Animals, from the fruit fly to the mouse, are widely used in scientific research. They are crucial for allowing scientists to learn more about human biology and health, and for developing new medicines. The use of animals in scientific research has long been the subject of heated debate. On the one hand it is considered morally wrong to use animals in this way solely for human benefit.
On the other hand, removing animals completely from the lab would impede our understanding of health and disease, and consequently affect the development of new and vital treatments. Although sometimes these studies do reduce the quality of life of these animals, thorough regulations are in place to ensure that they are carried out in a humane way.
Millions of mice, rats, rabbits, primates, cats, dogs, and other animals are locked inside barren cages in laboratories across the country to be used in experiments. They languish in pain, suffer from extreme frustration, ache with loneliness, and long to be free. Instead, all they can do is sit and wait in fear for the next terrifying and painful procedure that will be performed on them. The lack of environmental enrichment and the stress of their living situation cause some animals to develop neurotic types of behavior, such as incessantly spinning in circles, rocking back and forth, pulling out their own fur, and even biting themselves. After enduring pain, loneliness, and terror, almost all of them are killed.
There are many non-animal research methods that can be used in place of animal testing. Not only are these non-animal tests more humane, they’re also more relevant to humans and have the potential to be cheaper and faster. Each of us can help prevent animal suffering and take a stand against vivisection by buying cruelty-free products, requesting alternatives to animal dissection at school, donating only to charities that don’t experiment on animals, and demanding the immediate implementation of humane, effective non-animal tests by government agencies and corporations.
Proponents of animal testing say that it has enabled the development of numerous life-saving treatments for both humans and animals, that there is no alternative method for researching a complete living organism, and that strict regulations prevent the mistreatment of animals in laboratories.
Opponents of animal testing say that it is cruel and inhumane to experiment on animals, that alternative methods available to researchers can replace animal testing, and that animals are so different from human beings that research on animals often yields irrelevant results.
Despite the use of over 115 million animals in experiments globally each year, only 59 new medicines were approved in 2018 by the leading drug regulator, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Many of these are for rare diseases. The US drug industry invests $50 billion per year in research, but the approval rate of new drugs is the same as it was 50 years ago.Only 6% of 4,300 international companies involved in drug development have registered a new drug with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 1950.
Diseases that are artificially induced in animals in a laboratory, whether they be mice or monkeys, are never identical to those that occur naturally in human beings. And because animal species differ from one another biologically in many significant ways, it becomes even more unlikely that animal experiments will yield results that will be correctly interpreted and applied to the human condition in a meaningful way.
What can we do to stop experiments on animals:-
Tell research-funding agencies to kick their animal experimentation habit.Virtually all federally funded research is paid for with your tax dollars. NIH needs to hear that you don’t want your tax dollars used to underwrite animal experiments, regardless of their purpose. When writing letters, be sure to make the following two points:
• Animal experimentation is an inherently unethical practice, and you do not want your tax dollars used to support it.
• Funding for biomedical research should be redirected into the use of epidemiological, clinical, in vitro, and computer-modeling studies instead of cruel and crude experiments on animals.