For 32 years, Richard Aulerich, a professor of animal science at Michigan State University, has dedicated his work to one area, mink research. An attack in late February by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), however, destroyed his lab and most of his current data. Aulerich now finds himself in the center of what has become an archetypal struggle between those who favor animal rights and those who say they are engineering progress through the use of live animals.
Mink research at MSU began in the late 1940s with the construction of a mink ranch on campus, where scientists studied the animals' reproductive habits and community to assist the fur-farming industry. Aulerich's work, however, has centered more on the effects of the environment on the mink as a species, involving feeding them fish from certain regions of the United States and testing them dermally with toxicants. Both experiments were later used...
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