Spring Green meeting addresses medical research amid debate surrounding dog breeding facility

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SPRING GREEN (WKOW) — After months of debate surrounding the Spring Green facility that breeds dogs for medical research, a national research group came to the Village of Spring Green to back up the facility owner’s claims.

On Monday evening, Americans for Medical Progress held a meeting to explain how facilities like the one in question are meant to run and how exactly dogs are used for research. The facility’s owners Jill and Clinton Kane were present but answered few questions.

The meeting was held at Christ Lutheran Church in the city limits and the pastor refused to allow cameras inside for fear it would heighten emotions and make people feel unsafe.

Americans for Medical Progress said the meeting’s goal was to dispel what they call misinformation that often circulates around animal research. Scientist Dr. Cindy Buckmaster said the two most common misconceptions are the way animals are treated and the need for continued animal research.

Buckmaster said animals are treated humanely and there are often trained veterinarians on site at these labs. She said the United States has the strictest laws surrounding the use of animals in research to ensure they are not mistreated.

As for the need for continued research, she said dogs in particular have been essential to helping doctors develop certain cancer treatments and surgical procedures. Still Buckmaster said dogs represent less than half a percent of animals currently used in lab research.

“It’s really super important for people to have the right information before they make important decisions like this and I can’t think of one that’s more important than biomedical progress and taking care of our loved ones,” she said.
Those headed into the meeting weren’t so sure. Nicole Peterson, who has lived in Spring Green for decades, said she was primarily concerned with the environmental impact this breeding facility would have on her community and she wanted to know why so many new dogs would be necessary to breed for research.
As the meeting came to a close, she said she was disappointed she didn’t get those answers.
“Tonight’s meeting was all about the ethics and the reasons that drug research is needed but there was nothing to any of the cases here or anything that would be specific to the dogs that are bred here,” Peterson said.
Buckmaster said the meeting was meant to focus on the medical research industry as a whole, not this specific case. Still Peterson said she came here thinking the meeting would be a conversation with the Kanes addressing concerns about how this might impact the community.
The Kanes declined an interview but their attorney said he would be available for comment once the process is over and they know whether or not Sauk County will issue a conditional use permit for their Spring Green facility.
Michelle Alfini

Michelle Alfini

Reporter, WKOW

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