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Animal testing. Is there still a need?. Our interview with Dr Christopher Adda what happens at Latrobe?.

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animal testing

Animal testing

Is there still a need?

our interview with dr christopher adda what happens at latrobe
Our interview with Dr Christopher Addawhat happens at Latrobe?

Within our time at Latrobe we had the opportunity of an interview with Dr Christopher Adda, a scientist indevelopment of a malaria vaccine antigen. With him we learnt all about the Latrobe and the committee, the way animals are treated, how they are tested on and the regulations.

what conditions are the animals kept in
what conditions are the animals kept in?

At Latrobe the animals are kept in what has been described to be better then any other place for an animal. The animals light, food and temperature is closely monitored by scientists. They are kept in cages/ pens that are as big as a small office. Dr Christopher Adda explained that animals would actually be happier and healthier in a lab than in the average home.

chris adde s opinion on the need for animal testing
Chris Adde’s opinion on the need for animal testing

“There is certainly still a need” Dr Christopher Adda explains, “if the testing is going to help us in some way in the future then it is all worth it, even if the tests are only slightly progressed its one step closer to helping people in the future.”

“we do animals because we could never test on people.”

what kind of testing is done at latrobe
What kind of testing is done at Latrobe ?

The ld50 test is done at Latrobe, this test identifies how much of a curtain drug people can take before getting a reaction to it this test is done on mice.

Of course research is undertaken at Latrobe Chris Adde explained the process of giving a mouse a tumour or diabetes of some sort then scientists designing a drug and giving it to the mouse to see if the drug has any effect on the mouse and to find out if the drug is helping the illness

how do they give the animal the disease
how do they give the animal the disease

If scientist were wanting to find a cure for a curtain disease, they would need to find an animal with a genetic line of the disease or they would have to give the animal the disease e.g. Finding tumour cells then putting it into a mouse letting it grow then giving the mouse the drug they have been working on then monitoring it closely to see how the drug effects the tumour

the animal ethics committee at la trobe university

The Animal Ethics committee at La Trobe University

At La Trobe there is a committee that controls, authorises and regulates every experiment, test or study that includes animals. Animal Ethics Committees (also known as AEC’s) must also ensure that all activities conducted in their institution or by the independent researchers they supervise complies with the Regulations and Code of Practice. The Committee must consider and evaluate requests to use animals for research and teaching purposes, according to the answers the chief investigator supplied in the application form. The AEC has the power to stop any unauthorised experiment or study and may withdraw approvals for on-going work. The committee includes four different, equal groups of people, Class A, B, C and D.

people in the committee
People in the Committee
  • Class A: People with qualifications in Veterinary Science
  • Class B: A scientist with substantial recent experience in scientific or teaching activities.
  • Class C: Someone who is committed to and established experience in furthering the welfare of animals.
  • Class D: A person that has never had an affiliation with the University or the use of animals for scientific research or teaching purposes.
  • There must be an equal amount of people in each class at each meeting.
the code
The ‘Code’
  • ‘The Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes’
  • It is a nationally recognised document.
  • The code requires animal testing to be:
    • Valid
    • Humane
    • Justifiable
    • Considerate
  • It also requires teachers to actively seek an alternative to animal testing
  • It describes the responsibilities of people who use animals for research or teaching, the responsibilities of the animal ethics committee’s and the responsibilities of research and teaching establishments.


applying to work with animals
Applying to work with animals
  • You have to fill out an application form and send it in to the committee.
  • The form is almost eight pages long.
  • Even if you would like to do a study on animals in the wild to see what they eat or how the species is reproducing, you must fill out the same form as if you were testing cancer treatments on them.
  • In the application you must fill out questions such as:
    • Project Title
    • Chief investigator
    • Primary contact
    • Duration of project
    • Project category: teaching, Research, Production of Biological Products
    • Product Testing
    • Diagnosis
    • Training in procedural Techniques
facts and figures
Facts and Figures
  • The La Trobe AEC gets roughly Ten applications for animal experiments in laboratories. Per year, although it looks over 80+ applications about other tests regarding animals.
  • The ethics committee is sent applications for tests such as making possum houses in the Bush, looking at lifestyles of animals in the wild, etc.
could it be possible to use computers to simulate animals and do tests with out any animals dying
Could it be possible to use computers to simulate animals and do tests. With out any animals dying?

A change is taking place in laboratories across the world regarding the use of animals in drug development. The first realistic software models of human and animal organs are starting to emerge

what is a computer simulation
What is a computer simulation

A computer simulation is a computer program, or network of computers, that attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system. Computer simulations have become a useful part of technology

“More than 100 million animals every year”

but do we have the technology
But do we have the technology
  • Not nearly enough is known for computer models to simulate all the interactions of the extremely complex biological systems and functions of a whole, living animal in the foreseeable future.