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Dr. Aysha Akhtar (vegan): Leader in Animal-person Rights and Neurology, Part 2 of 2

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Dr. Aysha Akhtar is double board-certified in neurology and preventive medicine and has a master’s degree in public health. Since its inception, CCS has been taking concrete steps to help facilitate the transition to safer, more efficient, and more compassionate biomedical research practices. “One is changing policy in the United States. We're working on a policy that can make it easier for drug developers, for example, to use methods that are not animal testing.”

Dr. Akhtar says research has revealed that about 95% of the drugs and vaccines found to be safe and effective in animal-persons have failed during human trials. CCS thus aims to increase the adoption and use of, and funding for, new testing methods that are based on human biology. “There’s a lot of different types of techniques now that are replacing animal testing and can replace even more animal testing down the road. There’re virtual simulations. There's printing of human organoids or mini human organs actually now in the lab through bioprinting or 3-D printing. You can have most of the human body on a chip now. And these are all so wonderful techniques because they're human biology-based testing methods. And because of that scientific need, that human need to move away from animal testing, that's what's really going to drive the move away from animal testing, more than anything else.”

“We know that the rise in infectious diseases, the rise in pandemics, that we’re going to continue to see more and more, one of the major causes is how we treat other animals. The wild animal trade is a significant contributor to new infectious disease risks that we’re seeing. But we're also seeing an increase in our risk because of factory farming. We're seeing mutations and new bird flu and swine flu come out over and over again, new viruses constantly emerging from these factory farms.”

“So, in every way we can think about it, there're just so many good things that happen when we extend our compassion. Not just to a few animals but to all of the animals out there on the planet.”
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