First and foremost, from everyone at 600 Million Dogs,
THANK YOU BIG TIME for supporting our mission:
To end the #1 cause of suffering and death for dogs and cats: pet overpopulation ... ... by developing the revolutionary Spay and Neuter Cookie, to safely spay or neuter stray dogs and cats -- without surgery.
Secondly, we wanted to let you know that in the midst of the pandemic, a remarkable thing has happened.
Scientists are feverishly working on a vaccine, and normally, in the process, thousands of animals are mutilated, poisoned and killed in agonizing, wasteful tests.
The amazing news is, the current crisis has motivated many to skip these inhumane tests and go straight to actually helping people.
At first, the government and drug companies were saying the usual: that it would take at least a year, probably much longer, to develop a vaccine. That was because their usual method centered around testing on live laboratory animals, followed by testing on humans. But as this March 2020 article in the New Republic notes: "Although vaccine developers usually test on animals before humans, there are no laws saying they must." The public is demanding action NOW, and the FDA made the rare decision that human vaccine trials could start immediately, without tests first being done on laboratory animals. Scientists are being allowed to work directly with healthy human volunteers and humans in need (which is humane). It’s a step that some people believed the FDA would NEVER take. For those already suffering from COVID-19, treatment options are also being fast-tracked in a way that doesn't involve harming animals. The traditional method of testing drugs on animals before using them in humans is very inefficient. According to the current NIH website https://ncats.nih.gov/ntu/about: “The average length of time from target discovery to approval of a new drug is about 14 years. The failure rate during this process exceeds 95 percent, and the cost per successful drug can be $1 billion or more.” But today, scientists are using preexisting information about similar coronaviruses to look at every possible already-approved drug to see if it could help those afflicted with COVID-19. It's about time. As you know, we've been advocating the use of humane, modern, non-animal testing methods for decades. The U.S. government already allows scientists to bypass a lot of animal testing when FDA-approved human drugs are repurposed for other uses.
Vaccine and drug companies are forging ahead, racing for the cure for COVID-19, as they should.
Testing is already beginning on healthy HUMAN volunteers.
Unlike animals, the human volunteers will not be kept in cages for the rest of their lives.
Unlike animals, the humans will never be overdosed on purpose.
Unlike animals, the humans will not be killed and dissected at the end of the experiment.
And there you have it -- a way of getting a vaccine or drug tested that does not involve the cruel and unnecessary captivity, torture, and death of large numbers of animals.
It's what I began fighting for 4 decades ago, when I worked undercover in The Silver Spring Monkey case: a research laboratory where I exposed the cruel treatment of the monkeys.
Unfortunately, it is much too early to say all animal experiments will end -- but this is a good start.
We want to take a moment to thank the FDA for doing the right thing and for doing what's best for animals and people around the world.
We also want to thank the caring and thoughtful human volunteers for doing the right thing as well.
Personally, I want to express my deep appreciation to you -- for helping us as we work to develop the Cookie, to end the cycle of suffering for millions of homeless dogs and cats around the world.
600 Million Dogs