Animal Testing (897 words) Essay

Animal TestingTraditionally, animals have been used to ensure the safety of our consumer
products and drugs. Yet around the world, scientists, regulators and animal
protectionists work together to develop alternatives to their use. The use of
animals in the life sciences dates back to ancient Greece and the earliest
medical experiments. To learn about swallowing, physicians cut open into the
throat of a living pig. To study the beating heart, they cut open into its chest.

For centuries physicians and researchers used animals to enhance their
knowledge about how the various organs and systems of the body
functioned, as well as to hone their surgical skills. As long as animals have
been used in experiments, people have expressed concerns about such
research. Questions about the morality, necessity, and scientific validity of
animal experiments have arisen since those ancient physicians first began to
study bodily functions. Alternatives are methods, which refine existing tests by
minimizing animal distress, reduce the number of animals necessary for an
experiment or replace whole animal use with vitro or other tests. While
vivisection has received more attention and funding, clinical and
epidemiological (studying the natural course of disease within human
population) studies have had a much more profound impact on human health.

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In fact, clinical and epidemiological evidence linking smoking to lung cancer
was established long before warnings of the dangers of smoking were
released to the general public. Because animal experimentation failed to each
the same conclusion, warning labels on cigarettes were delayed for years!
During this time hundreds of people died from lung cancer because the results
of animal experimentation were considered more valid than studies of human
patients. Animal based research is the science of the past. There are a
number of alternatives available to modern researchers, which are less
expensive, more reliable, and ethically sound. They provide results rapidly,
experimental parameters are easily controlled, and their focus on the cellular
and molecular levels of the life process provides more useful information
about chemicals and drugs. High Productive Volume Tests, test a minimal
amount of a product on an abundant amount of animals. Two – hundred baby
rats, just three weeks old are placed in wire – bottomed stainless – steel
cages. Twice daily Monday thru Friday, laboratory workers pull the small
mammals from their cages, force steel clamps into their mouths to hold their
jaws apart and swab their teeth with an anti – cavity dental chemical. After
three weeks, the workers kill the baby rats by cutting off their teeth. The
procedures are called Biological Tests for Tests Flouride Dentifrices and
:Determination of Animal Carries Reduction – puzzling terms to most of us.

But the meaning is deadly to animals. The officials who order this test work
for the U. S. government ‘s FDA has made exceptions for manufacturers,
including Tom’s of Maine, that wanted to market new toothpastes without
any tests on animals. If some companies can manufacture safe, effective anti –
cavity toothpastes without using any animals, why can’t all dental product
companies stop killing animals? Philosopher Jeremy Bentham sounded the
rallying cry for animals everywhere: The question is not, can they reason, nor
can they talk, but can they suffer? The Animal Welfare Act sets standards
for the housing, handling, feeding, and transportation of experimental animals,
but places no limitations whatsoever on the actual experimental conditions
and procedures continue to challenge, whether human beings have the right to
use animals for any purpose. The HPV Program sounds so important,
right? Wrong! Because no resulting action will be taken against the chemicals
involved in this program. Instead of protecting the public from hazardous
chemicals, the EPA will inform us of how quickly mice and rabbits died when
force – fed a chemical, or how many mouse pups were stillborn after their
mother was force – fed massive quantities of already known toxic chemicals.

Every medical advancement has not been a result of animal testing. Results
derived from animal experiments have had a very minimal effect on the
dramatic rise of life expectancy can be attributed mainly to changes in
lifestyles, environmental factors, and improvements in sanitation. Many
medical school’s in the U. S. do not use animals in the training of medical
students. They include: NYU, University of Michigan, and SUNY
Stonybrook. Actually, most of the medical schools which do use animals
allow students the option of foregoing the animal labs. This is because they
clearly acknowledge that such labs are not necessary for the training of
doctors. When a newly released drug hits the market, regardless of how
many animal tests have been done, those individuals who first use it are
human guinea pigs. Animal tests are not good indicators of what will occur
in humans. It has been due, in large part , to the tension between researchers
who view laboratory animals as essential to their work and individuals who
oppose animal tests that the modern alternatives movement has evolved. The
movement began quietly, in 1959, with the publication of The Principles of
Humane Experimental Technique by British researchers W. Russell and R.

Burch. Russell and Burch advocated the three R’s of replacement,
reduction, and refinement. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, their philosophy has
enabled researchers and animal welfare advocates to come together with a
common goal: to find scientifically valid alternatives to animal tests. In
conclusion, as proven by the Tom’s of Maine Co., and with the approval of
the FDA, products can be marketed without the immoral practices of animal
cruelty. As a form of life, animals acquire natural rights, one being the right to
live, not to be exploited and exposed to pain. As best said by animal activist
Jon Evans: To inflict cruelties on defenseless creatures, or condone such
acts, is to abuse one of the cardinal tenets of a civilized society – reverence
for life.

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