Leaving a lasting paw print

PAWED hosts guest speaker


PAWed club visited the University of Illinois for a field trip during the fall

Last week PAWed club hosted its second speaker of the year, Letty Medina, the Director of Animal Welfare & Compliance at AbbVie, in order to learn more about animal testing.

Medina discussed her role in watching over the animals being used for research at the AbbVie facilities, including the need for safe and thought-out animal testing. Although animal rights activists often target companies that use animal for testing, Medina explained the moral and scientific reasons for such behavior.

“I really learned the reasons for animals testing,” junior and club member Aileen Hull said. “The benefits almost outweigh the bad.”

Indeed, Medina presented a view that oftens goes underrepresented in the news: the side of the companies doing the testing.

“I think there’s a lot of negative views about animal testing and how animals are treated and I think she offers a different perspective,” club moderator and science teacher Peggy Halloran said.

For many club members — both veterinary hopefuls and animal enthusiasts of all backgrounds — the talk made them reconsider their stances on animal welfare.

“The students asked some challenging questions,” Halloran said. “They were open to hearing views other than their own so there was really a dialogue going on.”

Medina also discussed the everyday tasks that come with her position at AbbVie, including the specific measures taken to ensure the safety and happiness of the animals. The attitudes of the animals, for example, could negatively impact experiments like the ones that produce new medicine.

“I learned that people who test on animals have very strict policies that they have to follow in order to keep the animals safe,” junior Ethan Elazegui said.