Why Cosmetic Animal Testing Is Bad?

Why Cosmetic Animal Testing Is Bad
Testing cosmetics on animals is both cruel and unnecessary because companies can already create innovative products using thousands of ingredients that have a history of safe use and do not require any additional testing.

Why is product testing on animals bad?

The Collective Harms That Result from Misleading Animal Experiments – As medical research has explored the complexities and subtle nuances of biological systems, problems have arisen because the differences among species along these subtler biological dimensions far outweigh the similarities, as a growing body of evidence attests.

  • These profoundly important—and often undetected—differences are likely one of the main reasons human clinical trials fail.63 “Appreciation of differences” and “caution” about extrapolating results from animals to humans are now almost universally recommended.
  • But, in practice, how does one take into account differences in drug metabolism, genetics, expression of diseases, anatomy, influences of laboratory environments, and species- and strain-specific physiologic mechanisms—and, in view of these differences, discern what is applicable to humans and what is not? If we cannot determine which physiological mechanisms in which species and strains of species are applicable to humans (even setting aside the complicating factors of different caging systems and types of flooring), the usefulness of the experiments must be questioned.

It has been argued that some information obtained from animal experiments is better than no information.64 This thesis neglects how misleading information can be worse than no information from animal tests. The use of nonpredictive animal experiments can cause human suffering in at least two ways: (1) by producing misleading safety and efficacy data and (2) by causing potential abandonment of useful medical treatments and misdirecting resources away from more effective testing methods.

  • Humans are harmed because of misleading animal testing results.
  • Imprecise results from animal experiments may result in clinical trials of biologically faulty or even harmful substances, thereby exposing patients to unnecessary risk and wasting scarce research resources.65 Animal toxicity studies are poor predictors of toxic effects of drugs in humans.66 As seen in some of the preceding examples (in particular, stroke, HRT, and TGN1412), humans have been significantly harmed because investigators were misled by the safety and efficacy profile of a new drug based on animal experiments.67 Clinical trial volunteers are thus provided with raised hopes and a false sense of security because of a misguided confidence in efficacy and safety testing using animals.

An equal if indirect source of human suffering is the opportunity cost of abandoning promising drugs because of misleading animal tests.68 As candidate drugs generally proceed down the development pipeline and to human testing based largely on successful results in animals 69 (i.e., positive efficacy and negative adverse effects), drugs are sometimes not further developed due to unsuccessful results in animals (i.e., negative efficacy and/or positive adverse effects).

Because much pharmaceutical company preclinical data are proprietary and thus publicly unavailable, it is difficult to know the number of missed opportunities due to misleading animal experiments. However, of every 5,000–10,000 potential drugs investigated, only about 5 proceed to Phase 1 clinical trials.70 Potential therapeutics may be abandoned because of results in animal tests that do not apply to humans.71 Treatments that fail to work or show some adverse effect in animals because of species-specific influences may be abandoned in preclinical testing even if they may have proved effective and safe in humans if allowed to continue through the drug development pipeline.

An editorial in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery describes cases involving two drugs in which animal test results from species-specific influences could have derailed their development. In particular, it describes how tamoxifen, one of the most effective drugs for certain types of breast cancer, “would most certainly have been withdrawn from the pipeline” if its propensity to cause liver tumor in rats had been discovered in preclinical testing rather than after the drug had been on the market for years.72 Gleevec provides another example of effective drugs that could have been abandoned based on misleading animal tests: this drug, which is used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), showed serious adverse effects in at least five species tested, including severe liver damage in dogs.

  1. However, liver toxicity was not detected in human cell assays, and clinical trials proceeded, which confirmed the absence of significant liver toxicity in humans.73 Fortunately for CML patients, Gleevec is a success story of predictive human-based testing.
  2. Many useful drugs that have safely been used by humans for decades, such as aspirin and penicillin, may not have been available today if the current animal testing regulatory requirements were in practice during their development.74 A further example of near-missed opportunities is provided by experiments on animals that delayed the acceptance of cyclosporine, a drug widely and successfully used to treat autoimmune disorders and prevent organ transplant rejection.75 Its immunosuppressive effects differed so markedly among species that researchers judged that the animal results limited any direct inferences that could be made to humans.

Providing further examples, PharmaInformatic released a report describing how several blockbuster drugs, including aripiprazole (Abilify) and esomeprazole (Nexium), showed low oral bioavailability in animals. They would likely not be available on the market today if animal tests were solely relied on.

Understanding the implications of its findings for drug development in general, PharmaInformatic asked, “Which other blockbuster drugs would be on the market today, if animal trials would have not been used to preselect compounds and drug-candidates for further development?” 76 These near-missed opportunities and the overall 96 percent failure rate in clinical drug testing strongly suggest the unsoundness of animal testing as a precondition of human clinical trials and provide powerful evidence for the need for a new, human-based paradigm in medical research and drug development.

In addition to potentially causing abandonment of useful treatments, use of an invalid animal disease model can lead researchers and the industry in the wrong research direction, wasting time and significant investment.77 Repeatedly, researchers have been lured down the wrong line of investigation because of information gleaned from animal experiments that later proved to be inaccurate, irrelevant, or discordant with human biology.

Some claim that we do not know which benefits animal experiments, particularly in basic research, may provide down the road. Yet human lives remain in the balance, waiting for effective therapies. Funding must be strategically invested in the research areas that offer the most promise. The opportunity costs of continuing to fund unreliable animal tests may impede development of more accurate testing methods.

Human organs grown in the lab, human organs on a chip, cognitive computing technologies, 3D printing of human living tissues, and the Human Toxome Project are examples of new human-based technologies that are garnering widespread enthusiasm. The benefit of using these testing methods in the preclinical setting over animal experiments is that they are based on human biology.

  1. Thus their use eliminates much of the guesswork required when attempting to extrapolate physiological data from other species to humans.
  2. Additionally, these tests offer whole-systems biology, in contrast to traditional in vitro techniques.
  3. Although they are gaining momentum, these human-based tests are still in their relative infancy, and funding must be prioritized for their further development.

The recent advancements made in the development of more predictive, human-based systems and biological approaches in chemical toxicological testing are an example of how newer and improved tests have been developed because of a shift in prioritization.78 Apart from toxicology, though, financial investment in the development of human-based technologies generally falls far short of investment in animal experimentation.79

What are the disadvantages of animal testing?

What are the advantages of using non-animal alternatives instead of animals in experiments? –

Animal experiments are time-consuming and expensive. Animal experiments don’t accurately mimic how the human body and human diseases respond to drugs, chemicals or treatments. Animals are very different from humans and, therefore, react differently. Increasing numbers of people find animal testing unethical. There are many diseases that humans get that animals do not.

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Why is animal testing morally wrong?

Using animals in research and to test the safety of products has been a topic of heated debate for decades. According to data collected by F. Barbara Orlans for her book, In the Name of Science: Issues in Responsible Animal Experimentation, sixty percent of all animals used in testing are used in biomedical research and product-safety testing (62).

People have different feelings for animals; many look upon animals as companions while others view animals as a means for advancing medical techniques or furthering experimental research. However individuals perceive animals, the fact remains that animals are being exploited by research facilities and cosmetics companies all across the country and all around the world.

Although humans often benefit from successful animal research, the pain, the suffering, and the deaths of animals are not worth the possible human benefits. Therefore, animals should not be used in research or to test the safety of products. First, animals’ rights are violated when they are used in research.

  • Tom Regan, a philosophy professor at North Carolina State University, states: “Animals have a basic moral right to respectful treatment.
  • This inherent value is not respected when animals are reduced to being mere tools in a scientific experiment” (qtd.
  • In Orlans 26).
  • Animals and people are alike in many ways; they both feel, think, behave, and experience pain.

Thus, animals should be treated with the same respect as humans. Yet animals’ rights are violated when they are used in research because they are not given a choice. Animals are subjected to tests that are often painful or cause permanent damage or death, and they are never given the option of not participating in the experiment.

  • Regan further says, for example, that “animal is morally wrong no matter how much humans may benefit because the animal’s basic right has been infringed.
  • Risks are not morally transferable to those who do not choose to take them” (qtd.
  • In Orlans 26).
  • Animals do not willingly sacrifice themselves for the advancement of human welfare and new technology.

Their decisions are made for them because they cannot vocalize their own preferences and choices. When humans decide the fate of animals in research environments, the animals’ rights are taken away without any thought of their well-being or the quality of their lives.

Therefore, animal experimentation should be stopped because it violates the rights of animals. Next, the pain and suffering that experimental animals are subject to is not worth any possible benefits to humans. “The American Veterinary Medial Association defines animal pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience perceived as arising from a specific region of the body and associated with actual or potential tissue damage” (Orlans 129).

Animals feel pain in many of the same ways that humans do; in fact, their reactions to pain are virtually identical (both humans and animals scream, for example). When animals are used for product toxicity testing or laboratory research, they are subjected to painful and frequently deadly experiments.

Two of the most commonly used toxicity tests are the Draize test and the LD50 test, both of which are infamous for the intense pain and suffering they inflect upon experimental animals. In the Draize test the substance or product being tested is placed in the eyes of an animal (generally a rabbit is used for this test); then the animal is monitored for damage to the cornea and other tissues in and near the eye.

This test is intensely painful for the animal, and blindness, scarring, and death are generally the end results. The Draize test has been criticized for being unreliable and a needless waste of animal life. The LD50 test is used to test the dosage of a substance that is necessary to cause death in fifty percent of the animal subjects within a certain amount of time.

  1. To perform this test, the researchers hook the animals up to tubes that pump huge amounts of the test product into their stomachs until they die.
  2. This test is extremely painful to the animals because death can take days or even weeks.
  3. According to Orlans, the animals suffer from “vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis, convulsion, and internal bleeding.

Since death is the required endpoint, dying animals are not put out of their misery by euthanasia” (154). In his article entitled “Time to Reform Toxic Tests,” Michael Balls, a professor of medial cell biology at the University of Nottingham and chairman of the trustees of FRAME (the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments), states that the LD50 test is “scientifically unjustifiable.

The precision it purports to provide is an illusion because of uncontrollable biological variables” (31). The use of the Draize test and the LD50 test to examine product toxicity has decreased over the past few years, but these tests have not been eliminated completely. Thus, because animals are subjected to agonizing pain, suffering and death when they are used in laboratory and cosmetics testing, animal research must be stopped to prevent more waste of animal life.

Finally, the testing of products on animals is completely unnecessary because viable alternatives are available. Many cosmetic companies, for example, have sought better ways to test their products without the use of animal subjects. In Against Animal Testing, a pamphlet published by The Body Shop, a well-known cosmetics and bath-product company based in London, the development of products that “use natural ingredients, like bananas and Basil nut oil, as well as others with a long history of safe human usage” is advocated instead of testing on animals (3).

Furthermore, the Draize test has become practically obsolete because of the development of a synthetic cellular tissue that closely resembles human skin. Researchers can test the potential damage that a product can do to the skin by using this artificial “skin” instead of testing on animals. Another alternative to this test is a product called Eyetex.

This synthetic material turns opaque when a product damages it, closely resembling the way that a real eye reacts to harmful substances. Computers have also been used to simulate and estimate the potential damage that a product or chemical can cause, and human tissues and cells have been used to examine the effects of harmful substances.

In another method, in vitro testing, cellular tests are done inside a test tube. All of these tests have been proven to be useful and reliable alternatives to testing products on live animals. Therefore, because effective means of product toxicity testing are available without the use of live animal specimens, testing potentially deadly substances on animals is unnecessary.

However, many people believe that animal testing is justified because the animals are sacrificed to make products safer for human use and consumption. The problem with this reasoning is that the animals’ safety, well-being, and quality of life is generally not a consideration.

Experimental animals are virtually tortured to death, and all of these tests are done in the interest of human welfare, without any thought to how the animals are treated. Others respond that animals themselves benefit from animal research. Yet in an article entitled “Is Your Experiment Really Necessary?” Sheila Silcock, a research consultant for the RSPCA, states: “Animals may themselves be the beneficiaries of animal experiments.

But the value we place on the quality of their lives is determined by their perceived value to humans” (34). Making human’s lives better should not be justification for torturing and exploiting animals. The value that humans place on their own lives should be extended to the lives of animals as well.

Still other people think that animal testing is acceptable because animals are lower species than humans and therefore have no rights. These individuals feel that animals have no rights because they lack the capacity to understand or to knowingly exercise these rights. However, animal experimentation in medical research and cosmetics testing cannot be justified on the basis that animals are lower on the evolutionary chart than humans since animals resemble humans in so many ways.

Many animals, especially the higher mammalian species, possess internal systems and organs that are identical to the structures and functions of human internal organs. Also, animals have feelings, thoughts, goals, needs, and desires that are similar to human functions and capacities, and these similarities should be respected, not exploited, because of the selfishness of humans.

Tom Regan asserts that “animals are subjects of a life just as human beings are, and a subject of a life has inherent value. They are, ends in themselves” (qtd. in Orlans 26). Therefore, animals’ lives should be respected because they have an inherent right to be treated with dignity. The harm that is committed against animals should not be minimized because they are not considered to be “human.” In conclusion, animal testing should be eliminated because it violates animals’ rights, it causes pain and suffering to the experimental animals, and other means of testing product toxicity are available.

Humans cannot justify making life better for themselves by randomly torturing and executing thousands of animals per year to perform laboratory experiments or to test products. Animals should be treated with respect and dignity, and this right to decent treatment is not upheld when animals are exploited for selfish human gain.

  1. After all, humans are animals too.
  2. Works Cited Against Animal Testing,
  3. The Body Shop, 1993.
  4. Balls, Michael.
  5. Time to Reform Toxic Tests.” New Scientist 134 (1992):31-33.
  6. Orlans, F. Barbara.
  7. In the Name of Science: Issues in Responsible Animal Experimentation,
  8. New York: Oxford UP, 1993.
  9. Silcock, Sheila.
  10. Is Your Experiment Really Necessary?” New Scientist 134 (1992): 32-34.
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Heather Dunnuck

Why shouldn’t we ban animal testing?


Animal testing contributes to life-saving cures and treatments. Animal testing is crucial to ensure that vaccines are safe. There is no adequate alternative to testing on a living, whole-body system. Animals are appropriate research subjects because they are similar to human beings in many ways. Animals must be used in cases when ethical considerations prevent the use of human subjects. Animals themselves benefit from the results of animal testing. Animal research is highly regulated, with laws in place to protect animals from mistreatment. Animals often make better research subjects than human beings because of their shorter life cycles. Animal researchers treat animals humanely, both for the animals’ sake and to ensure reliable test results. Animals do not have rights, therefore it is acceptable to experiment on them. The vast majority of biologists and several of the largest biomedical and health organizations in the United States endorse animal testing. Some cosmetics and health care products must be tested on animals to ensure their safety.

What is the biggest problem with animal testing?

Each year, it is estimated that more than 50 million dogs, cats, monkeys, rabbits, rats and other animals are forced to endure painful experiments in the U.S. These animals are deliberately sickened with toxic chemicals or infected with diseases, live in barren cages and are typically killed when the experiment ends.

Do animals feel pain in animal testing?

How Much Pain Do Animals Experience in Animal Research? – Most animals experience only minimal pain or brief discomfort when they are used in research. According to the 1988 Animal Welfare Enforcement Report by the Department of Agriculture, about 94 percent of all laboratory animals reported are not exposed to painful procedures or are given drugs to relieve any pain caused by a procedure.

The remaining 6 percent of animals are exposed to painful procedures because to relieve them of the pain would defeat the purpose of the experiment. Even in these cases, however, the pain is usually neither severe nor long-lasting. A small fraction of animals do experience acute or prolonged pain during experiments.

But the researchers who conduct these experiments and the institutional committees that oversee them believe that this pain is justified by the magnitude of the problem the experiments are designed to solve. An estimated 85 million Americans suffer from chronic pain caused by arthritis, back disorders, injuries, cancer, headaches, or other conditions.

The annual economic costs in terms of work days lost and health care expenditures from chronic pain run into the tens of billions of dollars. Without research on a relatively small number of laboratory animals, there is little hope that continued progress can be made in alleviating this widespread human suffering.

The statistics concerning pain in laboratory animals confirm a general conviction of the research community. Animal activists are wrong when they accuse researchers of inflicting needless pain on experimental animals. Researchers strive to cause animals either no pain or no more pain than is absolutely necessary.

Why animal testing is bad quotes?

Experiments on animals are unethical—humans don’t have the right to imprison or harm animals. And such experiments don’t even work. Research shows that animal studies are failing to lead to treatments and cures, and they’re wasting time and resources. Here’s what esteemed scientists, government officials, and physicians have to say about them: “Traditional animal testing is expensive, time-consuming, uses a lot of animals and from a scientific perspective the results do not necessarily translate to humans.” —Dr. “ice are mice, and people are people. If we look to the mouse to model every aspect of the disease for man, and to model cures, we’re just wasting our time.” —Dr. Clifton E. Barry, chief of the Tuberculosis Research Section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases “We have moved away from studying human disease in humans. We all drank the Kool-Aid on that one, me included. The problem is that hasn’t worked, and it’s time we stopped dancing around the problem. We need to refocus and adapt new methodologies for use in humans to understand disease biology in humans.” —Dr. Elias Zerhouni, former director of the National Institutes of Health ” are so ingrained in trying to cure mice that they forget we are trying to cure humans.” —Dr. Ronald W. Davis, professor at Stanford University “revention was long delayed by the erroneous conception of the nature of the human disease based on misleading experimental models of the disease on monkeys.” —Dr. Albert Sabin, developer of the oral polio vaccine “The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades and it simply didn’t work in humans.” —Dr. Richard Klausner, former director of the National Cancer Institute

What is the main argument for animal testing?

Why Animal Research? Many people have questions about animal testing ethics and the animal testing debate. We take our responsibility for the ethical treatment of animals in medical research very seriously. At Stanford, we emphasize that the humane care of laboratory animals is essential, both ethically and scientifically.

Poor animal care is not good science. If animals are not well-treated, the science and knowledge they produce is not trustworthy and cannot be replicated, an important hallmark of the, •• Animals are biologically very similar to humans. In fact, mice share more than 98% DNA with us! •• Animals are susceptible to many of the same health problems as humans – cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.

•• With a shorter life cycle than humans, animal models can be studied throughout their whole life span and across several generations, a critical element in understanding how a disease processes and how it interacts with a whole, living biological system.

  1. Nothing so far has been discovered that can be a substitute for the complex functions of a living, breathing, whole-organ system with pulmonary and circulatory structures like those in humans.
  2. Until such a discovery, animals must continue to play a critical role in helping researchers test potential new drugs and medical treatments for effectiveness and safety, and in identifying any undesired or dangerous side effects, such as infertility, birth defects, liver damage, toxicity, or cancer-causing potential.U.S.

federal laws require that non-human animal research occur to show the safety and efficacy of new treatments before any human research will be allowed to be conducted. Not only do we humans benefit from this research and testing, but hundreds of drugs and treatments developed for human use are now routinely used in veterinary clinics as well, helping animals live longer, healthier lives.

  1. It is important to stress that 95% of all animals necessary for biomedical research in the United States are rodents – rats and mice especially bred for laboratory use – and that animals are only one part of the larger process of biomedical research.
  2. Stanford researchers are obligated to ensure the well-being of animals in their care, in strict adherence to the highest standards, and in accordance with federal and state laws, regulatory guidelines, and humane principles.

They are also obligated to continuously update their animal-care practices based on the newest information and findings in the fields of laboratory animal care and husbandry. Researchers requesting use of animal models at Stanford must have their research proposals reviewed by a federally mandated committee that includes two independent community members.

  1. It is only with this committee’s approval that research can begin.
  2. We at Stanford are dedicated to refining, reducing, and replacing animals in research whenever possible, and to using alternative methods (cell and tissue cultures, computer simulations, etc.) instead of or before animal studies are ever conducted.

There are many outreach and advocacy organizations in the field of biomedical research. What are the benefits of using animals in research? Stanford researchers have made many important human and animal life-saving discoveries through their work. : Why Animal Research?

Why do cosmetic companies test on animals?

Consumers and manufacturers sometimes ask about the use of animals for testing cosmetics. The following information addresses the legal requirement for cosmetic safety and FDA policy on developing alternative methods. FDA is responsible for assuring that cosmetics are safe and properly labeled.

This mission is accomplished through enforcement of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), related statutes, and regulations promulgated under these laws. The FD&C Act does not specifically require the use of animals in testing cosmetics for safety, nor does the Act subject cosmetics to FDA premarket approval.

However, the agency has consistently advised cosmetic manufacturers to employ whatever testing is appropriate and effective for substantiating the safety of their products. It remains the responsibility of the manufacturer to substantiate the safety of both ingredients and finished cosmetic products prior to marketing.

  • Animal testing by manufacturers seeking to market new products may be used to establish product safety.
  • In some cases, after considering available alternatives, companies may determine that animal testing is necessary to assure the safety of a product or ingredient.
  • FDA supports and adheres to the provisions of applicable laws, regulations, and policies governing animal testing, including the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Policy of Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals,

Moreover, in all cases where animal testing is used, FDA advocates that research and testing derive the maximum amount of useful scientific information from the minimum number of animals and employ the most humane methods available within the limits of scientific capability.

We also believe that prior to use of animals, consideration should be given to the use of scientifically valid alternative methods to whole-animal testing. In 1997, FDA joined with thirteen other Federal agencies in forming the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM).

ICCVAM and its supporting center, the National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM), coordinate the development, validation, acceptance, and harmonization of alternative toxicological test methods throughout the U.S.

  1. Federal Government.
  2. To learn more, visit the ICCVAM and NICEATM websites.
  3. FDA supports the development and use of alternatives to whole-animal testing as well as adherence to the most humane methods available within the limits of scientific capability when animals are used for testing the safety of cosmetic products.

We will continue to be a strong advocate of methodologies for the refinement, reduction, and replacement of animal tests with alternative methodologies that do not employ the use of animals. More Resources from FDA:

“Cruelty Free-Not Tested on Animals” Label Claims FDA Authority Over Cosmetics

Resources from Other U.S. Government Agencies:

Animal Welfare Act National Toxicology Program-Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Test Methods (NTP-ICCVAM) Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

Resources from the International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR) :

ICCR reports on nanotechnology, trace contaminants, safety assessment, and alternatives to animal testing : By clicking on this link, you will be leaving the FDA.GOV website and going to the ICCR website, where you will find the reports on these topics.

May 31, 1999; Updated April 5, 2006. This information is current. It is updated only when needed.

Why is animals testing not sustainable?

A review of evidence uncovers significant — and often overlooked — negative environmental impacts of animal research. Summary By: | Original Study By: Groff, K., Bachli, E., Lansdowne, M., & Capaldo, T. (2014) | Published: September 16, 2019 Globally, up to 126.9 million non-human vertebrate animals are bred, used, and disposed of in the drug, medical, chemical, cosmetic, and household product industries.

  1. As in the farmed animal industry, this mass use of animals as resources raises serious environmental impact concerns.
  2. Companies in the U.S – the country that uses the most animals in research and testing in the world – are not required to report the total number of research animals used to the USDA.
  3. This makes environmental analysis difficult, but it is still clear that a huge number of animals are used and disposed of in the research industry.

The few specific studies on the environmental impact of animal research indicate that the use and disposal of animals contributes to pollution, as well as harming biodiversity and public health. The researchers of this study set out to examine existing evidence of the environmental impact of animal research, paying particular attention to: Resources used in animal research; waste production in laboratories; sources of pollution; impacts on laboratory workers’ health; biodiversity impacts.

Resources Used in Animal Research To get an idea of the scale of animal use, the researchers examined their use in toxicity testing, which demonstrates the safety and efficacy of drugs and chemicals. Toxicity tests are most commonly conducted on rats, mice, rabbits, and dogs. A standard series of toxicity tests can use between 6,000 and 12,000 animals and may take years to complete.

Another resource used in animal research is energy. The quantity of energy consumed by research animal facilities is up to ten times greater than offices on a square meter basis. Animal research facilities have very specific, energy-intensive needs, including total fresh air exchanges for ventilation, environmental and space needs of the animals, barrier protection from outside pathogens, lighting, and power-intensive equipment.

  • A wide range of chemicals are also used throughout animal research and testing, for sanitation, disinfection, sterilization, and animal care.
  • Toxic substances such as irritants, corrosive substances, asphyxiants, neurotoxins, and carcinogens are frequently used for extended time periods and in large quantities.

Waste Production in Laboratories Millions of animal bodies — as well as supplies such as bedding, caging, needles, and syringes — are disposed of each year. The routine disposal of hazardous waste also produces harmful substances and air pollutants. The most prominent chemically and biologically hazardous waste produced are animal carcasses and tissues that contain toxic chemicals.

  1. Toxic carcasses and tissues are most often incinerated, with many animal research facilities maintaining their own incinerators on-site.
  2. Sources of Pollution Air pollution is produced by the emission of gases resulting from the incineration of animal carcasses and laboratory supplies, many of which contain toxins.

The fuel consumption required to maintain the necessary temperatures of such incinerators has led environmental groups to conclude that incineration is not environmentally sound. Although the researchers were unable to calculate what percentage of incinerated waste came from animal research versus other industries, it is still important to address the fact that animal research plays a part in the negative environmental effects of incineration.

Incineration is also extremely harmful to human health, causing chronic illness and developmental delays in nearby populations. In addition, soil contamination and runoff of animal waste can result in ground water contamination, exacerbating the problem of drugs in public water supplies and contaminating public drinking water.

Impacts on Laboratory Workers’ Health Due to intense air filtration pressures on animal research facilities, allergic reactions and asthma remain major occupational health risks for laboratory workers. Between 11% to 44% of laboratory workers in the U.S.

  • Experience allergic reactions to laboratory animals and between 4% to 22% suffer from occupational asthma.
  • Exposure to laboratory animal allergens can be eliminated by reducing animal research and testing with in vitro alternatives.
  • The inhalation of waste anesthetic gases (WAGs) has also been associated with long-term physical and mental ill health, including headaches, depression, and neurological and reproductive dysfunction.

Laboratory acquired infections (LAI) occur through direct or indirect contact with the animals or their waste, equipment, and supplies. Macaques, pigs, dogs, rabbits, mice, and rats present the strongest risk for the transmission of zoonotic disease. Animal researchers have previously been infected with respiratory disease, herpes B, and ringworm.

Biodiversity Impacts In an era of unprecedented threats to biodiversity, we are losing species at a rate 50 to 500 times higher than natural background rates found in fossil records. Conservation groups have noted that the long-tailed macaque population — the most commonly used monkey in laboratories — is rapidly declining in the wild.

Monkeys are often caught in the wild using false permits and are then bred in captivity for use in animal research. The trade in monkeys for research also raises concerns about the growth and spread of animal disease and dangerous pathogens. There are also issues regarding the potential for genetically modified animals to escape and interbreed with, or out-compete wild populations.

  1. This would have a disruptive effect on the local environment and indigenous populations.
  2. In general, records and research on the environmental impact of animal testing are extremely limited.
  3. To help combat this, the researchers suggest that rats, mice, and birds must be covered under the Animal Welfare Act to begin recording the scope of animal use.
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It is true that the farmed animal industry has a larger contribution to the negative environmental impacts discussed above. However, the environmental impact of the animal research industry has serious negative consequences and cannot be ignored, especially in light of the availability of alternative testing methods.

What are horrible facts about animal testing?

Over 100 million animals are burned, crippled, poisoned, and abused in US labs every year.92% of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they are too dangerous or don’t work.

Is animal testing always harmful?

Is Animal Testing Cruel? – Due to the combination of low accuracy and high amounts of pain, it is difficult to argue that animal testing is not cruel. Animals such as rats, mice, dogs and chimpanzees are burned, poisoned, crippled, starved or abused in other ways via drugs, confinement or other invasive procedures.

Why do animals suffer from animal testing?

Painful procedures – Animals used in research laboratories undergo considerable pain and distress from frequent routines and procedures that are capable of creating pain. It is impossible to detail the full range of things that are done to animals in the course of experiments, but without any restrictions, the range is boundless, immeasurable and chilling.

One type of common experiment is drug and chemical testing, which typically results in immense suffering for animals. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that all drugs be tested on animals, even those that are developed with non-animal technologies. Combined with the chemical and products industries, this results in millions of animals subjected to such experiments.

The LD50, a standard test used in toxicity research, is so named because it administers the test dose in consecutive, increasing doses until 50 percent of the animals in the trial die. Death by poisoning is unquestionably extremely cruel. To give some idea of what animals experience during these tests, consider this listing that scientists have published as common clinical signs indicating an animal is in distress: Gasping, difficulty breathing, tremor, seizures, abnormal vocalization (crying), diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding from any orifice, edema, abdominal rigidity, rectal or vaginal prolapse, swollen joints, and paralysis.

Not only do animals suffer from the effects of the drugs or chemicals, but research has shown that just the experience of being force-fed the test substance can result in extreme distress. The procedure typically used to administer the test dose directly into the animal’s stomach is called gavage. The gavage procedure involves forcibly restraining the animal, followed by insertion of a long, thin tube that is passed into the mouth, esophagus and then stomach.

During a testing trial, this procedure can happen multiple times a day over a period of days or weeks. Complications from gavage are numerous and significant, including accidental administration of the test substance into the trachea and lungs, aspiration pneumonia, esophageal trauma or perforation, abdominal bloating, fluid in the lungs, the accumulation of blood outside the lung, and death.

Research has shown that just the stress of the procedure alone may result in bodily harm. One study compared a group of rats who were gavaged for 10 days with just the tube alone and no test substance with another group who were dosed using gavage for 10 days with a test substance (cyproterone acetate).

After the 10 day trial, both groups of rats exhibited massive liver disease, suggesting that the gavage procedure alone, and not the test chemical, was responsible for the resulting pathology. This single, striking example of what animals may often experience during a typical toxicity test demonstrates how profound and persistent their suffering can be.

  1. OECD,2000.
  2. Guidance Document on the Recognition, Assessment, and Use of Clinical Signs as Humane Endpoints for Experimental Animals Used in Safety Evaluation Balcombe JP, Barnard N, Sandusky C (2004).
  3. Laboratory routines cause animal stress.
  4. Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science 43:42-51.
  5. Roberts, R.A., Soames, A.R., James, N.H., et al.

(1995) Dosing-induced stress causes hepatocyte apoptosis in rats primed by the rodent nongenotoxic hepatocarcingen cyproterone acetate. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol,135:192-9.

Is animal testing abuse?

Animal testing is a cruel and gruesome industry. Animals are subjected to horrifically painful experiments, oftentimes without pain killers. There is little regulation or meaningful oversight of the labs in which animals are experimented on. And for all that pain, experts say that the testing isn’t even effective.

What really happens during animal testing?

Are the animals hurt during testing? – Animals endure chemicals being dripped into their eyes, injected into their bodies, forced up their nostrils or forced down their throats. They are addicted to drugs, forced to inhale/ingest toxic substances, subjected to maternal deprivation, deafened, blinded, burned, stapled, and infected with disease viruses.

Is animal testing ever justified?

Simple Summary – Scientists justify animal use in medical research because the benefits to human health outweigh the costs or harms to animals. However, whether it is justifiable is controversial for many people. Even public interests are divided because an increasing proportion of people do not support animal research, while demand for healthcare that is based on animal research is also rising.

The wider public should be given more influence in these difficult decisions. This could be through requiring explicit disclosure about the role of animals in drug labelling to inform the public out of respect for people with strong objections. It could also be done through periodic public consultations that use public opinion and expert advice to decide which diseases justify the use of animals in medical research.

More public input will help ensure that animal research projects meet public expectations and may help to promote changes to facilitate medical advances that need fewer animals.

Is animal testing morally justified?

How do you measure happiness? – Problems with utilitarian ways of thinking immediately suggest themselves: how can happiness be measured? How can the ‘happiness’ of a mouse, for example, be weighed against a person, or any other animal? Must we consider a well-intentioned action that has bad outcomes immoral instead of just unfortunate? The literature goes into all these problems and more at great depth, but for our purposes, it is at least clear that a utilitarian moral framework allows for the use of research animals in some circumstances.

The human happiness delivered by a successful medical treatment can be great and long lasting while any pain or distress caused to the experimental animals is kept to a minimum and is of very limited duration. In the utilitarian scales, this tips firmly towards an ethical justification of animal research.

It is a surprise to many people that Peter Singer, the father of the modern animal rights movement, comes to the same conclusion, although he argues for stricter controls and more work to reduce and mitigate the use of animals. Even without appealing to concepts such as kinship, in other words, the concept of speciesism, perhaps the most formidable intellectual weapon aimed against animal research by protest groups, does not carry the day.

How is killing animals morally wrong?

Violated rights – If you accept that animals have rights, raising and killing animals for food is morally wrong. An animal raised for food is being used by others rather than being respected for itself. In philosopher’s terms it is being treated as a means to human ends and not as an end in itself.

How is animal testing unethical and cruel?

Imagine living inside a locked closet without any control over any aspect of your life. You can’t choose when and what you eat, how you will spend your time, whether or not you will have a partner and children, or who that partner will be. You can’t even decide when the lights go on and off.

Think about spending your entire life like this, a prisoner, even though you have committed no crime. This is life for an animal in a laboratory, It is deprivation, isolation, and misery. On top of the deprivation, there are the experiments.U.S. law allows animals to be burned, shocked, poisoned, isolated, starved, drowned, addicted to drugs, and brain-damaged.

No experiment, no matter how painful or trivial, is prohibited – and pain-killers are not required. Even when alternatives to the use of animals are available, the law does not require that they be used—and often they aren’t. Animals are infected with diseases that they would never normally contract, tiny mice grow tumors as large as their own bodies, kittens are purposely blinded, rats are made to suffer seizures, and primates’ skulls are cut open and electrodes are implanted in them.

Experimenters force-feed chemicals to animals, conduct repeated surgeries on them, implant wires in their brains, crush their spines, and much more. After enduring these terrifying, painful procedures, animals are then usually dumped back into a cage without any painkillers. Video footage from inside laboratories shows animals who cower in fear every time someone walks by their cages.

They don’t know if they will be dragged from their prison cells for an injection, blood withdrawal, a painful procedure, surgery, or death. Often they see other animals killed right in front of them. No animals are safe from experimentation— cats, dogs, fish, mice, pigs, primates, rabbits, and rats are just a few of the species routinely used in these tests.

Check out PETA’s interactive timeline, ” Without Consent,” which features almost 200 stories of twisted experiments from the past century, including ones in which dogs were forced to inhale cigarette smoke for months, mice were cut up while still conscious, and cats were deafened, paralyzed, and drowned.

Without Consent You can help stop this. Sign PETA’s pledge to be cruelty-free, request alternatives to dissection, and support only charities and companies that don’t torture animals in cruel experiments.

What is the ethical side of animal testing?

The ethics of animal research. Talking Point on the use of animals in scientific research Animal research has had a vital role in many scientific and medical advances of the past century and continues to aid our understanding of various diseases. Throughout the world, people enjoy a better quality of life because of these advances, and the subsequent development of new medicines and treatments—all made possible by animal research.

However, the use of animals in scientific and medical research has been a subject of heated debate for many years in the UK. Opponents to any kind of animal research—including both animal-rights extremists and anti-vivisectionist groups—believe that animal experimentation is cruel and unnecessary, regardless of its purpose or benefit.

There is no middle ground for these groups; they want the immediate and total abolition of all animal research. If they succeed, it would have enormous and severe consequences for scientific research. No responsible scientist wants to use animals or cause them unnecessary suffering if it can be avoided, and therefore scientists accept controls on the use of animals in research.

More generally, the bioscience community accepts that animals should be used for research only within an ethical framework. The UK has gone further than any other country to write such an ethical framework into law by implementing the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. It exceeds the requirements in the European Union’s Directive 86/609/EEC on the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes, which is now undergoing revision ().

The Act requires that proposals for research involving the use of animals must be fully assessed in terms of any harm to the animals. This involves detailed examination of the particular procedures and experiments, and the numbers and types of animal used.

  • These are then weighed against the potential benefits of the project.
  • This cost–benefit analysis is almost unique to UK animal research legislation; only German law has a similar requirement.
  • The UK has gone further than any other country to write such an ethical framework into law by implementing the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 In addition, the UK government introduced in 1998 further ‘local’ controls—that is, an Ethical Review Process at research institutions—which promote good animal welfare and humane science by ensuring that the use of animals at the designated establishment is justified.

The aims of this additional review process are: to provide independent ethical advice, particularly with respect to applications for project licences, and standards of animal care and welfare; to provide support to licensees regarding animal welfare and ethical issues; and to promote ethical analysis to increase awareness of animal welfare issues and to develop initiatives for the widest possible application of the 3Rs—replacement, reduction and refinement of the use of animals in research ().

In practice, there has been concern that the Ethical Review Process adds a level of bureaucracy that is not in proportion to its contribution to improving animal welfare or furthering the 3Rs. Thanks to some extensive opinion polls by,, ), and subsequent polls by and, we now have a good understanding of the public’s attitudes towards animal research.

Although society views animal research as an ethical dilemma, polls show that a high proportion—84% in 1999, 90% in 2002 and 89% in 2005—is ready to accept the use of animals in medical research if the research is for serious medical purposes, suffering is minimized and/or alternatives are fully considered.

  1. When asked which factors should be taken into account in the regulatory system, people chose those that—unknown to them—are already part of the UK legislation.
  2. In general, they feel that animal welfare should be weighed against health benefits, that cosmetic-testing should not be allowed, that there should be supervision to ensure high standards of welfare, that animals should be used only if there is no alternative, and that spot-checks should be carried out.

It is clear that the UK public would widely support the existing regulatory system if they knew more about it. It is clear that the UK public would widely support the existing regulatory system if they knew more about it Why Cosmetic Animal Testing Is Bad GP Net also asked whether GPs agreed that “medical research data can be misleading”; 93% agreed. This result puts into context the results from another poll of GPs in 2004. Europeans for Medical Progress (EMP; London, UK), an anti-vivisection group, found that 82% had a “concern that animal data can be misleading when applied to humans” (.

  1. In fact, it seems that most GPs think that medical research in general can be misleading; it is good scientific practice to maintain a healthy degree of scepticism and avoid over-reliance on any one set of data or research method.
  2. Another law, which enables people to get more information, might also help to influence public attitudes towards animal research.

The UK Freedom of Information (FOI) Act came into full force on 1 January 2005. Under the Act, anybody can request information from a public body in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Public bodies include government departments, universities and some funding bodies such as the research councils.

  1. The FOI Act is intended to promote openness and accountability, and to facilitate better public understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, why and how they make decisions, and how they spend public money.
  2. There are two ways in which information can be made available to the public: some information will be automatically published and some will be released in response to individual requests.

The FOI Act is retrospective so it applies to all information, regardless of when it was created. In response to the FOI Act, the Home Office now publishes overviews of all new animal research projects, in the form of anonymous project licence summaries, on a dedicated website.

  1. This means that the UK now provides more public information about animal research than any other country.
  2. The Research Defence Society (RDS; London, UK), an organization representing doctors and scientists in the debate on the use of animals in research and testing, welcomes the greater openness that the FOI Act brings to discussions about animal research.

With more and reliable information about how and why animals are used, people should be in a better position to debate the issues. However, there are concerns that extremist groups will try to obtain personal details and information that can identify researchers, and use it to target individuals.

As a House of Lords Select Committee report in July 2002 stated, “The availability to the public of regularly updated, good quality information on what animal experiments are done and why, is vital to create an atmosphere in which the issue of animal experimentation can be discussed productively” ().

Indeed, according to a report on public attitudes to the biological sciences and their oversight, “Having information and perceived honesty and openness are the two key considerations for the public in order for them to have trust in a system of controls and regulations about biological developments” ().

  • In the past five years, there have been four major UK independent inquiries into the use of animals in biomedical research: a Select Committee in the ; the ; the ; and the Weatherall Committee (), which specifically examined the use of non-human primates in scientific and medical research.
  • All committees included non-scientists and examined evidence from both sides of the debate.
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These rigorous independent inquiries all accepted the rationale for the use of animals in research for the benefit of human health, and concluded that animal research can be scientifically validated on a case-by-case basis. The Nuffield Council backed the 3Rs and the need for clear information to support a constructive debate, and further stated that violence and intimidation against researchers or their allies is morally wrong.

Animal research has obviously become a smaller proportion of overall bioscience and medical R&D spending in the UK In addition, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA; London, UK) has investigated and ruled on 38 complaints made since 1992 about published literature—leaflets and brochures—regarding claims about the validity or otherwise of animal research and the scope of alternative methods.

In 34 out of 38 cases, they found against the anti-vivisectionist groups, either supporting complaints about anti-vivisectionist literature, or rejecting the complaints by anti-vivisectionists about the literature from medical organizations. Only four complaints against scientific/medical research literature have been upheld, not because the science was flawed but as a result of either semantics or the ASA judging that the advertisement fell outside the UK remit.

Animal-rights groups also disagree with the 3Rs, since these principles still allow for the use of animals in research; they are only interested in replacement However, seemingly respectable mainstream groups still peddle dangerously misleading and inaccurate information about the use of animals in research.

As previously mentioned, EMP commissioned a survey of GPs that showed that the “majority of GPs now question the scientific worth of animal tests” (). The raw data is available on the website of EMP’s sister group Americans For Medical Advancement (AFMA; Los Angeles, CA, USA; ), but their analysis is so far-fetched that the polling company, TNS Healthcare (London, UK), distanced itself from the conclusions.

In a statement to the Coalition for Medical Progress (London, UK)—a group of organizations that support animal research—TNS Healthcare wrote, “The conclusions drawn from this research by AFMA are wholly unsupported by TNS and any research findings or comment published by AFMA is not TNS approved. TNS did not provide any interpretation of the data to the client.

TNS did not give permission to the client to publish our data. The data does not support the interpretation made by the client (which in our opinion exaggerates anything that may be found from the data)” (). Nonetheless, EMP has used its analysis to lobby government ministers and misinform the public.

  • Approximately 2.7 million regulated animal procedures were conducted in 2003 in the UK—half the number performed 30 years ago.
  • The tight controls governing animal experimentation and the widespread implementation of the 3Rs by the scientific community is largely responsible for this downward trend, as recognized recently by then Home Office Minister, Caroline Flint: “new technologies in developing drugs to sustained and incremental decreases in some types of animal use over recent years, whilst novel medicines have continued to be produced.

This is an achievement of which the scientific community can be rightly proud” (). After a period of significant reduction, the number of regulated animal procedures stabilized from 1995 until 2002. Between 2002 and 2005, the use of genetically modified animals—predominantly mice—led to a 1–2% annual increase in the number of animals used ().

  1. However, between 1995 and 2005, the growth in UK biomedical research far outstripped this incremental increase: combined industry and government research and development (R&D) spending rose by 73% from £2,080 million to £3,605 million (; ).
  2. Animal research has obviously become a smaller proportion of overall bioscience and medical R&D spending in the UK.

This shows the commitment of the scientific community to the development and use of replacement and reduction techniques, such as computer modelling and human cell lines. Nevertheless, animal research remains a small, but vital, part of biomedical research—experts estimate it at about 10% of total biomedical R&D spending.

The principles of replacing, reducing and refining the use of animals in scientific research are central to UK regulation. In fact, the government established the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs; London, UK) in May 2004 to promote and develop high-quality research that takes the 3Rs into account.

In support of this, then Science Minister Lord Sainsbury announced in 2005 that the Centre would receive an additional £1.5 million in funding over the next three years. The ultimate aim of the NC3Rs is to substitute a significant proportion of animal research by investigating the development of alternative techniques, such as human studies, and in vitro and in silico studies.

  • RDS supports this aim, but believes that it is unrealistic to expect this to be possible in every area of scientific research in the immediate future.
  • After all, if the technology to develop these alternatives is not available or does not yet exist, progress is likely to be slow.
  • The main obstacle is still the difficulty of accurately mimicking the complex physiological systems of whole living organisms—a challenge that will be hard to meet.

There has been some progress recently imitating single organs such as the liver, but these need further refinement to make them suitable models for an entire organ and, even if validated, they cannot represent a whole-body system. New and promising techniques such as microdosing also have the potential to reduce the number of animals used in research, but again cannot replace them entirely.

  1. Anti-vivisectionist groups do not accept this reality and are campaigning vigorously for the adoption of other methods without reference to validation or acceptance of their limitations, or the consequences for human health.
  2. Animal-rights groups also disagree with the 3Rs, since these principles still allow for the use of animals in research; they are only interested in replacement.

Such an approach would ignore the recommendations of the House of Lords Select Committee report, and would not deal with public concerns about animal welfare. Notwithstanding this, the development of alternatives—which invariably come from the scientific community, rather than anti-vivisection groups—will necessitate the continued use of animals during the research, development and validation stages.

Society should push authorities to quickly adopt successfully validated techniques, while realizing that pushing for adoption without full validation could endanger human health The scientific community, with particular commitment shown by the pharmaceutical industry, has responded by investing a large amount of money and effort in developing the science and technology to replace animals wherever possible.

However, the development of direct replacement technologies for animals is a slow and difficult process. Even in regulatory toxicology, which might seem to be a relatively straightforward task, about 20 different tests are required to assess the risk of any new substance.

  1. In addition, introducing a non-animal replacement technique involves not only development of the method, but also its validation by national and international regulatory authorities.
  2. These authorities tend to be conservative and can take many years to write a new technique into their guidelines.
  3. Even then, some countries might insist that animal tests are carried out if they have not been explicitly written out of the guidelines.

Society should push authorities to quickly adopt successfully validated techniques, while realizing that pushing for adoption without full validation could endanger human health. Despite the inherent limitations of some non-animal tests, they are still useful for pre-screening compounds before the animal-testing stage, which would therefore reduce rather than replace the number of animals used.

An example of this is the Ames test, which uses strains of the bacterium Salmonella typhimurium to determine whether chemicals cause mutations in cellular DNA. This and other tests are already widely used as pre-screens to partly replace rodent testing for cancer-causing compounds. Unfortunately, the in vitro tests can produce false results, and tend to be used more to understand the processes of mutagenicity and carcinogenicity than to replace animal assays.

However, there are moves to replace the standard mouse carcinogenicity assay with other animal-based tests that cause less suffering because they use fewer animals and do not take as long. This has already been achieved in tests for acute oral toxicity, where the LD50—the median lethal dose of a substance—has largely been replaced by the Fixed Dose Procedure, which was developed, validated and promoted between 1984 and 1989 by a worldwide collaboration, headed by scientists at the British Toxicological Society (Macclesfield, UK).

Although animals cannot yet be completely replaced, it is important that researchers maximize refinement and reduction Furthermore, cell-culture based tests have considerably reduced the use of rodents in the initial screening of potential new medicines, while speeding up the process so that 10–20 times the number of compounds can be screened in the same period.

A leading cancer charity, Yorkshire Cancer Research (Harrogate, UK), funded research into the use of cell cultures to understand better the cellular mechanisms of prostate cancer—allowing researchers to investigate potential therapies using fewer animals.

Microdosing is an exciting new technique for measuring how very small doses of a compound move around the body. In principle, it should be possible to use this method in humans and therefore to reduce the number of animals needed to study new compounds; however, it too has limitations. By its very nature, it cannot predict toxicity or side effects that occur at higher therapeutic doses.

It is an unrealistic hope—and a false claim—that microdosing can completely replace the use of animals in scientific research; “animal studies will still be required,” confirmed the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME; Nottingham, UK; ).

However, as with many other advances in non-animal research, this was never classified as ‘alternatives research’. In general, there is no separate field in biomedical research known as ‘alternatives research’; it is one of the highly desirable outcomes of good scientific research. The claim by anti-vivisection campaigners that research into replacements is neglected merely reflects their ignorance.

Good science and good experimental design also help to reduce the number of animals used in research as they allow scientists to gather data using the minimum number of animals required. However, good science also means that a sufficient number must be used to enable precise statistical analysis and to generate significant results to prevent the repetition of experiments and the consequent need to use more animals.

  • In 1998, FRAME formed a Reduction Committee, in part to publicize effective reduction techniques.
  • The data collected by the Committee so far provides information about the overall reduction in animal usage that has been brought about by the efforts of researchers worldwide ().
  • For example, screening potential anti-cancer drugs uses the so-called hollow-fibre system, in which tumour cells are grown in a tube-like polymer matrix that is implanted into mice.

Drugs are then administered, the tubes removed and the number of cells determined. This system has increased the amount of data that can be obtained per animal in some studies and has therefore reduced the number of mice used (). In neuroscience, techniques such as cooling regions of the brain instead of removing subsections, and magnetic resonance imaging, have both helped to reduce the number of laboratory animals used ().

The benefits of animal research have been enormous and it would have severe consequences for public health and medical research if it were abandoned Matching the number of animals generated from breeding programmes to the number of animals required for research has also helped to reduce the number of surplus animals.

For example, the cryopreservation of sperm and oocytes has reduced the number of genetically modified mice required for breeding programmes (); mice lines do not have to be continuously bred if they can be regenerated from frozen cells when required.

  • Although animals cannot yet be completely replaced, it is important that researchers maximize reduction and refinement.
  • Sometimes this is achieved relatively easily by improving animal husbandry and housing, for example, by enriching their environment.
  • These simple measures within the laboratory aim to satisfy the physiological and behavioural needs of the animals and therefore maintain their well-being.

Another important factor is refining the experimental procedures themselves, and refining the management of pain. An assessment of the method of administration, the effects of the substance on the animal, and the amount of handling and restraint required should all be considered.

  1. Furthermore, careful handling of the animals, and administration of appropriate anaesthetics and analgesics during the experiment, can help to reduce any pain experienced by the animals.
  2. This culture of care is achieved not only through strict regulations but also by ensuring that animal technicians and other workers understand and adopt such regulations.

Therefore, adequate training is an important aspect of the refinement of animal research, and should continually be reviewed and improved. In conclusion, RDS considers that the use of animals in research can be ethically and morally justified. The benefits of animal research have been enormous and it would have severe consequences for public health and medical research if it were abandoned.

Nevertheless, the use of the 3Rs is crucial to continuously reduce the number and suffering of animals in research. Furthermore, a good regulatory regime—as found in the UK—can help to reduce further the number of animals used. Therefore, we support a healthy and continued debate on the use of animals in research.

We recognize that those who oppose animal experimentation should be free to voice their opinions democratically, and we look forward to constructive discussion in the future with organizations that share the middle ground with us.

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