Animal Aid

Endangered frogs - the vivisection connection

Posted 28 January 2008

A devastating new dossier has been published by Animal Aid which details how the capture and transportation of frogs for the vivisection industry has led to a worldwide epidemic that could wipe out thousands of amphibian species in the wild.

Scientists believe that the disease Chytridiomycosis, which is caused by a parasitic fungus, originated in southern Africa. Although the fungus has long been common in frog populations in this area, they have an apparent immunity to it. But in the mid 1930s, large numbers of African Clawed Frogs were taken from the wild and exported to laboratories around the world for use in human pregnancy tests. By the 1950s, the frogs were being used in developmental research, particularly in Britain.

Sixty years on, it is estimated that around one third of African Clawed frogs used in laboratories are still taken from the wild. And the trade in these frogs as ‘exotic pets’ continues. Dr Matthew Fisher, of Imperial College London said, ‘We strongly suspect BD [the fungus] is being introduced into the UK on a daily basis through the amphibian trade.’

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