Animal Testing

Human use of any living organisms raises ethical issues. Experiments have been conducted on animals in biological and medical researches for several centuries. Millions of animals are killed every year around the world, and the controversy surrounding the question “why and how animals are used?” did not only cease, but even took a very sharp and dramatic form. Currently, there are two points of view on this problem. The first is to prohibit experiments because they are immoral, cause pain and suffering to animals and even lead to their death. The second view is to allow experiments by observing the principles of humane animal treatment. In this case, animal testing is regarded as the need for further progress of science and human well-being.
Firstly, animal testing is considered useful because it saves the lives of humans. Besides, it is helpful in identifying specific primary indicators (percentage of lethal outcome, etc.). Additionally, animals have a high rate of reproduction, which is very important as many medicines have severe side effects, may affect heredity or create such health problems that affect progeny in a quite negative way. Scientists cannot wait until the second or third generation of test person will be born; however, it is a very long and often pointless process. Mice and rats give this opportunity; because of them, scientists can track changes in the genetic apparatus and take some actions to correct the defects and errors.

In addition, animal testing is the most reliable and inexpensive form of experimenting. Many animals’ rights activists advocate for a total ban on the use of laboratory animals in medicine and biology because animals “are radically different from the man” and, therefore, cannot serve as model objects. Scientists know the similarities and differences between the laboratory animals’ physiology and human physiology quite well. Some effects, particularly related to the effect on the psyche, can be detected only at the last stage of testing, when the medicine is tested on humans. Scientists are doing everything dependent on them in order to identify the negative effects at the earliest stages of testing, possibly even before the preparation is tested on animals. Moreover, animal testing is less expensive than human testing, and every test is performed with animals specially grown for this purpose.
The third point for animal testing is the fact that experiments are necessary during the learning process of biologists and physicians. Entering the university, every student wants to get a quality education, become a qualified expert in the field and be ready for any eventuality that awaits in the future professional activity. Therefore, an important part of training is practice. While working with not a living being, but with a mannequin, a student subconsciously knows that if he or she will do something wrong, nothing bad will happen. In reality, a specialist can simply be lost or frightened of unexpectedness.

The opponents of animal experiments argue their position with a fact that animal experiments are not effective enough, cause pain, suffering, and sometimes death to animals. Besides, there are alternatives to animal testing. In addition, some animals’ rights activists talk about such modern experiments as vivisection experiments, forgetting about the fact that currently most of the scientific researches are carried out on anesthetized animals.

Contemporary experiments on animals are not aimed at mocking the defenseless creatures; it is the desire to make human life better and safer. If a person carries out animal experiments, it does not mean that one does not like animals. In the long term, it would be just perfect to completely abandon the use of animals in biomedical applications, but nowadays, this is impossible with regards to the present level of science development.

 

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