Alec Baldwin is calling for an end to planned testing on dogs in Taiwan.
In a letter to the minister of the Taiwanese agriculture council, Chen Bao-Ji, the actor asked the government to cancel plans to inject beagles with rabies in order to test vaccines. “I have two dogs myself and want them to be safe from the threat of rabies, so I understand your concern about the recent rabies outbreak in Taiwan and your desire to protect the city’s animals and humans,” he writes. “But infecting beagle puppies with this new strain of rabies isn’t the answer, since we already know that all variants can infect any warm-blooded animals.”
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has also been campaigning against the planned testing. PCRM’s petition on Change.org has gathered over 46,000 signatures sent to Minister Chen Bao-Ji. PCRM president Dr. Neal Barnard writes, “It sounds like a scene from a horror movie: injecting rabies into beagle puppies and watching as they succumb to one of the most miserable of diseases. This isn’t fiction. It’s a cruel experiment that’s real and imminent.” He adds, “The Taiwanese Council of Agriculture wants to test whether a new strain of rabies will spread from ferret badgers to dogs. It aims to inject rabies into at least 14 puppies, and it is hoping that the world will turn a blind eye to this awful experiment.”
PCRM associate director of laboratory medicine Dr. Kenneth Litwak adds that the testing will only prove what we already know: that rabies “can spread from animal to animal and animal to human.”
Baldwin continues, “The best way to stem Taiwan’s recent outbreak is an all-out effort by the Taiwanese government to urge its citizen to vaccinate the country’s many vulnerable dogs and cats.”
He joins actress Maggie Q, who has also sent a letter to Taiwan’s government against the proposed testing.