Animal Testing in Drug Industry: Is It Appropriate or Not?
Millions of people were killed by incurable diseases, such as smallpox, rabies, et cetera before the 18th century due to lack of knowledge in developing drugs and vaccine at that time. People caught by the diseases were hopeless because they knew that no one could help them. In the mid 1800s, animal testing was introduced to drug industry by Edward Jenner (Trueman, 2002). His brilliant discovery in developing smallpox vaccine by using animals helped a lot of people and gave hope to the medical field that incurable diseases were not incurable anymore. Although he was not the first man to use animal in experiments, his success made animal testing become commonly used in drug industry. Since then, animal testing has been playing an important role in producing drugs. It is used in developing new drugs and approving the safety of drugs. Hence, millions of unhealthy people have been helped indirectly by animal testing. However, animal testing is beneficial for human only and not for the animals used. Most of the animals which give great contribution to the health of world's dwellers are cruelly slaughtered during experiments and not well treated in drug-development laboratories. Animals, like human, also have rights to be freed from suffering and treated well. We, as human beings, must understand that animals are also living beings which feelings should be considered as well. So, is animal testing still appropriate to be used in drug industry? I do not think so. It is inappropriate because most of the testing implemented hurts the animals both physically and mentally, it generates a lot of social problem, and its results are often inaccurate. Also, there is no need to use animal testing in drug industry because alternative methods that could replace it have been developed. How would you react when someone sting your finger harshly with a needle? Normally, you would express your pain by drawing your finger immediately and rub your finger gently, then show your displeasure to draw the person who stings you back. Animals' reactions are the same with that of human when they are pinpricked severely in drug laboratories. They can also feel physical pain. Many people do not understand this and think that animals do not have any feelings at all. Take Descartes, a French philosopher, mathematician and scientist, for example. He stated that animals do not have minds. Animals are only machines created by God in order to please human beings (Singer, 1980). He also said that animals' movements and sounds are the same with those of a clock, but of course more complicated since clock is a machine made by human and animals are God's creation (Singer, 1980). This philosophy is very inaccurate. All animals, especially mammals, have the same basic nervous system as humans', although human nervous system is more complicated due to evolution (Singer, 1980). Therefore, animals also have a part of brain which detects pain, same with human. Physical pain is suffered by animals during many drug testing. For example, because of being injected carelessly with drugs, exposed to excessive amount of poisonous substances, and hit or kicked when they show a sign of rejection. Furthermore, they are enduring continual physical pain due to not being well kept. For instance, their cages are not cleaned regularly; they are fed with insufficient amount of food; their wounds and illnesses are not cured; et cetera. An example of animal physical abuse case in drug industry is the Huntingdon Life Science Ltd. (HLS) case which involved dog abuse in 1997 (Wikipedia, 2005). The dogs used were hit roughly when they wriggled during blood test. Moreover, sometimes the scientists did not find the vein of the dogs, so they just injected the drugs on any spot randomly, which cause unstoppable bleeding. They did not take care of the wounds they had caused; instead they just left the dog bleeding sometimes until the...
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