This House would ban animal testing
In this debate testing should be defined as all testing including, medical research, cosmetics, toxicology, and psychology research where animals are used in any part of an experiment. An animal could sensibly be defined as vertebrates. With this exception of cephalopods, no invertebrates have any legal standing in any country so far as I am aware, and it would be hard to construct a case for any invertebrates having moral rights. The ban should be defined as some sort of criminal sanction, most likely incarceration. Medical research is the hardest case for proposition to prove, since it clearly yields substantial benefits to humanity. Focussing the proposition case on toxicology, or cosmetics alone would allow the opposition to ask, why then ban all research. Thus the best proposition strategy is to focus on the hard case of medical research. Context
Animal research has been used throughout recorded history to better understand the world around us. Almost all states actively research on animals at present. The total scale of all research on vertebrates is hard to measure, but according to some estimates it could be as high as 115,000,000 animals per year, with the vast majority of these being euthanized at the end of the period of experimentation. Much research on animals is undertaken by the pharmaceutical industry, and due to the relative paucity of drugs that make it on to the market place after the initial testing phases, the global cost of each successful new drug in terms of animal lives, is around 5.75 million animals. By contrast the now shrinking industry sector on chemical safety testing using animals, uses around 860 animals per chemical, with respect to cancer screening in this instance. Whilst much of this research is categorised as causing minimal pain and suffering, the 2005 figures for the USA alone showed 84,662 animals used in research likely to involve pain and suffering, where pain killers and sedatives would not be used. Points For
| Points Against
| Animals have a right not to be harmed
| Animal rights are of less moral worth than human rights
| Animal research necessitates significant harm to the animals involved
| People would die and suffer needlessly under such a policy
| Research can be done effectively without experimenting on any living creature
| Animal research is necessary for the development of truly novel substances
| Some groups of people have less capacity for suffering than most animals
| Poor countries would be unable to afford independent research
| Would send a positive social message, increasing animal welfare rights more generally in society
| Animals involved in animal research are mostly well treated.
| Remember to choose a winning argument!
* Points For
* Points Against
Animals have a right not to be harmed
The differences between us and other vertebrates are a matter of degree rather than kind. Not only do they closely resemble us anatomically and physiologically, but so too do they behave in ways which seem to convey meaning. They recoil from pain, appear to express fear of a tormentor, and appear to take pleasure in activities; a point clear to anyone who has observed the behaviour of a pet dog on hearing the word “walk”. Our reasons for believing that our fellow humans are capable of experiencing feelings like ourselves can surely only be that they resemble us both in appearance and behaviour (we cannot read their minds). Thus any animal sharing our anatomical, physiological, and behavioural characteristics is surely likely to have feelings like us. If we accept as true for sake of argument, that all humans have a right not to be harmed, simply by virtue of existing as a being of moral worth, then we must ask what makes animals so different. If animals can feel what we feel, and suffer as we suffer, then to discriminate merely on the arbitrary difference of belonging to a...
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