Huge sums of money have been donated in recent weeks to motor neurone disease charities through the ice bucket challenge craze. Animal Aid is urging people to resist enriching these charities by dowsing themselves in iced water or challenging others to do so.
Instead, we are challenging the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the main beneficiary of the ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) ice bucket phenomenon in this country, to stop funding cruelly invasive animal tests. Such tests include those using genetically modified mice bred to suffer severe motor impairment and muscle weakness.
Experiments using GM mice and other animals can in no way adequately replicate the complexities of ALS in humans, which are significantly affected by specific genetic traits, such as those relating to ethnic and geographic variables.
GM mouse experiments have been criticised in the scientific literature for the ‘poor correlation’ between data generated in labs from animal ‘models’ and the clinical reality. That so many drugs have ‘succeeded’ in animal tests but have gone on to fail in human clinical trials is evidence that a more rational research strategy is long overdue.
The devastating effects of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, which are almost entirely unique to humans, can be tackled – on the research front – only by cutting-edge, human based technologies and studies. It is these that are directly relevant to patients.
An effective way to register your opposition to vivisection is by backing our campaign against research charities that fund it. Please see our database of charities that do and don’t fund animal research, or order a free pocket guide to medical research charities by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.