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Activists Protest Animal Brain Injury Research

Rats have long been used by the NFL for brain injury research, and animal-welfare activists say that it is ineffective and inhumane.

Head trauma in the NFL has become an increasingly public issue as more ex-players come forward and press charges against the football league for concussion-related injuries. For nearly a decade, the NFL has used rats as test subjects to study the epidemic, but People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling on the NFL to abstain from animal testing, not only because it subjects animals to inhumane conditions, but it has proven to be ineffective in replicating the trauma that humans endure. The International Brain Injury Association reports that, “The animal models of [traumatic brain injury] cannot possibly capture the diversity of the human physical injury after TBI. Given the uniquely human nature of consciousness, it is hardly surprising that there are no animal models in which to study the human VS [vegetative] and MCS [minimally conscious] state.”

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