According to Verhulst, that is impossible. ‘This research only works if the birds are also being threatened by food shortage, cold, or parasites. None of those circumstances exist in the lab’, he said earlier. He decided to take his case to court.

For Verhulst, the issue has become a matter of principle. He mainly dislikes that the CCD’s reasoning threatens to undo an entire line of research. ‘I know the Animal Experiments Committee at the UG has already rejected several experiments because they’re worried the CCD will block them.’

New arguments

The CCD will be forced to reassess the application. Verhulst’s application might still be denied, but only if the CCD presents new arguments to do so. 

The CCD could not be reached for comment.

Nederlands

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Nederlands