Sadly, all too often, research goes off the rails. What starts out as good intention, collaboration and free exchange of ideas, turns into a race – not for the ultimate cure, but for the most funding to insure “successful” continuation of the project.
Sometimes, research gets “found out”: the recent revelation that the various omega fats were not essential to being healthy – it was based upon one very questionably executed bit of research; anti-oxidants combatting free radicals turns out to be more of a marketing ploy for cosmetic and health-food manufacturers than reality; that saccharine is carcinogenic – when the equivalent of 22 times the human daily intake is injected into rats (I think this would possibly apply to a lot of substances, either natural or synthetic). At other times, the research just continues and gigantic sums of money are invested – not infrequently just to insure that the research remains perpetual and not as a means to an end.
But the worst is research for research’s sake. I can understand the research into lung cancer – even if smoking is a major cause, it is not the only cause so just stopping smoking is only going to help some sufferers. However, research into something we know how to prevent is really malicious. And laminitis is one of those things.
It is known that when horses are subjected to high levels of toxins, one of the first effects is seen in the hoofs. We know that these toxins can vary from (excess) antibiotics and other drugs, through various poisonous plants to incomplete expulsion of the placenta. We also know that by far the most dangerous and prevalent cause, is high levels of fructose. Still the research continues – and in a gruesome way. Perfectly healthy horses are (often force-) fed a high sugar diet resulting in acute laminitis, causing great pain and suffering to the animal. The suffering is relatively short-lived since the horse is then euthanised, often within hours of being fed the sugars, by means of lethal injection, or “humane killer” – otherwise known as the penetrating captive bolt; basically they are shot through the brain.
It is time to stop this sort of research – prevention of this type of laminitis is simple. Stop feeding sugars – either by effective pasture management or, if you really need to feed commercial products (which you don’t), by elimination of the sugars in such products.
Jaime Jackson, director of the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners (AANHCP) and long time promoter of the natural living environment for horses, is sounding the bell in the States where in the past 5 years, there have been at least four major studies into laminitis. The research situation is Europe is a little less shocking, nevertheless, similar research is undoubtedly taking place somewhere on the European continent. If you are aware of universities or research establishments carrying out research into laminitis – particularly destructive inhumane research, now is the time to call a halt to it.
In the link below, you will find a memo from Jaime Jackson describing the situation – although I cannot entirely agree with his stance on cancer research, and certainly not at European levels, I do agree with the basic message. At the back of the document is a letter – you can use this as a template to write to a research establishment asking them to cease.
Thank you for your support.