Animal Testing in Scientific Research

Animal Testing in Scientific Research
Animal testing has been going on since the late nineteenth century. Over the years, billions of animals have been killed from experiments, but the amount of animals tested on has fallen 50% since 1968 and in 1998 reached a 40 year low of only 2.66 million procedures. With that much of a decline, I can?t imagine how many animals were once used and for what purposes.Even with the 50% decline, the number of animals sacrificed for medical and biomedical ends in the United States each year is unknown, but certainly exceeds 60 million and may possibly be as high as 100 million. That amount of animals sacrificed each year is horrible especially when a lot of the test turn out to be inaccurate. ?Of animals currently being used today, about 80% of these are rats and mice, and less than 3% are cats and dogs while non-human primates account for 2%? (internet resource). While researchers do their jobs to find alternatives, one easy way anybody can help animals is start watching what they buy and make sure they aren?t indirectly supporting the cruelty to animals.

Many corporations test on animals, but probably the largest is Proctor & Gamble. People may think they aren?t contributing to the torture of animals, but Proctor & Gamble has over a hundred everyday products that were at one time tested on. Some of their main products consist of Old Spice, Secret and Sure deodorants. ?Testing cosmetics consist of placing rabbits in stocks that immobilize their heads and researchers dropping the substance into one eye, using the other as a control. The pain may be so great the rabbits break their backs trying to escape? (internet resource). In other experiments, ?the animals may be force fed products or have them rubbed or injected into their skin? (internet resource). Forcing millions of animals to go through the trauma is definitely animal cruelty. In most cases, the animals will probably end up dead, but in some experiments the tests will run until the animal dies. Such a case is determining the lethal dose of radiation used in cancer therapy. No matter what the test is or how it is performed, there is always an alternative to hurting and killing an innocent animal.

Another thing wrong with animal testing is a lot of times the tests are wrong or inconclusive. There are several issues that effect test results. A reason test are inconclusive is because animals cannot describe their experiences including the aches and pains that are sometimes the side effects of drugs. Without the results of controlled clinical trials, it is impossible to be sure whether a treatment developed through animal research is really effective in man, or is it actually doing the patient more harm than good? Others are because without humans having the same susceptibility as animals, the drug may actually turn out to be bad for humans. With different susceptibilities, of 19 chemicals known to cause cancer in humans when ingested, only seven caused cancer in mice and rats. Considering cancer is one of the biggest tests done on animals, I think that is a huge factor that should be considered every time researchers get their results. An example is the drug fialuridine which was safe in animal trials, yet caused liver failure in seven of 15 humans taking the drug. Five died and the other two had transplants. Other factors that cause test to be inaccurate are many of the apparent anomalies seen in animal experiments merely reflect the unique biology of the species being studied, the unnatural means by which the disease was introduced or the stressful environment of the laboratory can change results. I personally think that in many cases the lab results are inconclusive or harmful to humans. I just showed a couple situations when drugs were supposed to help humans but instead did the opposite.

With all the animal right activist groups out there, many alternatives are being found instead of using animals. In the current usage of the term, alternate methods includes replacements for mammals, reductions in the use of animals and refinement in experimental protocols that lessen the pain of the animals involved The use of animals is also regulated by the Animals Scientific Procedures Act, which is the most stringent piece of legislation in the world This act provides the highest level of security for the animals. In that term, animals are still being used, but at least there is a cutback in the amount of animals and pain involved. But one way around the suffering and one of the most popular alternative methods is in vitro. With in vitro, tissue stays alive for some time. An animal could be anaesthetized by an injection of Nembutal or other anaesthetic and the required tissue is removed while the animal is anaesthetized. Thus the total pain inflicted is a single injection. This is a simple way to not kill an animal, get what researchers need, and not really harm the animal at all. Human tissue can also be used in the same way. The use of human tissues removed at surgery or at an autopsy is another alternative. Those are both very good methods and should be used much more often.
Plants resemble animals in a way that they are both susceptible to certain poisons. The closest resemblance between plants and animals is genetic mechanisms and hence claims have been made for the use of plants in cancer research. I don?t know how well plants would work in relation to humans. Plants may resemble animals but obviously animals don?t always resemble humans. Another alternative is dummies. Dummies are inanimate objects which resemble living creatures in a way which makes them useful for studying some features. The last and most obvious alternative is humans themselves. Willingness to use alternative methods is increasing in industry, but many companies won?t be able to switch until new methods have been rubber-stamped by regulatory bodies, which still exhibits a huge conservatism. Until then, any alternative method no matter what it is should be taken in consideration.

Cruel animal testing has gone on for many years. There are too many alternatives that can test the same way an animal can. With all the medicines that were tested to work but didn?t on humans, I wonder ?how many potentially useful drugs have been needlessly abandoned because animal test falsely suggested inefficacy or toxicity? (internet resource). The killing of innocent animals is not the key to finding out if a product is harmful, whenever possible an alternative method should be used.

Animal Testing in Scientific Research 8.2 of 10 on the basis of 2763 Review.