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Peking University experimenting on live cats for medical teaching?

The Beijing News, May 10, 2009

Following a tip-off from an anonymous source, The Beijing News conducted an incognito investigation into an allegation accusing the medical school of Peking University of animal rights abuse.

A reporter attended a class in which "the mechanism of hypotensor" was taught to over ten med students. During an experiment which lasted for more than two hours, chemicals were applied to an anesthetized cat through a vein injection to generate a change in the size of the cat's eye membrane. The body of the dead cat was put in a plastic bag before being cremated. A teacher at the university said that the cats were bought from peddlers who probably catch them in the countryside.

According to the newspaper, felines are not among the lab animals that the university can legally use. But the faculty of the university's med school explained that cats are better than other animals because they have bigger eye membranes; in addition, the low market demand makes it impossible to find a corporate supplier, so they can only reply on "cat peddlers".

In another story on the front page of the newspaper, an inmate who had spent eleven years in prison for murder was recently acquitted after the "victim" was found still alive.

In 1997, a villager named Zhao Zhenshang was reported missing. A rotten corpse was also discovered and believed to be the missing Zhao. The authorities found a suspect named Zhao Zuohai who pled guilty in his trial.

Zhao Zhenshang's reemergence eleven years later overturned the verdict. Zhao Zhenshang admitted that he stabbed the other Zhao with a knife before he fled, out of fear of retribution. He hid his real identity and lived as a garbage collector before a medical problem forced him to return home.

Zhai Zuohai says he pled guilty to the murder after being beaten by the police.

The large photo on the front page shows a Russian military parade on Red Square, in honor of Russia's victory day. Hu Jintao was one of the state leaders who attended the ceremonies.

The China Daily reports:

Elite uni denies claims of lab tests on stray cats

Peking University went into damage control mode on Monday when its Health Science Center denied allegations that students had conducted experiments on stray cats in laboratory classes.

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