JMU Joins European Counties for Animal Testing Debate

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) --- JMU is hosting a debate Monday night about the ethics of whether animals should be used for testing in the medical field.

It's a subject that has caused controversy over animal rights for a long time.

JMU will join more than 30 European universities featuring this debate.

Cambridge and Oxford are among the universities in the program and JMU is the only one located outside the United Kingdom.

The topic, "this house would ban all forms of animal research," focuses on the debate regarding the ethical implications of animal research.

Two teams of JMU student debaters will argue for and against the motion.

After the debate, the audience will vote on whether or not the motion should be supported.

Director of Debate Mike Davis said being part of an international debate shows JMU's reputation when it comes to debate.

"It's a great challenge because a lot of the schools that are working on this in the U.K. are working on this together, and we're sort of working on it solo. They're all JMU debaters involved, I've been the primary organizers for it, so that's a challenge. But it's also a great opportunity because it really puts the spotlight on JMU," said Davis.

Davis said the ethical debate also fits in well with JMU's new focus on ethics education.

The debate is open to the public and is at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Miller Hall.