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From:  Catherine Tiplady

Dr Rosemary Elliott’s excellent article (PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON VETERINARY SCIENCE TRAINING AND THE THREE RS) highlights the long term trauma which some veterinary students/graduates may experience.    It is unacceptable that students are marked on enthusiasm for activities which are extremely upsetting to them and harmful for animals.

There is an urgent need for veterinary educators to consider the human and animal impact of harmful animal use.  Thank you for sharing Dr Elliott’s article with us.


From: Ian Ragan, NC3Rs
In a recent PiLAS there is an article by Christiaan Wittevrongel that contains the following passage:

Not long ago, a discussion erupted on the use of animal models in inflammatory disease research.5 Researchers stated that animal models were not at all applicable for use in the development of drugs against, for example, type 1 diabetes.
This is because the immune system in animal models differs too much from that of humans. However, researchers are still obliged to show that drugs do work safely in animals, before clinical trials, which may lead to market access, can be started. Researchers acknowledge that there is a big problem in the development of drugs against conditions such as type 1 diabetes, and drugs have been discovered against type 1 diabetes, based on knowledge of the human biological system. The researchers know that these drugs will not work in animals, but they still have to show efficacy in animals before clinical trials can take place. Therefore these drugs might never be available on the market (Bart Roep, personal communication; Labyrinth Radio, Radio 1, 18 February 2013).

This is totally wrong. Regulatory authorities never ask for studies to be conducted in inappropriate animal models and they will accept a sound scientific rational for not conducting efficacy studies when no relevant animal model exists. It is not necessary to show efficacy in an animal model.

As a board member of the NC3Rs I am very supportive of all efforts to stop the needless use of animals and replace their use with better alternatives. Discussion about the inadequacy of animals models of disease is a very healthy trend and one that is increasingly accepted by all sides. However, you will not win arguments based on spurious claims such as these

From: Melissa
Will PiLAS be indexed in Medline/PubMed? Also it looks like all the articles in PiLAS are just reprint of articles in ATLA–is that going to be typical or is the hopes that different articles will be in PiLAS?
PiLAS Managing Editor:
Yes, the articles will be indexed in Medline/PubMed, as PiLAS is a supplement to the main ATLA. The article page numbers are prefixed with a “P” to indicate their supplementary status. The short articles in PiLAS are to be opinion or discussion-type papers, rather than the more detailed research papers and long reviews featured in the main ATLA. It is hoped that the PiLAS audience will be broader – and that the chance to give us feedback on the PiLAS articles via the Comment button on the new PiLAS website will be welcomed.

From: Mary Finelli
Thank you very much for Catherine Tiplady’s important and disturbing article: ‘Animal Use in Veterinary Education — The Need for a Fourth R: Respect.’ Students displaying such callous disrespect for animals should be purged from veterinary programs rather than graduated to practice on yet more victims. Any staff who expresses such disregard should be removed. Non-animal alternatives should be used in place of live animals, and students should learn by watching compassionate, practicing veterinarians operate.

From: Dolores Bonaparte,
Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Lisboa, Portugal

Welcoming your publication, I would like to suggest that you include RSS Feed capacities on the dedicated webpages so that we may receive word whenever there are new contents. Kind regards and best success for PiLAS.
Editor: Thank you for the suggestion. We’ll look into adding RSS feed to the site.

From: Herman B.W.M.Koeter
I was pleasantly surprised finding the first issue of PiLAS in my mailbox. I very much like the format and the option to comment directly on the articles published. I truly hope this initiative will prove sustainable and successful in the long run and I look forward to future issues with articles which are similarly interesting and challenging to those in this first issue. Congratulations with the initiative.
Volume 1 Issue 1

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