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New Bill Aims to End Painful Dog Experiments at Michigan’s Public Institutions

Physicians Group Backs Bill Affecting Futile Wayne State Experiments

LANSING, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—a national nonprofit of more than 12,000 doctors—is supporting Senate Bill 971, introduced Wednesday, June 17, by Sen. Michael MacDonald (R-Macomb Township). The bill would make it illegal for a public institution in Michigan to use dogs in experiments if the dogs are expected to feel pain, like those conducted at Wayne State University in Detroit. Sen. MacDonald’s bill is a companion to House Bill 5090, which was introduced by Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) in October.

Since 1991, faculty and staff at Wayne State have subjected dogs to painful procedures as part of heart failure and hypertension experiments before killing the dogs. According to public records obtained from the university, up to one-quarter of the dogs die during or after the experimental surgeries—before any data are collected—because the procedures are so invasive and dangerous. The experiments have cost taxpayers more than $11.6 million so far without producing any treatments for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.

A recent survey of Michigan voters found that 70 percent oppose the use of dogs in potentially painful experiments and 66 percent oppose the use of taxpayer money for such experiments. Last fall, 225 Michigan physicians submitted a letter to the state legislature, requesting that it prohibit the use of dogs in painful experiments at publicly funded institutions.

“Man’s best friend deserves man’s best protection against abuse,” said Sen. MacDonald. “The majority of Michigan families oppose invasive experiments on dogs. We wouldn’t allow harm to come to our family dogs, and we shouldn’t allow it at our public institutions using taxpayer funding.”

“Human tissue and stem cell studies, clinical trials, and population studies, are far and away better methods for learning about human health and disease than experimenting on dogs or any another species,” said Physicians Committee vice president of research policy, Kristie Sullivan, MPH, who lives in Ann Arbor.

For a copy of the polling results or to speak with Ms. Sullivan, please contact Reina Pohl at 202-527-7326 or rpohl@pcrm.org.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.


Reina Pohl, MPH, 202-527-7326; rpohl@pcrm.org


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