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Old 03-12-2008, 09:06 PM   #1
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Default "Class B dealers"... (things we learn)

It looks like the USDA has a "Class B Dealers" category for test animal suppliers.

Worth a google, IMO.

Actually, it looks like the USDA would like to get rid of it, but how...?

Extra note: Someone very close to me, *cough*, has, or had cancer, yet s/he does not support animal testing and lets the medical community know...

Disclaimer: I learned about Class b dealers from a BeerAdvocate article..!

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Old 07-02-2008, 03:18 PM   #2
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That's pretty terrible. Wow - peoples' lost pets being sold to labs from shelters. Class B is a fitting euphemism for a practice like that - it just sounds a little shady.

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Old 07-02-2008, 05:37 PM   #3
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I doubt that major companies are using animals from this kind of source for cancer testing. Unfortunately and worse, they are more likely used for toxicity studies (short term, how much does it take to kill half of the animals), even then I'd be leary of that for the reasons I'll state below. Most likely would be euthanasia and then preserved for use in lab classes in school.

I gaurantee you that companies would NOT use these animals for cancer testing. They'd never get any reliable results. I worked many years ago in a toxicology lab. We can all understand that people react differently to exposure to things in their envirnoment (like mean vs happy drunks). This makes it hard to make meaningfull and reliable conclusions (and is why any medical study on a small number of people is to be viewed with caution). To help address this sort of problem, they use animals that have been inbred over a LOT of generations so they are very uniform in their traits and they use only one line (ie sprague dawly rats versus fischer 354 rats) for a given study. This way they can have some reassurance that all of the animals will respond similarly so they can have greater confidence in the findings. Many steps are taken to keep everything as uniform as possible so the only difference is the treatment.

That being said, I'm not a fan of shelters than use euthanzia (except for health reasons).

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Old 07-02-2008, 05:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
We can all understand that people react differently to exposure to things in their envirnoment (like mean vs happy drunks). This makes it hard to make meaningfull and reliable conclusions (and is why any medical study on a small number of people is to be viewed with caution). To help address this sort of problem, they use animals that have been inbred over a LOT of generations so they are very uniform in their traits and they use only one line (ie sprague dawly rats versus fischer 354 rats) for a given study. This way they can have some reassurance that all of the animals will respond similarly so they can have greater confidence in the findings. Many steps are taken to keep everything as uniform as possible so the only difference is the treatment.
You sound pretty educated on this - so here is my question:

If an animal is bred to have a uniform reaction (all mean drunks) would that not skew the findings - or do they do multiple tests with different types (500 mean drunks, 500 happy drunks and 500 fall asleep after 2 drink drunks?)

Because, if they used only the mean drunks, that would give a given finding that alcohol causes anger/meanness. Or, on a scientific level does this work differently. It just seems that without a representative cross section you would get a real world type result.

Not being a jerk - just interested.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:54 AM   #5
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I think what he means is, using the drunks analogy, if you know you have 500 drunks that get mean, they are a control. Then what you do is do differing treatments to see which therapies turn them from mean drunks into happy drunks.

Say they are testing a liver cancer therapy. You'd want 1000 mice that are as genetically similar as possible with the same symptoms and same cancer so different drugs and dosages can be tested to see what reactions happen.

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Old 07-03-2008, 09:11 PM   #6
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If an animal is bred to have a uniform reaction (all mean drunks) would that not skew the findings - or do they do multiple tests with different types (500 mean drunks, 500 happy drunks and 500 fall asleep after 2 drink drunks?)
It is a bit of a trade off. There may be some skewing, but this is kept in mind and is better than generating totally useless data. There are many different lines of rats used in toxicology studies and they all have their pluses and minuses. One strain the lab I worked in used was prone to getting mammary tumors, even in the controls. This is fine as long as it is documented, and adjusted for. Often more than one type of animal is used to counteract just the kind of situation you've put forth. On top of this though, is the question of how well can you extrapolate any of these findings to humans. Unfortunately, we can't test things on humans so it is the best we have right now. We do test things on humans obviously, but only after they've passed MANY animal tests. Scientists are working to develop testing methods using human cell lines, and this may be the wave of the future, but there are a lot of kinks left to work out first. (not my research area, I now kill plants in the name of science)
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