Horses Used for Anti-Venom Production
Wow. Watching "Raw Nature" on APL, they were doing snake milking and told how they make antivenom. According to the little dramatization, they mix four different types of snake venom and inject the horse in small doses so that it develops an immunity, and then they take the antibodies from the horse to create an antivenom for humans! How cool is that!
Elsevier: Article Locator
Explain how antivenin is produced and whether antivenin given for a snkae bite provides lasting immunity? - Yahoo! Answers
does the horse exhibit symtoms of snakebite poisoning when it is injected with this venom?
It likely does at first, or if they overestimate the horses immunity.
isn't that like testing a product on a lab rat/animal? :-/ not really that cool.... more like sad....
I have had a transplant and afterwards I was on this medicine that was made from rabbit's antibodies after they injected them with something- everyone thought it was so cool but I just couldn't help but think... poor little rabbits.... :(
I agree with BaliDoll, poor horses. I have personally been bitten by a snake(copperhead) and I will tell you right now, even a little bit of venom causes excuiciating pain.... It is indeed just like testing on smaller animals but for some reason people think it isn't as harmful because they are horses not cute little 3 pound bunnies or monkeys. I think it is abuse, whether it helps humans or not... Imagine having poisons injected into you all the time... It isnt fair to the animals.
I think it is very cool! It is not quite animal testing, to me. The horses build up an immunity to the venom and so the venom does not affect them. The horse's antibodies that they use to defeat the affects of the venom are then taken and used to produce a lifesaving product.
Anti-venom is such a great thing. The number of snakebite related deaths have been significantly reduced by the production of it. The next time a person is bitten by a Krait or cobra, and saved by anti venom, they can thank a horse.
I have to agree with Lady Dreamer, they are not testing on the horse. They are using the horses' antibodies to create antivenom. The horses are not hurt unless there is a mistake. And a mistake can happen with dewormer, and noone has said we should quit deworming horses.
One man has done the same thing to himself and his blood is a so full of antivernom, that a blood transfer form him has saved counts people in his local area.
But I would imagine the first times of injecting the poison into the horse would hurt them/make them ill. There is no way, no matter how small an amount, that being injected with venom wouldn't have an adverse effect- yes, they grow immune, but that process takes time and things could go wrong. Using deworming mistakes as a point is totally moot because that is something FOR the horse, not something we are doing for our own benefit.....
It is important that they get anti-venom, I get that, and it's great that they do it. However, it does require a horse sacrificing his health, in some degree or another. Humans are selfish though! ha
Simply put, humans are more important than horses. This is widely accepted throughout the world.
One could argue that the horse benefits as well. Should the horse whose immunity has been built up through invenomation be grazing and get tagged by a cobra or a krait (or the other two species of the area that are being used) he would be more likely to survive the bite. For curiosity's sake, I wonder how many horses are killed by snakebites. You never hear those numbers, just human deaths. It makes me wonder.
Another could say poor snakes. Dug out of their holes, put in bags and pots and milked for their venom. But they aren't as cute and furry as horses and are the direct reason the horses are being used in the first place.
We do it to our horses with different substances every time we vaccinate our horses. define:Vaccinations - Google Search
^^ very true, very true, with every vaccine we are putting a harmful substance either dead or active into their body to build up their immunity(and ourselves when we get them as well). I just feel bad cause i know first hand how terrible the pain of being envenomated is, i realize it is helpful to both, but it doesn't detract from the fact that it causes pain to the animals. I feel bad for the snakes too, though i have a personal hatred for them understandably of course, they are taken from the wild and kept in small plastic pizza box like containers and milked of their venom and fed dead cold mice and rats so they do not become injured.... poor guys that has to be a miserable exhistance...
I am a big softie hippy at heart, but i do realize that this what i call a "necessary evil"
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