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Mutilation of Rats Is Disgraceful

Friday, December 9, 2005

As a physician serving on one of the University of North Carolina's human research oversight committees, I was disturbed by the story about the university's violations of federal guidelines ["Lab Animal Violations Decried," Federal Page, Dec. 2].

It's appalling that university employees were cutting the heads off live baby rats with scissors. Even more disgraceful is that a year later, similar violations were documented.

Clearly, something is wrong with the oversight within the university's animal regulatory committee and at the National Institutes of Health.

I agree with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: It's time to pull UNC's animal research license until corrections are made.

AYSHA AKHTAR

Durham, N.C.

The writer is a consultant with the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine.

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