In an ironic twist in the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial, Dr. Conrad Murray's defense team has reportedly commissioned tests on animals in an apparent effort to dispute charges that the doctor killed the King of Pop, who was famous for his love of animals.
According to news reports, Murray's lawyer, J. Michael Flanagan, revealed "in open court that he had commissioned his own study about the oral ingestion of [p]ropofol." A source close to Murray told RadarOnline.com, "A study was done on [b]eagle dogs to determine how much [p]ropofol would have to be orally consumed to cause death. … The study definitely involved more than two dogs. It's unknown if the dogs died or suffered any harm."
In toxicology tests, large doses of chemicals are pumped into dogs' bodies, slowly poisoning them. Not only are these tests cruel and irrelevant to human health, they are also redundant because substantial data are publicly available about the oral toxicity of propofol in dogs, humans, and other animals. The tests are also in potential violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which prohibits procedures on animals that "unnecessarily duplicate previous experiments."
PETA has filed a complaint with the State Bar of California and is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to also investigate how and why thecruel test reportedly commissioned by Murray's defense team was approved and to issue citations and fines for any violations of the AWA. We will keep you updated as the case progresses.