Harden Murrumburrah Express letters to the editor, April 20, 2017

CROWN OF THORNS: Letter-writer Arnold Jago says Good Friday should be a day of "quiet reflection", not watching the football.
CROWN OF THORNS: Letter-writer Arnold Jago says Good Friday should be a day of "quiet reflection", not watching the football.

Time to move into future

Which century are we in? The latest report from Agriculture Victoria states that over one million animals, including koalas, monkeys and horses, were used in testing laboratories in 2015, including 84 marmosets and 98 macaques, 29,000 rats, guinea pigs and rabbits and over 400,000 mice. More than 1300 animals are killed every day in lab tests; victims included 30 koalas, 132 dogs, 72 cats, 3929 guinea pigs and 10 monkeys.

No state or territory is exempt from this carnage: in 2014, NSW used almost 3 million, Western Australia 1.1 million and Queensland 1.2 million animals.

The self-regulated Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes offers very little protection for animals in laboratories. It allows researchers to deliberately induce biological stress, catch and kill protected wild fauna and inflict pain and distress through injury, trauma and disease.

These experiments are cruel, expensive, and generally inapplicable to humans – the world’s most forward-thinking scientists have moved on to develop and use methods for studying diseases and testing products that replace animals and are actually relevant to human health. These modern methods include sophisticated tests using human cells and tissues (also known as in vitro methods), advanced computer-modelling techniques (often referred to as in silico models), and studies with human volunteers.

For example, Harvard’s Wyss Institute has created "organs-on-chips" that contain human cells grown in a state-of-the-art system to mimic the structure and function of human organs and organ systems. The chips can be used instead of animals in disease research, drug testing, and toxicity testing.

Other strategies include physico-chemical methods and techniques utilizing tissue culture, microbiological system, stem cells, DNA chips, micro fluidics, computer analysis models, epidemiological surveys and plant-tissue based materials.

Future generations will be horrified to learn of the horrors inflicted in these laboratories of pain. It's time to move into the 21st century and ban these fortified houses of horror.

Ashley Fruno

Associate Director PETA Australia

A quiet time for thoughts

Last week, some (Fairfax) newspapers carried an article about “how Good Friday in Australia compares to the rest of the world”.

Saying that, “Good Friday just got slightly more lively in Australia”…referring to the (yawn) AFL football match.

And that, “still the quietest day of the year…Good Friday is no big deal”.

Incorrect. Quietness is a very big deal – a scarce commodity, worth cherishing where it survives.

Quiet minds become full of thoughts – about life, about purpose, about meaning, about God.

Arnold Jago

Nichols Point

Make a noise about NBN

TODAY, I had a visit from a local business owner who has been fighting a constant battle with Telstra regarding problems with his NBN, especially at his home. 

As usual, the service provided is nowhere near the promised level for the money being paid, and the option to return to ADSL and fixed line are being denied. It appears now that Sussan Ley MP may look into the Jindera problem if she has enough complaints to do so.

The call is out there again to email data and general complaints, this time to Steve Block at Sussan Ley's office - directly via the website at http://sussanley.com/contact/. You may prefer to use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Please bombard the office with as many complaints as possible, as this may make the politicians understand the NBN roll-out has been a disaster.

Kathy Anderson