Animal testing refers to the scientific research and experiments conducted on the animals. Animal testing is not new to the society and existing for past several years. Every year millions of animals are used for commercial testing and research purposes. Advocates of animal testing claim that it is essential for development of new life-saving medicines and treatments, especially in absence of any other suitable alternative method. Opponents of animal testing claim that it is inhuman to perform experiments on innocent animals, when alternative methods are available to scientists. Testing on animals also does not provide hundred percent assurance of safety of treatments and drugs. Animals are different from humans, hence there is always a possibility that animal testing may not yield accurate results. This paper discusses why animals should not be used for scientific and commercial testing.
United States used around 26-28 million animals every year to conduct scientific experiments and commercial testing. Animal testing is conducted to develop new medical formulas, for identifying toxicity of drugs, check safety of treatments or products, and for other health care purposes. Scientists say that animal testing is essential before providing treatment or drug to any human. However, in reality animal testing does not guaranteed safety of medication. A test successfully conducted on animals may has negative effect on human because of different biological processes and anatomy (Monamy).
According to PETA, majority of animal tests are not appropriate to human health; these tests often do not add up to any advancement in medical science. Majority of the time scientists perform experiments on animals just out of curiosity; they do not ensure that animals receive no or minimum pain. Scientists while conducting experiments on animals do not guaranteed cure for illnesses. PETA mentions about the role of media, scientists, universities and educational institutes in developing misconception among mind of people that animal testing is important for development of new medications (PETA).
Killing millions of animals every year and giving pain & sufferings is not justified. Government created Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in year 1966 to ensure welfare of animals. The act covers warm blood animals and excludes cold-blooded animals along with birds and rats. AWA ensures proper housing as well as transportation of animals that are used for testing, but AWA does not prohibit experiments on animals. Current rules and regulations also do not protect innocent animals from unwanted experiments.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported around 1,134, 700 animals for animal testing in year 2013. APHIS excluded animals that are not covered under AWA, and counted only around 5 percent to 10 percent animals used in experiments. The data shows to what extent scientists and researcher are using animals in their studies. Current laws are poorly formed and it do not cover around 95 percent animals that are used in the experiments. Majority of experiments are conducted on rats, birds, mice and fishes who are not covered under the AWA, which makes these animals vulnerable to abuse and bad treatments (Watson).
Animals went through horrible treatments during experiments which causes pain, disabilities, loss of body parts and sometime death of animals. For example in an experiment fifty five mice were given laser burns in to eyes in order to pretend battlefield injuries; they were further given injections in their eyes. The experiment did not stop there and went ahead breaking necks of mice. Is it justified to break the neck of animals without giving anesthesia? Researchers admitted that establishing a link between rodents and human beings is tuff (Watson).
Data available on various cases including laser treatment reveals about damages caused to human health from medication even when medications were tested on animals. Laser treatment damaged eyes of various humans when this technology was launched. Therefore, animal testing can not help in preventing human from harmful drugs or medication. It is always a human who test new drug (Tom). The Food and Drug Administration mentions that almost 92 % medications that are safe and effective on animals do not work effectively on human and sometimes even turnout to be dangerous. It is also difficult to find out side effects of any medication during animal testing.
Animal testing should be discouraged because it does not yield good results for humans and also killed several animals every year. During recent years several drugs such as Vioxx, Selacryn, Phenactine and Zomax were pulled out from market because these drugs reacted negatively on people. Despite of animal testing, different drugs kill almost 100,000 humans every year. Therefore, it is important to adopt methods that are more suitable and accurate in analyzing safety of drugs and medications. Killing several animals unnecessary and giving pain to them should be banned because it is not positively contributing in research and development of new treatments (PETA).
Animal testing often mislead researchers and end up in developing something that may be effective in case of animals but ineffective in humans. Medicine named thalidomide caused deformities in around 10,000 babies, however, the medicine does not reacted on mice. Vioxx caused several heart attacks and cardiac deaths. Various drugs that work effectively on humans but causes problems in animals get eliminated from the market because they do not pass animal testing. For example Aspirin and tacrolimus work effectively on humans, but not on animals. Therefore, animal testing should not be trusted.
People are living in an era of cutting-edge technologies. Scientists are developing research methodologies that do not involve animal testing. Cell-based and human tissue based methods, use of cadavers, computational models and high-fidelity patient are reliable and more accurate methods than animal testing. Scientists developed micro-brain by using human brain cells; this micro-brain is utilized to study brain tumors. Scientists also developed bone marrow, skin and protein membranes, which can be used to perform various tests (PETA).
Animals’ cells are different from human cells, hence, study of cell culture can produce accurate results if performed in petri dish and not on animal cells. Testing chemicals on artificial human skin can inform more accurately about chemical reactions. Computer model can inform about toxicity of chemical or substance. Use of non-animal research methods is easy and in expensive as it do not involve housing & transportation of animals. These methods also prevent animals and humans from adverse effect of medications & experiments.
Animal testing should be banned not only because it is ineffective in majority of the cases but also because it will save thousands of dollars of government that currently going on various experiments. A DNA synthesis animal test cost almost thrice as compare to DNA synthesis test in vitro. A photo-toxicity test in rat cost almost ten times higher as compare to non-animal test. Government is currently spending billions of dollars to torcher animals, and to kill them. Animal testing lacks on all parameters as compare to non-animal testing.
Advocates of animal testing said that it is essential because not all test can be performed effectively by applying non-animal methods. Experiments on animals is essential for students who want to opt or studying medical science. Animal testing is essential in order to understand nervous system, endocrine system and other important system, which otherwise cannot be studied in effective manner. Animal behavior, cognitive abilities and responses to different stimuli cannot be studied by adopting non-animal testing methods.
Animal testing is good for both animals and humans. Animal testing helped in development of various vaccines which helped people as well as animals. In absence of proper vaccines several animals would have not survived due to rabies, canine parvo, hepatitis virus, anthrax and various other deceases. According to advocates, government has formed laws to ensure that animals are treated properly and in absence of animal testing it will difficult to develop safe and effective medications.
After analyzing positive and negative aspects associated with animal testing, it is good to say that animal testing should be discouraged or banned. Existing laws do not cover 95 percent animals that are badly treated while medical experiments. Scientist and researchers also do not ensure proper and painless experiment on animals, which resulted in sufferings and killing of several animals. Animal testing should also be banned because majority of results generated after animal testing do not prove accurate on human beings. Medications that are found effective on animals often result ineffective and sometimes cause dangerous for humans. Animals testing is a costly, ineffective and unethical process, hence, it should be banned.
"Animal Testing Is Bad Science: Point/Counterpoint." 2015. peta. Electronic. 20 April 2015.
Monamy, Vaughan. Animal Experimentation: A Guide to the Issues. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.
Tom. "Animal Justice Project: Same nonsense, different name." 30 March 2015. speakingofresearch. Electronic. 20 April 2015.
Watson, Stephanie. Animal Testing: Issues and Ethics. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2009. Print.