Lawmaker and veterinarian blasts Oklahoma State for study cancellation
Dec 21, 2009 DVM NEWSMAGAZINE
Oklahoma City, Okla. -- Oklahoma State Representative, veterinarian and farmer Phil Richardson is not keeping quiet about Oklahoma State University's recent cancellation of an anthrax study that would have required testing and euthanasia on primates.
"I bleed Orange as much as anyone, but I am deeply concerned by the actions of Oklahoma State University officials, which appear designed to cater to animal-rights fanatics instead of providing sound education in agricultural sciences," Richardson says in a Dec. 17 statement on his Web site. Richardson earned his DVM from Oklahoma State in 1967 and is a member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, the Oklahoma Pork Council, the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association and the Oklahoma State Alumni Board.
The college embarked on a plan to establish itself as a leader in infectious disease research in the 1990s by developing laboratories and other research facilities with the full knowledge of university administrators, Richardson contends. Yet, the recent cancellation of a study on anthrax that would have required the euthanasia of primates involved in the research undermines that plan, he says.
"The decision is consistent with several made in the past year to curry favor with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the wife of the university's major donor, an avowed animal-rights activist," Richardson says. "The HSUS spends millions of dollars on programs that seek to economically cripple meat and dairy producers, eliminate the use of animals in biomedical research and eliminate hunting. It is impossible to follow all the tentacles of the organization, but its underlying goal is to destroy animal agriculture."
Richardson's accusations follow Oklahoma State president’s controversial decision to terminate a federally funded research project that would have studied the effects of anthrax on live baboons at the school's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Read More
The story about the Oklahoma State President nixing an approved animal research project because of pressure from billionaire donor Madeline Pickens and animal rights activists isn’t silently fading away. Not only is this giving a black eye to the university, the knowledge lost by killing this project is unnecessarily putting human lives at risk. The lack of leadership being shown by OSU President Burns Hargis is embarrassing for a land grant university of this caliber.