Meta description: Humankind has progressed a lot backed by science and newer innovations have led to some controversies as well. One of them is commercial and scientific testing on animals.
Using animals to test the safety and efficacy of drugs and products is a constant subject of debate. Those who believe in animal testing will bring up all the benefits to humans of medical advances that came through testing. They will say that animals make the best research subjects because they are so similar to humans.
Many individuals are against such testing and feel that it’s not right for animals to have to suffer for these reasons. They believe that their rights are violated because they don’t have the option of not participating. This article will go into more depth about animal testing and its pros and cons.
Pro: Testing can lead to medical breakthroughs
Testing animals can result in medical breakthroughs that save the lives of many people. It has resulted in advances in treating many conditions like brain injuries, breast cancer, and tuberculosis.
Many medical devices such as pacemakers were developed through testing on animals. Even during the recent pandemic, scientists tested vaccines on mice.
Students studying science or other subjects at college may have to write a research paper about animal testing for scientific or commercial purposes. It will help them to go to websites that provide a wide variety of essay examples.
An example of an animal testing essay can give more clarity to them on how to structure an essay, what subtitles to use, etc. This will help them to write their essays. If they can’t find a suitable example, they can ask a professional writer to write one for them.
When grading college papers about animal testing, professors will give students better grades when they can give references and examples to back up their views.
Con: The pain and suffering they experience are not worth the possible human benefits
Many experiments using animals are flawed and result in a waste of life. Animals may be deprived of water or food. Inflicting pain or wounds may be necessary to study the process of healing.
They are not willing to make sacrifices because the decision to participate in experiments is made for them. Many people believe that making human lives better is no justification for exploiting.
Using them for product toxicity testing means they may be subjected to painful experiments using chemicals. Placing harmful substances in the eyes of animals can be extremely painful and cause scarring or blindness.
Fish, mice, birds, and rats are commonly the subjects of testing. They aren’t protected by the Animal Welfare Act. Even when applying the conditions of the Act, this doesn’t guarantee that they don’t suffer psychological distress as a result of testing.
Pro: Animals are good research subjects because they are similar to humans
Chimpanzees share 99% of their DNA with humans. This makes them excellent research subjects. Mice are also popular research subjects because they are 98% genetically similar to humans. Lab mice only live for a couple of years. This means scientists can study the effects of genetic manipulation over a lifetime or generations.
Mice are particularly suited to cancer research. Scientists believe it would be unethical to impose some kind of genetic testing on humans without trying it out on animals first. Most of them favor testing for scientific purposes.
Con: It does not reliably predict human responses
Animals may be similar to humans but they aren’t the same. Drugs that pass testing often fail in human trials. Drugs that mice tolerate well may not be tolerated as well by humans.
In some cases what is fine for mice can cause seriously harmful effects in humans. Several products through the years are harmful to humans and have taken off the market.
This testing may also lead scientists to ignore potential cures or remedies. Mice may not react to intravenous vitamin C but it can help to treat sepsis in humans. Drugs that cause problems in animals may be shelved when they could have benefits for humans.
Pro: Animal research is well-regulated
Apart from the Animal Welfare Act, there are many state and local laws and regulations that protect them from mistreatment. The AWA stipulates various minimum standards for research in terms of enclosures, feeding, water, etc.
The programs of most major research institutions have voluntary reviews of their practices. Veterinarians and other health technicians take good care of research animals. Ensuring their well-being usually leads to more accurate findings.
Con: Alternative testing methods are now available to replace testing
Other research methods including in-vitro testing can help to reduce or replace testing. This method is testing human cells or tissue in a petri dish. Technical advances in 3D printing – artificially producing skin, may have more useful results than testing chemicals.
It allows researchers to test what a product can do to the skin by using artificially produced skin. Scientists can even produce models that mimic skin diseases such as psoriasis. Many cosmetic companies have found better ways to test their products than by using animal subjects.
How to minimize the harm of testing
To minimize the harm to animals during testing, researchers must try to replace this where possible with viable, alternative methods. Improving experimental techniques and sharing results with other scientists can help to minimize the number of animals being used.
They also need to refine the way they care. This means improving their medical care and living conditions. They also need less invasive techniques where possible to cause less stress or pain.
The side individuals are on in this debate often depends on how they feel about it. Scientists are largely in favor of testing and believe the benefit to human lives makes it worthwhile.
Others are vehemently opposed to testing because they value animals highly. They believe that animals have rights and it isn’t morally acceptable to violate them. The debate is likely to continue as both sides hold very strong views about this issue.