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GU petitioned to end use of dogs in research

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Göran Landberg and Mattias Goksör receive a petition from Malin Gustafsson and Emelie Wiberg of the Animal Rights Alliance.Göran Landberg and Mattias Goksör receive a petition from Malin Gustafsson and Emelie Wiberg of the Animal Rights Alliance. PHOTO: Johan Wingborg

On Friday 25 January, Sweden’s Animal Rights Alliance (Djurrättsalliansen) submitted a petition to the University of Gothenburg. The signatories wanted to put a stop to current experiments using dogs and see the animals relocated. After receiving the petition, GU representatives sat down with the Alliance’s spokespeople for a brief discussion of animal experimentation.

Support for the petition, launched on Facebook in mid-January, was massive. By the time the Alliance closed the petition, it had been signed by nearly 85,000 people. Pro-Vice-Chancellor Mattias Goksör, one of the recipients, appreciates the extent of public involvement.

“I think petitions are a good democratic way of expressing views. I understand that animal experimentation is an issue that arouses strong emotions, and as this petition shows, a huge public concern,” he says.

In the discussion after the petition was presented, general aspects of animal experimentation were addressed. Another topic touched upon was the importance of exchanging views.

“It’s difficult for us to reach a consensus on these issues, but dialog is important. As we see it, animal experiments are still needed in some kinds of research, to develop new medicines and treatment methods and gain basic knowledge,” says Göran Landberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for research, who was also present at the submission.

The Animal Rights Alliance representatives, Malin Gustafsson and Emelie Wiberg, expressed their view that it was important for the signatories to get a hearing in this way.

“We’re now on track for an ongoing dialog about this issue, because we want to be kept informed,” Gustafsson says.

The University of Gothenburg will initiate a broader discussion on animal experimentation and issue a statement on the matter.