Muscular Dystrophy Patient Wants Funding for Cruel Dog Experiments to End
Pascaline Wittkowski has suffered from muscular dystrophy (MD) for more than 40 years. She’s speaking out against the cruelty and ineffectiveness of animal testing conducted in a futile attempt to cure her disease.
Pascaline has written to French charity AFM-Téléthon asking for an end to cruel tests on beagles and golden retrievers, and she’s calling on the organisation to replace them with modern research methods that don’t rely on animals. Her letter reads as follows:
In many of years of research into muscular dystrophy, no cure has been found. Thousands of animals have been caged, tortured, and killed for decades in tests that have no chance of curing the disease that I suffer from, nor any other sick person. In addition to being unethical, animal testing is neither reliable nor effective as a biological model for us. …
In addition to the terrible dependence on others that the disease inflicts on me, it is unbearable for me to know that living beings, sentient individuals who feel emotions in the same way we humans do, are abused, locked up, tortured, and used as we would never want to be. I did not ask that these animals suffer for me or die for me. Funding these experiments on dogs is clearly a waste of resources and money, delaying the discovery of an effective cure.
While animal testing wastes time and resources and offers little hope of a cure to Pascaline and others with MD, animals continue to suffer and die needlessly. Last year, footage given to PETA France by the group Animal Testing revealed that dogs struggled to walk, swallow, and even breathe in painful experiments funded by AFM-Téléthon and conducted out of public view at France’s Alfort National Veterinary School. Most of the dogs used in these tests never reach adulthood. Some are completely crippled before they even reach the age of 6 months, and half endure an agonising death before they’re 10 months old.
There are better ways to help patients with muscle diseases. Cutting-edge techniques – such as using stem cells to develop disease-specific cures, developing ways to grow healthy human muscle cells that could be transplanted into patients with MD, and creating human-relevant drug-screening platforms – have led to the development of more promising therapies.
Please join Pascaline and tens of thousands of others in urging AFM-Téléthon to stop funding these cruel experiments on dogs and to support only modern, non-animal studies.