ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One city councilor wants the city to join the cutting edge of testing vaccines and drugs. Tammy Fiebelkorn has proposed a bill that would team up with UNM to test animal tissue instead of real animals.

“It’s saving animals; it’s putting something that would be thrown in the garbage to good use. It’s a really great opportunity for the City of Albuquerque to be on the forefront with this new technology,” said Fiebelkorn.

UNM’s professor John Yu has been working on new methods of testing vaccines and drugs. He’s been testing rodents, and now, he’s focusing his research on using dog tissue from spay and neuter procedures. Professor Yu reached out to the City of Albuquerque to see if Animal Welfare will donate animal tissue from routine procedures to UNM researchers.

“My purpose is to try to use and develop those alternative same way using in vitro dish the cell model as a tool to evaluate those response and then combining with advance computer model we can predict, is there any potential toxicity in humans,” said Yu.

Last year, the city’s Animal Welfare performed over 9,000 spay and neuter surgeries. Researchers want to find out how animal tissues react to certain drugs and vaccines without harming any animals.


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“Not to sacrifice any dog and using those disposed reproductive tissues for our propose we can isolate those tissue cells,” said Yu. “We feel that is more advance because the canine more similar to our human the tissue liver.”

Fiebelkorn argues helping animals isn’t political and hopes fellow council members will support the program. The bill passed the Finance committee last night. City councilors will be voting on it at the November 21 meeting.