Should animal testing continue to test cures for human diseases

Animal testing should be banned essay

I demonstrate that a growing body of scientific literature critically assessing the validity of animal experimentation generally and animal modeling specifically raises important concerns about its reliability and predictive value for human outcomes and for understanding human physiology. Chocolate, grapes, raisins, avocados and macadamia nuts are harmless in people but toxic to dogs. Aspirin is toxic to many animals, including cats, mice and rats and would not be on our pharmacy shelves if it had been tested according to current animal testing standards. While contributing to our understanding of diseases, animal models also enable researchers to explore potential therapies in ways which would be impossible in humans. Even if the drug had been tested on those specific species by chance thalidomide would still have gone to market since the vast majority of species showed no defects, and of those that did, only at much higher doses than given to humans. On the one hand it is considered morally wrong to use animals in this way solely for human benefit. Some chemicals that are ineffective on, or harmful to, animals prove valuable when used by humans. Are animal models as good as we think?

A recent drug trial in France resulted in the death of one volunteer and left four others severely brain damaged in Today we are far more aware of the dangers of extrapolating from one species to another and we have scientific research methods — mass spectrometry, genome mapping, innovative imaging techniques and highly developed computer models capable of simulating parts of the human body as mathematical equations and three-dimensional graphical models, just to name a few more.

Harding A. For example, animal models using the chimpanzee and monkey were employed extensively for the study of hepatitis B and poliomyelitis leading to the development of effective vaccines against these diseases [ 21222324 ].

Should animal testing continue to test cures for human diseases

Science ;—6. Captivity and the common features of biomedical laboratories—such as artificial lighting, human-produced noises, and restricted housing environments—can prevent species-typical behaviors, causing distress and abnormal behaviors among animals. The current ethical debate on the use of animals for experimentation as well as increasing violent activities of animal rights activist groups will most likely ensure that this does not happen [ 2 , 9 , 10 , 13 , 16 , 36 , 37 ]. Mice differed from humans in what genes were turned on and off and in the timing and duration of gene expression. Why have so many drugs with stellar results in laboratory stroke models failed in clinical trials? As a consequence, nine out of every 10 candidate medicines that appear safe and effective in animal studies fail when given to humans. Laurie www. The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics. These factors certainly require consideration, and recognition of each potential difference between the animal model and the human disease motivates renewed efforts to eliminate these differences.

Legally, all drugs have to be tested on animals for safety before they can be used in humans. We are leading efforts globally to encourage scientists, companies and policy-makers to transition away from animal use in favour of 21st century methods.

But this is missing the point.

why animal testing is necessary

This involves detailed examination of the procedures and the number and type of animals used. If part of the symptoms involves pain, it is important for the scientists involved in this type of research to look for ways of minimizing the pain.

Animal testing benefits

See Benatar M. Limitations of in vitro Research There is little doubt that there are major differences between human cells in vitro and in vivo which can pose challenges in extrapolating findings from research on the functioning of human cells in culture to the functioning of human cells in vivo [ 2 , 17 , 50 ]. Proponents of animal testing say that it has enabled the development of many life-saving treatments for both humans and animals, that there is no alternative method for researching a complete living organism, and that strict regulations prevent the mistreatment of animals in laboratories. However, views diverge sharply on whether animal experimentation is part of good science and results in medical breakthroughs for humans, or whether such progress could have been achieved by other means. Wide differences have also become apparent in the regulation of the same genes, a point that is readily seen when observing differences between human and mouse livers. The sequencing of the human genome and birth of functional genomics, the explosive growth of computer power and computational biology, and high-speed robot automation of cell-based in vitro screening systems, to name a few, has sparked a quiet revolution in biology. On the other hand, removing animals completely from the lab would impede our understanding of health and disease, and consequently affect the development of new and vital treatments. For example, much has been learnt about the function of neurons from studying the giant squid axon. Advert Understandably, when a drug or other medical treatment is developed, it must be tested in an entire living system. Examples include findings from models used for diabetes, deafness, psychiatric disorders, neurodegenerative disorders and some cancers. It has also been argued that for longer-term toxicities such as carcinogenicity and teratogenicity it has been difficult to establish the benefits if any of initial toxicology testing in laboratory animals [ 40 , 41 ]. 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. Not only do these techniques analyse the effects of drugs on an entire living system, they analyze a human living system, eliminating error caused by species differences and resulting in data that is relevant to humans. One can claim that medical discoveries can be made using exclusively non-animal methods, but unless one can suggest realistic replacements, these claims are hollow.

Data from animal studies is essential before new therapeutic techniques and surgical procedures can be tested on human patients. This type of research may not necessarily lead to applications for humans, although a primary objective is that it may eventually lead to applications from which humans may directly benefit.

Animal rights activists believe it is wrong for people to remove animals from their natural habitats or interfere with their lifestyle. Furthermore, human clinical trials often involve a relatively homogeneous sample of patients in order to distinguish clearly between the effects of the therapy against the background of variation between different patient responses [ 5152 ].

This includes the use of animals who represent both genders and wide age ranges, who have comorbidities and preexisting conditions that occur naturally in humans, and who are consequently given medications that are indicated for human patients.

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Read the four main reasons why animals are used in medical research