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Weighing the Pros and Cons of Using Animals in Research

Con: Inhumane Treatment in Animal Experimentation

❶Animals are used in order to ensure the products are safe for the use of humans. Some of the most beneficial things that have come from medical testing on animals are Penicillin, various asthma treatments, and insulin.

Pro: Life-Saving Medications and Vaccines

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Between and , life expectancy in the United States increased from 47 to 77 years. Although animal experimenters take credit for this improvement, medical historians report that improved nutrition, sanitation, and other behavioral and environmental factors—rather than anything learned from animal experiments—are responsible for the fact that people are living longer lives.

While experiments on animals have been conducted during the course of some discoveries, this does not mean that animals were vital to the discovery or are predictive of human health outcomes or that the same discoveries would not have been made without using animals.

Human health is more likely to be advanced by devoting resources to the development of non-animal test methods, which have the potential to be cheaper, faster, and more relevant to humans, instead of to chasing leads in often inaccurate tests on animals. No matter how many tests on animals are undertaken, someone will always be the first human to be tested on.

Because animal tests are so unreliable, they make those human trials all the more risky. And of the small percentage of drugs approved for human use, half end up being relabeled because of side effects that were not identified in tests on animals.

Vioxx, Phenactin, E-Ferol, Oraflex, Zomax, Suprol, Selacryn, and many other drugs have had to be pulled from the market in recent years because of adverse reactions experienced by people taking them. Fortunately, a wealth of cutting-edge non-animal research methods promises a brighter future for both animal and human health. More information about the failure of experiments on animals can be found here. Physiological reactions to drugs vary enormously from species to species and even within a species.

Penicillin kills guinea pigs but is inactive in rabbits. Aspirin kills cats and causes birth defects in rats, mice, guinea pigs, dogs, and monkeys. And morphine, a depressant in humans, stimulates goats, cats, and horses. Further, animals in laboratories typically display behavior indicating extreme psychological distress, and experimenters acknowledge that the use of these stressed-out animals jeopardizes the validity of the data produced. Sophisticated human cell- and tissue-based research methods allow researchers to test the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, vaccines, and chemical compounds.

Human tissue-based methods are also used to test the potential toxicity of chemicals and for research into burns, allergies, asthma, and cancer. Clinical research on humans also gives great insights into the effects of drugs and how the human body works. Researchers can study the working human brain using advanced imaging techniques and can even take measurements down to a single neuron.

However, the return on that investment has been dismal. A survey of 4, experimental cancer drugs developed between and found that more than 93 percent failed after entering the first phase of human clinical trials, even though all had been tested successfully on animals. If extrapolating from rats to mice is so problematic, how can we extrapolate results from mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs, monkeys, and other animals to humans?

The NCI now uses human cancer cells , taken by biopsy during surgery, to perform first-stage testing for new anti-cancer drugs, sparing the 1 million mice the agency previously used annually and giving us all a much better shot at combating cancer.

Furthermore, according to the World Health Organization, cancer is largely preventable, yet most health organizations that focus on cancer spend a pittance on prevention programs, such as public education.

Epidemiological and clinical studies have determined that most cancers are caused by smoking and by eating high-fat foods, foods high in animal protein, and foods containing artificial colors and other harmful additives.

We can beat cancer by taking these human-derived, human-relevant data into account and implementing creative methods to encourage healthier lifestyle choices. While funding for animal experimentation and the number of animals used in experiments continues to increase, the U. A review paper co-authored by a Yale School of Medicine professor in the prestigious medical journal The BMJ documented the overwhelming failure of experiments on animals to improve human health.

While incidences of heart disease and strokes have recently shown slight declines—because of a change in lifestyle factors, such as diet and smoking, rather than any medical advances—cancer rates continue to rise, and alcohol- and drug-treatment centers, prenatal care programs, community mental health clinics, and trauma units continue to close because they lack sufficient funds. More human lives could be saved and more suffering prevented by educating people about the importance of avoiding fat and cholesterol, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol and other drug consumption, exercising regularly, and cleaning up the environment than by all the animal tests in the world.

No experiment, no matter how painful or trivial, is prohibited—and painkillers are not even required. Even when alternatives to the use of animals are available, U.

Because it cannot be fully replaced by computer simulations or models, the argument is that live testing will continue to be needed. It enhances the safety of the products being released. Animal testing helps to lessen the risk of an unplanned event occurring when humans use or ingest the products that are part of the animal testing experiment.

Drugs can be potentially and immediately harmful to humans, especially during the testing phase of a product, so animal testing allows for researchers to determine the quality and safety of a product before humans take it. There are no other testing alternatives.

Animals are the closest thing to humans on our planet. If one assumes that human life is more valuable than animal life, then performing experiments on animals makes sense because it offers the chance to explore how the various living systems within a body may react when exposed to a test sample. Animals and humans share numerous systems, including the central nervous system, and the data collected can be used to improve products.

Some animals are almost carbon copies of humans. With similar organs, circulatory systems, and reactions to an illness, researchers can look at how animals react and be able to make comfortable prediction about how humans might react. It offers a different set of legalities. Testing humans with invasive experiments could result in death. Although there will always be a risk when testing new items, even after animal research has provided positive data, the risks to a human without animal research would be incredibly high.

Through animal research, the legality of accidentally causing the death of an animal is very different than what would occur with the accidental death of a human.

It provides an opportunity to examine a complete life cycle. In many countries, the average life expectancy of a human exceeds 70 years of age. Some nations have an average life expectancy of over 80 years. In comparison, a mouse has a lifespan of years, allowing researchers the opportunity to study through research and experimentation how something may affect the life cycle.

Any long-term research involves mice and rats because of this unique aspect to the research. There are protections in place for the animals. Although animal research may have ethical concerns, the US has regulated its practice since Veterinarians are required to inspect the living conditions of the animals.

Committees must approve animal research and be held responsible for the humane treatment of each animal. Access to food and water is mandatory, as are shelters that follow minimum sizing standards.

Many of the items that are tested are never used. Animal testing may provide safety benefits for new products, but some of the items that are tested will never be used. That means animals will likely be sacrificing their lives to determine the safety of a product that a human will never even know was being developed. With no direct societal benefit produced, what is the benefit of an animal suffering from the testing process?

It can be an expensive practice. Caring for an animal requires a large investment. Some of the animals that are used for testing are bought at auction or taken from the wild, which brings additional costs into the process.

Now multiple those costs over an entire laboratory and the cost of animal research becomes very high, very quickly. It may not offer valid results. That means animal research can be more unreliable than even researchers claim it may be. Several drugs have passed animal testing, but have been found to be harmful to humans.


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Cons of Animal Testing. Animal Welfare Act Is Bypassed The Animal Welfare Act, or AWA, was signed in in order to protect certain animals from cruel treatment. The animals that are chosen for testing are not covered in this act. This is because they carefully choose animals whose rights do not fall under the jurisdiction of the AWA.

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Cons of Animal Research. Using animals in research is a costly methodology. Often it is not even possible without the companies or organizations asking for outside funding from third parties. The costs of feeding, housing, caring for, and treating the animals must be considered, as well as the price of the animals in the first place.

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An example of this issue is aspirin. It is a dangerous product for animals to have, but think of the millions of lives that have been improved or saved because of the drug. Insulin causes animal birth defects, but it saves lives every day. That is the reality of animal research. The pros and cons of animal research will always be controversial. Jun 13,  · Animal testing is a process that has been going on for centuries for numerous reasons, such as developing medical treatments, determining the toxicity of certain medications, confirming the safety of a product designed for humans, and other health care b2bproxy.cf: April Klazema.

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Fewer animals are used in research than as food for humans Compared to the amount of chicken, cattle, sheep and pigs that humans eat, relatively few of them are used in experimentation. With consideration to the medical progress and advancement such tests provided, it is a small price to pay. Recommended Posts. Alternative to FEGLI Option B. Recent Posts. Alcoholism and Verbal Abuse; Hyponatremia and Alcoholism.