- The Hon. Kay Patterson, & the NHMRC
Xenotransplantation is the transplantation of cells, tissues or organs from one species to another. It poses a serious health risk to the community and untold cruelty to thousands of animals who will be sacrificed for futile research. Researchers have already acknowledged that xenotransplantation poses risks of disease transmission across the species barrier (zoonosis). Even if detected, the viruses are largely untreatable and can put entire communities at risk. Funding for xenotransplantation studies is likely to divert resources from other medical services. Hospital funding is already insufficient to meet our current needs - eg a shortfall in hospital beds, operation waiting lists, outbreaks of disease due to insufficient staffing/cleaning.
Source animals (pigs) are housed in pathogen-free units with no access to rooting materials or the outside environment. Baboons will be subject to invasive operations. They will also suffer the consequences of being dosed with immunosuppressive drugs leaving them vulnerable to infection, or suffer rejection of the transplant organ over days or weeks. Thousands of animals including rats, mice, rabbits and dogs are used in studies of genetic modification. Many more are used in the development of immunosuppressant drugs that will be required to prevent the human body from rejecting the foreign tissue.
There ARE alternatives to xenotransplantation. Researchers have already acknowledged that human-to-human transplants are far safer than using materials from a different species. This eliminates the risk of zoonosis and also reduces the chance of the organs being rejected by the recipients body. Clearly this is the best option for those in need.
· Promotion of current human organ donation schemes
· Reducing the demand for donor organs by encouraging healthier lifestyles
· Use of organs from 'non-heart-beating donors'.
· Use of organs from living donors
· Development of artificial organs.
Plesae also note that this petition is being promoted by the Anti Vivisection WA (Inc), http://www.avwa.com.au/
To The Hon. Kay Patterson, Federal Minister for Health & Ageing, and to the National Health & Medical Research Council: We the undersigned, petition that all research into xenotransplantation cease immediately and that funding is instead directed into alternative ways of addressing the shortage of human donor organs.
The Stop Xenotransplantation Proceeding petition to The Hon. Kay Patterson, & the NHMRC was written by Kier Bult and is in the category Animal Rights at GoPetition.