Help STOP "Cruelty 101"

Ohio State University is offering a course that some have termed "Cruelty 101." Help PCRM tell OSU that it MUST invest in alternative methods!
Ohio State University (OSU) is hosting a course that many physicians are calling a pointless exercise in cruelty. Nicknamed "Cruelty 101," the course attempts to instruct students in spinal cord injury research methods. Unfortunately, students will not be focusing on the newest in vitro cell and tissue biology, neural cell imaging, and clinical research techniques. Throughout the course, students will be taught how to break or otherwise injure the spinal cords of nearly 270 mice and rats and perform other diagnostic, behavioral, and invasive procedures. The students are trained to use an impactor device specifically designed for breaking the spinal cords of small animals. After the animals' skin, muscle tissue, and bone surrounding the spinal cord are peeled away, the impactor drops a weight on the animals' spinal cord that, to a human, is the equivalent of a seven-pound weight. The force of impact varies with each experiment.

impactorPost-procedure pain, as you can imagine, could be unbearable for the injured animals. Some have even been known to develop a condition called autophagia: peripheral muscle pain so severe that they have been observed chewing through their own skin and muscle. Due to their small size, lack of facial expressions, and high-frequency pain and distress calls, the animals' pain could go unnoticed. The animals are only checked for pain every 12 hours.

What's more, this course will do nothing to help spinal cord injury patients. Top PCRM neurologists and neurosurgeons agree that the most effective--and efficient--avenue to discover ways to prevent and treat spinal cord injury is to do research at the cellular level. This cruel and outdated animal injury technique has no place in the future of spinal injury research.

What alternatives?OSU has forced PCRM to go to the Ohio State Supreme Court in an attempt to get videos of the procedure from the university--and the school was chastised for doing so by its own student paper, The Lantern.

By signing this petition, you agree with PCRM that:

1. The course should be halted immediately. This would give PCRM physicians time to meet with OSU administrators and discuss alternative research strategies.

2. OSU must teach students how to implement non-animal research methods in the study of spinal cord injury. Neurologists and patients alike agree that more animal experiments are not the answer.

3. OSU must implement more transparent research procedures. The public has a right to view procedures that are being performed on rats and mice using federal grant money.

PCRM is calling for a financial boycott of OSU until these conditions are met.
If you are an alumnus of Ohio State University, please officially sign your name to the boycott by contacting PCRM at or 202-686-2210.

You can also be of special help to the campaign if you are a neurological health professional, a member of the spinal cord injury community, or otherwise associated with Ohio State University. Please contact PCRM to learn more.

For more information about the campaign, visit
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