European association campaigns against cannulas on cows for research purposes
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    European association campaigns against cannulas on cows for research purposes

    Credit: Belga

    European animal rights association L214 criticised the use of cannulas on cow’s stomachs for research purposes on Thursday. 

    The research is done by an animal nutrition research centre in Sarthe, which belongs to Sanders (a branch of the Avril group). 

    The Avril group and the National Agronomic Research Institute (INRA) have said this procedure has been used for a long time and is necessary for animal research. 

    “They have pierced a hole in their stomach, so they can access its contents at any moment. Employees regularly open the cannula to put in samples of food or take samples”, the presenter Nagui said in a video broadcast by the association. 

    The cows are ‘fistulated’ – they have a 15cm hole drilled into their stomach – “to study their digestion”, the association said. They claimed the conditions the cows, calves, chickens and rabbits studied at the centre are kept in are “deplorable”. 

    “The aim is to make them as productive as possible, whatever the risk to their health”, says Nagui. 

    The Avril group on the other hand “once again laments the manipulation of edited images filmed at night for sensationalist reasons” in a press release. It said the ‘fistulation’ procedure “has been used in animal research for a long time” and has been done used “on six cows” at the Sourches experimentation centre in Sarthe. It is also “researching alternative practices”. 

    The Avril group says the procedure “is accompanied by extremely rigorous veterinary check-ups and is currently the only way to study the digestion of vegetable proteins”. “This analysis is essential for progress within farming and will help improve the digestive health of millions of animals. It will reduce the use of antibiotics and reduce nitrate and methane emissions linked to farming”, Avril claimed. 

    The Inra told the AFP it has used the technology on around 30 cows in France and was researching other alternatives. 

    The association says it has “submitted a complaint about the experimentation centre and wants the government to intervene and ban this research, whether public or private”. 

    Mans Prosecutor, Fabrice Bélargent, told the AFP he had received a complaint by email. 

     Sarah Johansson

    The Brussels Times