Hello. I am trying to determine whether or not to approve or deny the following study.
Your university includes a college of veterinary medicine. In the past, the students practiced surgical techniques on dogs acquired from a local animal shelter. There have been some objections to this practice and the veterinary school wants the approval of your committee to continue this practice. They make the following points:
1. Almost all of the animals will eventually be killed at the animal shelter. It is wasteful of life to breed animals for the vet school when there is an ample supply of animals that will be euthanized anyway.
2. It costs at least 10 times as much to breed animals for research purposes.
3. Research with dogs from animal shelters and the practice surgeries will, in the long run, aid the lives of animals by training veterinarians.
A local group of animal welfare activists demanded that you deny the school’s request. They argue that the majority of these animals are lost or stolen pets and it is tragic to think that previously loved dogs could end up on a surgical table for an experiment. Furthermore, they claim that as people become aware that animals taken to shelters may end up in research laboratories, they will stop using the shelters and simply set these animals free.
I’m really not sure which to do. I see both sides.