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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.compasscayman.com/story.aspx?id=49088

Quote:
Seven green sea turtles that face experimentation and death at a Canadian university research laboratory may have won a reprieve after a UK-based aquarium group offered to take the turtles.

The turtles, which were among 16 sent from the Cayman Turtle Farm to the University of British Columbia in 1998 and 2003, were due to be killed this spring, culminating years of experiments on the animals.

According to local media reports, the university has agreed to give them a stay of execution while details of transferring them to Sea Life Centres, which runs more than 30 aquariums in Europe and America, are finalised.

In exchange, Sea Life Centres, part of Merlin Entertainments Group, has agreed to help locate dying, ill or aged turtles for the university so they can be used for the terminal experiments.

Sea Life Centres spokesman Mark Oakley explained: We wont be swapping our own older turtles for the UBC turtles. As we have good working relationships with a number of turtle rescue organisations in Europe and the US, we may, however, be able to help [Bill] Milsom [head of the University of British Columbias Zoology Department] meet his needs with the aid of any freshly dead turtles received by these facilities, or any that are fatally wounded or ill and require euthanising.

Mr. Oakley added: All our own turtles are in good health, but again - given that the objective would be to increase scientific knowledge to aid conservation efforts, we would not rule out providing UBC and/or other scientists with tissues in the event that one or more of our own turtles were to die or to become so ill that putting it to sleep was considered the most humane option.
Experimenting on sick or dying turtles is still far from ideal but I am cheering for the UBC seven who may have been granted a reprieve from a life of being used as test subjects.

Hopefully this is the first step in a negotiation process that will end with no turtles being sacrificed at all, Stop UBC Animal Research is still hard at work.


The fantastic thing is that these turtles never would have had a chance at all if the public hadn't gotten involved, there was so much outrage it was all over the news worldwide. UBC may be just trying to save face but I am so excited that there is real progress happening and we are being listened to, it's inspiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also, I agree with this excellent comment about why killing more endangered turtles in order to 'save' them is irrational:

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In the wild, sea turtles continue to dive to depths already known by observations from field studies. The massive fishing nets continue to intrude into their territories. Environmentalists have been fighting for fishing moratoriums and bans on destructive fishing operations. Sound deterrents have been tested on some fishing nets in attempts to prevent dolphin, porpoise, and whale entrapment. Some of the TEDs (Turtle Excluder Devices) and TSDs (Turtle Saving Devices) have been developed as far back as the 70s. Also raising ethical concerns, in the wild dive depths and ranges of turtles have been determined by attaching data loggers and satellite tags to sea turtles and other marine wildlife. In fact, UBC has participated and are fully aware of these alternatives.

Imprisoning sea turtles in laboratory chambers and tanks to look at thermoregulation, dive behaviour and heart rate will not save them or others. Harnessing them, starving them and subjecting them many other stressful, painful experimental procedures are extremely cruel, scientifically fallacious and absolutely unnecessary. One experiment conclusion was that summer and winter month activity of the turtles was the same. But of course that is under the artificial laboratory conditions. No breakthroughs here at UBC and certainly no justification for over ten years of experiments.
 

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I'm so glad they are being rescued!
 
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