Sep 5, 2016

More grisly greyhound experiments come to light in Melbourne

Medical experimentation on greyhounds continues in Melbourne, with researchers guaranteed dogs by the Victorian government's refusal to shut down the greyhound exploitation industry.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Greyhound dog
Victoria's gruesome record for fatal experimentation on greyhounds is continuing, with Monash University researchers publishing a paper on how they suffocated dogs, then revived them and killed them again. A team of researchers at Monash and the Alfred Hospital led by Professor Frank Rosenfeldt, head of cardiothoracic surgical research, used greyhounds for heart transplant storage experiments, according to a paper published earlier this year in The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. The experiment involved chemically restraining the dogs using acetylpromazine, then anaesthetising them and placing them on ventilation. Ventilation was then shut down to suffocate the dogs, after which their hearts were removed, preserved for four hours, then transplanted, after which the greyhounds were briefly monitored, then killed (again). The experiment has come to light amid continuing controversy over the use of dogs in medical and dental experiments in Victoria. Last year the University of Melbourne's Dental School was revealed to have undertaken a shocking experiment on greyhounds involving teeth implants. Greyhounds are a particular favourite of medical researchers due to their ready availability: the greyhound racing industry has a massive "wastage" problem of tens of thousands of unwanted dogs across Australia. The Victorian government has rejected calls to close the greyhound racing industry despite NSW and the ACT shutting it down in the wake of horrific reports of animal abuse and slaughter and attempts by the industry to cover up its abuses. The board of Greyhound Racing Victoria was forced to resign in disgrace after the ABC's 4 Corners "Making a Killing" story in February 2015, but the Victorian government insists the industry has now overcome any problems. The Victorian industry is estimated to produced over 6500 dogs a year, the majority of which end up unwanted and treated as "wastage", with a small proportion re-homed and the majority killed or provided for medical experimentation. Researchers like the Monash team are guaranteed a steady supply of canine subjects for years to come. Monash University did not respond to Crikey's request for a response.

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5 thoughts on “More grisly greyhound experiments come to light in Melbourne

  1. Itsarort

    Perhaps shutting down Professor Frank Rosenfeldt is more the point of argument here.

  2. mikeb

    I don’t really see the problem. The dogs are anesthetised before the heart removal and so would not have felt a thing. No worse than farming animals for food.

  3. AR

    Enjoy your bacon & eggs at brekky and the cheese burger at lunch?

  4. Jonathan Lemon

    I am disappointed at the tone of this report. The link to the paper shows that this was applied research which will lead to better heart transplants. Also, the animals were anaesthetised all the time- hence felt absolutely nothing. No different from being put down by the RSPCA. What is the objective here? Stopping medical research just for the thrill of a headline?

  5. Nora T Medicine

    If there is a place to comment on this feel free to use some of the info below.

    A reply to claims that ‘research’ on dogs helps humans. A not exhaustive list of examples of how ‘research’ on dogs has harmed humans. Useful for the fooled majority

    “One of the new antibiotic drugs, Chloramphenicol, has been recorded as a cause of fatal aplastic anaemia in human beings. But extensive experiments on dogs have failed to show any evidence of injury or disease to the canine species.”
    (Bulletin, Easton, Mass., U.S.A., April 2 1953.)

    “I have seen surgeons who carried out experiments on some organs from dogs in the belief that these were identical with those of humans, and they did not know they were cutting into a quite different organ, even into a lymphatic gland instead of the thyroid gland. Nobody has become a surgeon because of having operated on animals. He has only learnt wrongly through animals. I have been able to see this over my many decades as a surgeon, also as a Director of Hospitals. I have carried out tens of thousands of operations on people without ever performing them first on an animal.“
    (Prof. Sr Salvatore Rocca Rossetti, Surgeon and Professor of Urology at the University of Turin, Italy, in the science programme Delta on Italian television, March 12 1986.)

    In Experimental Surgery, Dr J. Markowitz states:
    “The operative technique described in these pages is suitable for animals, usually dogs. However, it does not follow that it is equally and always suited for human beings. We refuse to allow the student the pretence that what he is doing is operating on a patient for the cure of an ailment.“

    “The gastro-intestinal tract in man is unfortunately very different from that of animals, and the results of a new operation for gastric disease cannot be predicted from operations on dogs.”
    (Editorial, Lancet, May 1951, page 1003.)

    “Many years ago I carried out on the Continent sundry operations upon the intestines of dogs, but such are the differences between the human and the canine bowel, that when I came to operate on man I found I was much hampered by my new experience, that I had everything to unlearn, and that my experiments had done little but leave me unfit to deal with the human intestine.”
    (Sir Frederick Treves, Director of London Hospital, Surgeon to the Royal Family and world-renowned authority on abdominal surgery, British Medical Journal, November 5 1898, page 1389.)

    Experiments on dogs to develop transplant techniques were disastrous. Hundreds of dogs were used yet the first human patients died because of complications which arose when the technique was applied to the first human patients.
    (Dr Albert Iben, Stanford University cardiac surgeon reported in the Erie Daily Times, May 23 1968.)

    It is emphasised in many sources that medical progress has been delayed because of the vast difference in dogs and human beings and that dog experiments were a failure in this area. The conduction system in dogs is less likely to clot than in human blood; dogs walk on four legs, thereby placing less stress on the circulatory system than upright human beings; the ventricles in dogs are opposite to the human system; and animal recipients of artificial hearts are healthy before the operation. There are many other variables noted elsewhere in this work. The first recipient of an artificial heart, Barney Clark, survived a miserable 112 days kept alive against his wish to be allowed to die, until he expired from kidney collapse.
    (C.F. Scott,”Appropriate Animal Models for Research on Blood in Contact with Artificial Surfaces”, Annals N.Y. Academy of Science, 516, 1987, pages 636-637.); (C.F. Scott, The Physiologist, 31 (3), 1988, page 53.)

    Each of the techniques made to contract or stimulate the ventricles in attempts to “pace” the human heart was tested on dogs and shown “effective”, even heralded as a success, however they were “quickly discarded in patients because of the many problems, consisting of pain, burns and inability to keep up continuous stimulation for the prolonged period”. Dr C. Walton Lillihei pioneer of the pacemaker, seeing his method which was developed on dogs fail to cross the species, devised, through observing his patients, a method of “stitching electrodes directly on to the heart, leading them through the chest and running a pulsed current through them”.

    L. Wertenbaker, To Mend the Heart, The Viking Press, 1980, page 181; and R.G. Richardson, The Surgeon’s Heart: A History of Cardiac Surgery, William Heinemann Medical Books Ltd, page 101.


    The heart-lung machine was the most critical development in open-heart surgery for it takes over the function of the patient’s heart and lungs during open heart operations. John H. Gibbon of Philadelphia, U.S.A. who developed a heart-lung machine on dogs abandoned his project when two patients died, admitting that it was unsafe for human beings. J.W. Kirklin of the Mayo Clinic, without the use of animals and using careful clinical trials made a heart-lung machine which was successful on human beings.
    (H. McLeave, The Risk Takers, Holt, Rinehard & Winston, 1962, page 70.)

    “Unfortunately, the condition of a dog with a small but healthy part of his pancreas left is essentially different from that of a person suffering from diabetes… in human diabetes two factors are present: an essentially progressive lesion absent in experimental animals; and
    the detrimental effect of improper diet.”

    (Hugh MacLean, M.D., D.Sc., Lancet, May 26 1923, page 1043.)

    “Arguments based on the insulin requirements of the depancreatised dog and cat applied to human diabetes are quantitatively dangerous.”
    (Dr F. G. Young, D.Sc., PhD., F.R.S., British Medical Journal, November 17 1951, pages 1167-1168.)

    “Dr Banting, Canada’s medical hero, who is popular and erroneously credited with the discovery of insulin by extirpating the pancreases of thousands of dogs, did not cause diabetes, but stress.”
    (J.A. Pratt, “A Reappraisal of Research Leading to the Discovery of Insulin”,Journal of the History of Medicine, Vol. 9, 1954, pages 281-289.)

    The antibiotic drug Chloramphenicol was responsible for causing leukemia and fatal aplastic anaemia in human beings.
    “This drug was tried out for long periods on dogs and found to produce only a transient anaemia, but fatal results have followed its use in human disease…”
    (Editorial, Medical Review, September 1953.)
    “Extensive experiments on dogs failed to show evidence of injury or disease to the canine species.”
    (Bulletin, Easton, Massachusetts, April 2 1953.)

    “ development of surgery to replace clogged arteries with the patient’s own veins was impeded by dog experiments which falsely indicated that veins could not be used.32Likewise, kidney transplants, quickly rejected in healthy dogs, were accepted for a much longer time in human patients.33

    References: 32. Domingo RT, Fries C, Sawyer P, Wesolowski S. Peripheral arterial reconstruction. Transplantation of autologous veins. Transactions of the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs 1963; 9: 305-316.

    33. Hume D. Experiences with renal homotransplantation in the human subject.Journal of Clinical Investigation 1955; 34: 327-381.

    “In the old days we were taught, as the result purely of animal experiments [dogs and others], that digitalis raised the blood-pressure. We now know that this is utter nonsense. Indeed, it is a remedy of very great value in certain cases when the blood pressure is found to be abnormally high.”
    (James Burnet, M.A., LLB (Lond.), M.D., F.R.C.P.E., Medical World, July 3 1942, page 338.)

    “Animal experimenters found, as a result of experimentation on animals that digitalis raised the blood-pressure, and, as a consequence, it was not used for some years on human beings. The fact that the blood-pressure is raised by digitalis was found – clinically – to be incorrect in the case of human beings, and it is now freely used in cases in which the laboratory experiments warned us that it would be dangerous.”
    (Andrew S. McNeil, L.R.C.P.S. Ed., Medical World, February 5 1943, page 608.)

    Doctors Starr and Edward almost discarded the caged ball valve as it killed all their experimental dogs. It was however successful on human beings.
    Mitral Replacement: *

    Clinical Experience with a Ball-Valve Prosthesis


    From the Department of Surgery and Division of Thoracic Surgery,

    University of Oregon Medical School, Portland, Oregon

    “Virtually every advance in the treatment and prevention of cardio-vascular disease was achieved by direct clinical and epidemiological investigations of actual human patients. In the early half of this century, the development of surgical operations capable of curing infants and children suffering from such congenital defects as tetralogy of fallot, coarctation of the aorta, and mitral stenosis was achieved during the course of actual operations on human patients. The thousands of animal experiments conducted to discover a surgical procedure for the congenital heart defect were an utter failure. Such refinements as the use of pacemakers for complete heart block grew out of observations of patients suffering from the congenital heart defect known as ventricular septal defect.” Heart Research on Animals (A Critique of Animal Models of Cardiovascular Disease), Brandon Reines

    “Reference is made to the work of Duncan and Blalock in producing ‘experimental shock’ in dogs by various crushing injuries. The comment is made in the annotation that all these experiments were inconclusive since renal failure, usually the cause of death in man, did not occur at all in dogs.”
    (Lancet, October 10 1942, page 431.)

    “It is readily granted that a fracture and a burn on a dog are not the same as on a human.”
    (Doctors Harvey S. Allen, John L. Bell and Sherman W. Day, Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 97, (Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.), November 1953, page 541.)

    •”Dog skin is totally unlike human skin: it does not blister after such treatment as burning, but becomes edematous.”
    (Experimental Surgery, (3rd ed.), Bailliere, Tindall and Cox Ltd, 1954, page 497.)

    •”There are sometimes marked species differences. The dog is much more susceptible to isoniazid toxicity than man.”
    (P. D’Arcy Hart, M.D., F.R.C.P., British Medical Journal, October 2 1954, page 767.)

    •”Recently, Dr Harald Okens, Professor of Anatomy in the University of Copenhagen, stated that there is no compelling argument which can justify scientific experiments on dogs. For his part he categorically prohibited such experiments at the Institute of which he was head. In his opinion much good would be won if such experiments were forbidden by law.”
    (Dog’s Bulletin, February 1955.)

    “After two decades of heart failure experiments on dogs, Wayne State University in Detroit has made no medical advances that help the millions of Americans suffering from heart disease.” Physicians Committee for Medicine

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