Australia Opens Its Doors To Dangerous Research

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10th December 2009, 01:46pm - Views: 1185

People Feature Humane Research Australia Inc. 1 image

Suite 205, Toorak Corporate Centre, 19 Milton Parade, Malvern 3144


10 DECEMBER 2009


The decision by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to lift the current

moratorium on animal to human transplants has been labelled as reckless and irresponsible by

Humane Research Australia Inc.

Chief Executive Officer, Helen Marston, said today It is disappointing that our government is

putting our society at risk, despite warnings from transplant specialists, including Sydney cardiologist

and former president of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, Anne Keogh,

and Infectious Diseases Physician & Microbiologist, Prof Peter Collingnon.”

“The 5 year moratorium on animal to human transplants announced in 2004 was made with good

reason. ‘Xenotransplantation’ is a risky process whereby retroviruses which may lie dormant in its host

species can jump across the species barrier and result in ‘zoonotic’ diseases similar to (or potentially

worse than) SARS, Mad Cow Disease and Swine Flu. ”

The recent global panic over Swine flu could perhaps serve as a (very modest) precursor of how the

world might react should a new zoonotic disease emerge from xenotransplantation. While the

outbreak of the H1N1 virus was declared by the World Health Organisation to be a “public health

emergency of international concern”, a more virulent strain might easily have a much higher level of

transmissability and more serious health consequences.”

“An individual has the right to expose themselves to any risks involved in scientific research but to

further expose that risk to the wider community, who have NOT given consent, is highly unethical.”

“The number of individuals that could suffer and die from a new epidemic could greatly exceed those

potential lives which xenotransplantation was supposed to have saved in the first place. “ concluded

Ms Marston.

For further information about Humane Research Australia Inc. contact:

Helen Marston, Chief Executive Officer

Ph. 0407 802 794 or email

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