If you are a pet owner, like many you don’t wish for any harm to come to them or any other animal for that matter. However in this world there are organizations that mistreat animals and experiment on common house hold pets such as dogs or cats. The two reason for animal testing are “First, to find out more about the animals themselves, and, secondly to test substances and procedures to see if they are harmful (with a view to find out if they are harmful to human beings)” (Dixon). Through these experiments they have made great medical breakthroughs, but at hat cost?
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One hundred million of animals are killed every year to find treatments for human diseases. Animal are put through a great amount of pain and suffer to ultimately reduce the suffering of humans, But is it worth the suffering of another living being? There are better more effective ways to limit the suffering of humans and not harm another living creature. Biomedical research needs to pull away from animal testing and embrace the new alternatives of the 21st century. Through animal testing, researchers have been able to improve the quality and life expectancy for humans.
If we compare life from last century to our current one anyone can see that the death rate has gone down because of the medical advancements that were made possible by animal testing. There have been a lot of important advancements in medical research through animal testing. Insulin vaccines, vitamin, the immune system, and many of the HIVE and cancer treatments we use today were discovered through animal testing. In 1628, William Harvey published his famous work “De Motto Cord’s”. In it he writes about his discovery of blood pressure by pumping blood through the heart of over 30 different animal species including man.
His discovery helped lead to treatments for high blood pressure and a better understanding of the physiology of man and animal. However, that was in the past. There are new alternatives to animal testing that yield better results and have less animal casualties. Animal testing has led too large number of medical advancements and should not be stopped. The reduction of human suffering is the highest priority. If a human can be saved from suffering and even death then is should be Justifiable to allow animal suffering. Researchers have had the ability to discover major medical breakthroughs through the use of animal testing.
Breakthroughs such as insulin, many of the vaccines (smallpox, chickenpox, tetanus, and many more) used today, and the treatments we use for HIVE and cancer patients. Dry. Joseph Murray, a Nobel Prize winner agrees that through animal research we will be able to find a cure for aids. However, what rights do we as humans have to force another living creature to endure any type of pain and suffering? Animal research is expensive, time consuming, and overall unreliable. It is important that all drugs be tested on animals before putting them onto the market.
To be sure that a drug or antibiotic is safe for a unman it should first be tested on an animal. One of the most crucial tests is the mouse protection test. A mouse or rat is ideal in animal testing because of their small size and short life span. A mouse is given a vaccine then tested to see how well it is protected from the infection. The best way to know if a vaccine is safe and effective is many other products can only be sold after they are tested because, animal testing is one of the most reliable ways to test the safety of not only medicine, but other products. To ban animal experimentation would be to paralyze modern medicine” (Dixon). Humans can only be tested if they have given their consent to the test. With this is in mind it is unfair for animals to endure the many painful tests that are forced upon them every year. While there are similarities, keep in mind that animals have a very different physiological structure than humans. These differences cause humans to react to certain stimuli very differently than the animals they are tested on. There are many problems facing animal research.
Animals are put through endless suffering during the animal tests. They are put into isolation, and forced to suffer through disease or injury and are not properly anesthetized, and re often euthanized at the end of the trial. Even before the trial begins animals are “treated roughly for not cooperating, and transported under unacceptable conditions” (“Animal Research”). Most animal testing is done on animals like rats and mice that are nothing like humans and therefore, are not very reliable in showing how a human would react to the vaccine.
In many trials drugs that fail in animal tests, do not continue on to be tested in humans. Some of the drugs could have been effective to humans will never be known because the tests did not continue on to be tested on humans to find out the effects. It is unclear how often this happens since the drugs are never tested on humans. According to Mike Alleviate, Secretary of Health and Human Services, “nine out of ten drugs fail in clinical studies” (“Animal Research”) because we cannot predict how they will react in humans without testing the drugs first in humans before putting them on the market.
A huge concern with animal testing is the sheer cost of the experiments. According to Nobel Prize winner, Dry. Joshua Elderberry we are spending two to three hundred million dollars a year. In his statement he calls the money we are spending on animal testing worthless. It is cheaper to use the alternative method of Vito testing to replace animal testing. Many of the Vito testing methods are half the cost or less than that of traditional animal testing. Pfizer reported in 2004 that it had wasted over two billion in testing methods that failed in human testing.
The millions that are spent on faulty testing methods should instead be used to help fund alternative methods that will overcome all the scientific problems and ethical problems of animal models. Advocates of animal experimentations have overstated the achievements that animal testing has made. During the animal trials animals are under different conditions than a human would be when taking the drug. Animals are put under stress and sometimes may suffer from physiological and abnormal behaviors.
This could cause the drug to react differently to the animal than it would to a human who is in a natural environment. There have been reported drug failures in the I-J, nearly causing the death of the human study volunteers. This is evidence that animal models cannot properly demonstrate the outcome of real world events. This is also proof that alternative methods need to be taken more seriously. Many of the drugs that are put on the market after animal testing are later removed because of harmful side effect that accrued with humans.
According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) there have recently been a lot of complaints about “approved drugs causing serious and these products from the market or have black box warnings put on the labels. To reduce the suffering of animals we need to follow the three or’s: reduction, replacement, and refinement. To reduce animal suffering we first must reduce the number of animals used. A reduction method must provide the same amount of information without the use of as many animals.
By removing the pain an animal suffers or minimizing the pain we are refining animal experimentation. To replace animal experiments meaner to have an alternative method of testing that gives researchers the same amount of results. There is one major alternative to animal testing that costs about half of traditional animal testing yielding even better results. That alternative is growing cell cultures from human cells or Vito testing. Another benefit to using cell cultures is that when a vaccine is found through cell cultures is n a pure state that eliminates the need for safety testing.
Other alternatives to animal testing include human clinical studies, computer modeling or silicon biology which are very fast and could speed up some animal testing that could take months or years in normal clinical trials, Synthetic membranes that can eliminate the traditional testing of shaving the fur of an animal and applying a corrosive chemical to the bare skin to see its effects, MR., and autopsy. Each of these methods are less expensive and provides better results than animal experimentation. There have en a number of medical breakthroughs because of animal testing.
However, the amount of animals lost is much greater. Over one hundred million animals are used in animal trails each year. In these trials, animals are infected with disease and are treated harshly. These animals suffer through so much unnecessary pain. All these animals are put through this torture because the researchers want to limit human suffering. The many drugs that are put on the market after deemed safe by animal testing though are often recalled because, like the FDA, they companies that market hem receive complaints about how the drugs were ineffective or led to harmful side effects.
There is no reason we should still be using animal testing when there are better, cheaper meaner, for alternatives tests that ultimately yield better results. Alternatives such as, cell cultures grown from human cells that have better results through testing, are half the costs or less than that of animal trials, and in some cases eliminate the need for safety testing. Now is the time for animal research to disappear and for researchers to embrace the new methods. This way no one person ill have to choose between animal life and medical advancements.