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THE BUSHMEAT EBOLA CONNECTION FROM IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS--A FACTOR NOT BEING MADE PUBLIC

"The Bushmeat-Ebola Connection" by IDA President Marilyn Kroplick, MD, with contributions from IDA-Africa Executive Founder Sheri Speede, DVM.

Imagine a child ill with a fever. What if it’s Ebola? Crying in pain with outstretched arms, she approaches longingly for an embrace, a soothing motherly hug. What is a mother to do? Does she cast her daughter away and refuse to touch or comfort her? This is a terrible predicament! Naturally, a mother longs to comfort her child, but now she fears contracting Ebola herself.

Ebola challenges and threatens West Africa and NOW all of humanity. It preys on the goodness of humanity, sealing people off in isolation rooms and mandating distant contact through protective gear. Worst of all, Ebola kills the very caregivers whose heroic sacrifice is desperately neededdoctors, nurses, and women! West African healthcare workers dead from Ebolahas further diminished impoverished hospitals and healthcare systems. The Center for Disease Control (CDC), currently is developing an Ebola vaccine, not yet ready for release in patients. On September 26, 2014, the CDC sent this alarming Ebola forecast in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report:

Without an increase in effective interventions (an Ebola vaccine), there could be 1.4 million cases of the disease in Africa within four months.

In the wake of this global tragedy, I asked myself how In Defense of Animals could help. I decided to dig deeper into journals and articles about Ebola to understand its complexity and multiple contributors to the current pandemic. Causative connections between Ebola, bushmeat, and animal abuse seemed obviousalbeit, ignored by the media!

In 1999, IDA established the Sanaga-Young Chimpanzee Rescue Center, located in the Mbargue forest of the Central Province of Cameroon and named Dr. Sheri Speede director. 72 chimpanzees live at the sanctuary; many are orphans who watched the slaughter of their mothers for meat. Once abandoned, Primate orphans are "now the new currency in a growing international trade," The Bushmeat Crisis Task Force reports. Meanwhile, aging adult chimps also found refuge at our sanctuaryfrom years spent chained in front of tourist hotels. Other less fortunate chimps end up in logging or hunting camps, confined to makeshift cages in preparation for a "final sale," in cities, as commercial bushment, The New arrivals at Sanaga-Young often come from deplorable conditions, showing visible scarslike broken limbs, smashed teeth, dehydrated and malnourished bodies, with open cuts from chains. Allhowever, have invisible scars from past traumas! Once at the Sanctuary, their lives unfold and renew in their adopted new families.

Ebola its origins

People in West and Central Africa consume many species of forest animals. Bats are often used in soups. Whole dead monkeys are sold openly in markets and prepared monkey meat is served in many restaurants. Flesh of endangered and legally protected chimpanzees and gorillas, considered a delicacy by some, is provided "under the table" at open markets and sold illegally to urban elite through special dealers. Collectively called bushmeat, forest dwelling animals are butchered and eaten in small villages by people who would go hungry otherwise. However, huge quantities of bushmeat are also transported to urban areas and sold commercially to wealthier Africans who consider it a delicacy. A small percentage of bushmeat is exported to immigrant communities in Europe and the United States. Research studies link Ebola and bushmeatkilling humans and chimpanzees alike .

http://www.idausa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/dead-monkeys-at-the-market.jpghttp://www.idausa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/dead-monkeys-at-the-market.jpgDead monkeys for sale in a bushmeat market in the town of Bertoua, Cameroon

Animal to human transmission:

Ebola is a zoonotic disease, meaning it’s transferred from an animal to a human (also like HIV, SARS).The exact modes of transmission, scientists have deduced a scenario like this: First, the virus lives inside a "healthy animal," who harbors the virus without manifesting symptomslabeled as the anatural host or reservoir. Most scientists think migrating fruit bats are suspect. One day a fruit bat eats part of a fruit that’s now infested with Ebola and then drops it. A few hours later, a chimpanzee discovers the Ebola-infected fruit and finishes it. One week later, the chimp is dead. A poor villager stumbles upon its carcass soonafter. With glee, he carries home the dead body. Unfortunately, while cutting up the carcass, a small drop of infected with Ebola, splashes onto his skin. Two days, after a delightful meal, the villager feels ill with flu-like symptoms, a headache and muscle pains. Later on that week, he vomits and has bloody diarrhea. On his eighth day ill, he is dead. Neighboring villagers wash his corpse in a traditional West African ceremony before burying it. Two weeks later, the diggers and some attendants who kissed the corpse die also, Ebola that can live in a corpse for several days, so corpses can transmit Ebola. Once inside a symptomatic human, it is quite infectious, and spreads like wildfire from human to human.

Decimated Chimpanzee population…the future of humans

Chimpanzees, also are stricken by Ebolawith recent dwindling populations, they are further decimated at the hands of humans. Besides pummeling chimpanzee and their populations, humans are responsible for destroying habitat. For example, multinational agricultural corporations clear forests to grow crops for export; logging and mining companies cut roads into once pristine forests, providing conduits for commercial hunters; and mining companies exhaust the mineral Coltan (used in cell phones, computers, chips, game consoles, and camcorders). These factors have exponentially increased the size of urban populations, further fueling demand for commercialized bushmeat while promoting lethal mutations in the virus, wider geographic distributions of the disease, and exponential growth of Ebola outbreaks…and seeding future Ebola outbreaks of more lethality. With each replication in an animal or human cell, Ebola mutates, perhaps enhancing its lethality and rate of disease infestation. Is this a matter of cause and effectwhat’s reaped; now sowed

Knowing Ebola links to bushmeatpart of the puzzle!

Now it’s time to rise up against bushmeat trading: against Ebola and its crueltyits disregard for lifeboth human and primate! Now’s the time to strategically fight to eradicate this Ebola apocalypse that has been inflicted upon West Africa, America, and Spainand possibly the world! Western, developed nations and those developing must learn about lethal linkage of Ebolaand bushmeat. Then those who remain blind, or desensitized, to animal cruelty can begin to see this a cause and its effecthow humans animal killing relates to human death from Ebola. Hopefully, this pandemic will invigorate and stimulate a public outcryone that denounces bushmeat trading, both locally and globally. Hopefully, this catastrophe will energize collaboration between different academic disciplinesveterinary medicine, human medicine, and ecologyenables discovery of early predictors of new, more dangerous, emerging zoonotic diseases. Suffering brings insight. We realize that as humans and non-humans we are interconnected.

As animal activists, we abhor animal cruelty, yet most Americans don’t understand the connection between the bushmeat, animal abuse, and disease transmission. Together, we must speak out against bushmeat trade to sustain human health and save endangered species! Through public opinion, we can pressure our politicians to take action. This deadly Ebola outbreak may provide an opportunity to educate the world about the dangers of bushmeat and to promote affordable protein substitutes available on a plant-based diet. Let’s leverage the fear of Ebola to spread our anti-bushmeat message to South Africans, Americans, and to people all over the world!

As we learn more about the serious consequences of the bushmeat trade, we will expand our Circle of Compassion to include West Africans and Great Apes suffering from Ebola, free ourselves from the nightmare of Ebola, and restore balance. Albert Einstein eloquently said, "Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."

Marilyn Kroplick MD, is president of In Defense of Animals (IDA). Dr. Katz handed over the torch of IDA to Dr. Kroplick, a trained child, adolescent, and board-certified adult psychiatrist. Throughout her life, she has loved traveling to exotic locales: Africa, Middle East, Asia, Cuba, and South America as a medical doctor and professional photographer. In the sixties, Dr. Kroplick photographed social movements civil rights, anti-war, and women’s rights. Her activism was published in underground (activist) newspapers, books, and in a weekly column of the Village Voice. In 1972, The National Endowment for the Arts awarded her a grant in photography.

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Since writing the above Physicians Committee has written another article showing the ineffectiveness of using animals (mice) for research for e bola (link: View link )

Mice Experiments Are Setting Back Ebola Treatment

The current West African Ebola virus outbreak is deservedly the news topic of the day. This outbreak is larger and deadlier than the more than 30 Ebola outbreaks combined since the virus was discovered in 1976, totaling more than 13,000 confirmed and probable cases and nearly 5,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. It has appeared outside Africa, in the United States, Spain, Norway, and in a separate outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It is teaching us more about diseases that are deadly, highly infectious, and lacking effective drug or vaccine treatments.

It is also teaching us more about the unreliability of studying human diseases in nonhuman animals—and about the media hyperbole that can work to conceal this truth. The New York Times on October 30, 2014 called a recent study a "significant advance" in the role of laboratory experiments to analyze Ebola—in mice.

The study’s authors, acknowledging the inadequacy of the current mouse models of Ebola infection, investigated the effects of the Ebola virus in 47 genetically diverse mouse strains. Some of the mice, they found, were completely resistant to the virus; others were only partially so; and still others experienced severe illness, hemorrhaging, and death. Overall, half of all the mice who were not resistant to the virus died.

The authors concluded that the results suggest an important genetic link to outcomes in Ebola infection among mice—a link that may also be present for human victims.
Texas A&M geneticist David Threadgill has a different take on what the study shows: "Looking at single mouse strains, which is historically what's done, completely misses the vast majority of biology." The current study, which shows different infection susceptibilities and outcomes among the 47 tested strains, could be said to muddy the waters further regarding our understanding of outcomes and treatments for human patients.

Are any of these strains more likely to translate to humans than the mouse models of Ebola that have failed for more than three decades? Given the great differences in how mice and humans express their genes, why is there reason to believe that even finding similar genes in patients will produce similar outcomes? Is studying Ebola in mice based on sound science, or is it, as one of the authors claims, "just more convenient and more cost-effective for working in a highly secure environment”?

Perhaps walking back from the New York Times hype, the study's authors state that connections of their results with human Ebola virus infections may "potentially" occur "way down the line." This is the mantra of basic science experimentation using nonhuman animals, and it rarely happens as hoped.

Better answers may be at hand using human-based research, because blood, body fluids and tissues, viral isolations, laboratory and imaging results are available from survivors and non-survivors. Three Ebola victims have received plasma transfusions from survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, who himself received a transfusion from one of the Liberian survivors. All three recipients have survived, and it is likely that antibodies from the transfusions aided their survival. This method was also successful during the 1976 and 1995 Ebola outbreaks.

In contrast, transfusions between monkeys for the same purpose have failed; all recipients have died from Ebola. And no effective drugs or vaccines have yet come from animal experiments.
If the worldwide medical community is to be better prepared for the next Ebola outbreak, the worldwide scientific community must zero in on human-relevant research rather than unreliable animal experiments of convenience.

Thanks, Richard!  



Richard W. Firth said:


Since writing the above Physicians Committee has written another article showing the ineffectiveness of using animals (mice) for research for e bola (link: View link )

Mice Experiments Are Setting Back Ebola Treatment

The current West African Ebola virus outbreak is deservedly the news topic of the day. This outbreak is larger and deadlier than the more than 30 Ebola outbreaks combined since the virus was discovered in 1976, totaling more than 13,000 confirmed and probable cases and nearly 5,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. It has appeared outside Africa, in the United States, Spain, Norway, and in a separate outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It is teaching us more about diseases that are deadly, highly infectious, and lacking effective drug or vaccine treatments.

It is also teaching us more about the unreliability of studying human diseases in nonhuman animals—and about the media hyperbole that can work to conceal this truth. The New York Times on October 30, 2014 called a recent study a "significant advance" in the role of laboratory experiments to analyze Ebola—in mice.

The study’s authors, acknowledging the inadequacy of the current mouse models of Ebola infection, investigated the effects of the Ebola virus in 47 genetically diverse mouse strains. Some of the mice, they found, were completely resistant to the virus; others were only partially so; and still others experienced severe illness, hemorrhaging, and death. Overall, half of all the mice who were not resistant to the virus died.

The authors concluded that the results suggest an important genetic link to outcomes in Ebola infection among mice—a link that may also be present for human victims.
Texas A&M geneticist David Threadgill has a different take on what the study shows: "Looking at single mouse strains, which is historically what's done, completely misses the vast majority of biology." The current study, which shows different infection susceptibilities and outcomes among the 47 tested strains, could be said to muddy the waters further regarding our understanding of outcomes and treatments for human patients.

Are any of these strains more likely to translate to humans than the mouse models of Ebola that have failed for more than three decades? Given the great differences in how mice and humans express their genes, why is there reason to believe that even finding similar genes in patients will produce similar outcomes? Is studying Ebola in mice based on sound science, or is it, as one of the authors claims, "just more convenient and more cost-effective for working in a highly secure environment”?

Perhaps walking back from the New York Times hype, the study's authors state that connections of their results with human Ebola virus infections may "potentially" occur "way down the line." This is the mantra of basic science experimentation using nonhuman animals, and it rarely happens as hoped.

Better answers may be at hand using human-based research, because blood, body fluids and tissues, viral isolations, laboratory and imaging results are available from survivors and non-survivors. Three Ebola victims have received plasma transfusions from survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, who himself received a transfusion from one of the Liberian survivors. All three recipients have survived, and it is likely that antibodies from the transfusions aided their survival. This method was also successful during the 1976 and 1995 Ebola outbreaks.

In contrast, transfusions between monkeys for the same purpose have failed; all recipients have died from Ebola. And no effective drugs or vaccines have yet come from animal experiments.
If the worldwide medical community is to be better prepared for the next Ebola outbreak, the worldwide scientific community must zero in on human-relevant research rather than unreliable animal experiments of convenience.

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