Animal Testing - Paper 15

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Animal Testing

Animal testing is a very controversial practice, involving the testing of new substances on animals to see how safe they will be for human use. (Vasen, 2011) Research has uncovered many cures for deathly diseases through animal testing. For over 2000 years cures for diseases such as Herpes, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Malaria, Polio and other such viruses have been created, through the use of testing the chemicals on animals such as mice, rabbits, cats, dogs or monkeys. (Shandilya, 2011) Animal Testing holds much criticism, and gets much scrutiny from anti Animal-Testing groups such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and CAAT (Coalition to Abolish Animal Testing). The controversy behind animal testing is that there are so many petitions against animal testing and some people go as far as to not consume products like toothpaste or detergent that has been tested on animals. However what most people don’t realise is that the medication that helps them and their family when they fall ill or injure themselves, are what has come from testing on animals. This is why Animal Testing has been around for so long, and animal rights protesters are still struggling to make a large impact on the operations of medical laboratories.

Without animal testing, the everyday medication that we take for granted like nurofen, antihistimaine, antibiotics, nasal spray, indigeston tablets would not be around. How would scientists know if the drugs worked on humans if they couldn’t test on animals first? More advanced medical discoveries have been found after operating on rats, as rats have a similar genetic types to humans. (Blue, 2008) Rats have been particularly useful when understanding cancer in human bodies, as Rats bodies operate similarly to ours. Animal research gives us a deeper understanding of human anatomy, and how we react when certain drugs are given to us. It gives a understanding of of disease, and with this knowledge we have a better quality of life. (Festing et al, 2012) Testing on animals give scientists the opportunity to save lives all over the world, and it seems when a family member or yourself have fallen critically ill, an animal is a small price to pay to save yours or your relative’s life.

These days throughout the world there are actually ethical frameworks which scientists operate to. Responsible scientists want to cause minimal suffering, so in most countries scientists are legally allowed to test on animals only if necessary. (Festing et al, 2012) The UK were the first to implement a framework into law by implementing Animal Scientific Procedures Act 1986. (Festing et al, 2012). The long standing public opposition toward animal testing has pushed governments to change and implement the new laws. (Dolgin, 2010) Alternative methods have been uncovered after large public opposition toward animal testing has pushed to find new testing methods. (Dolgin, 2010). Animals and humans actually differ greatly biologically, and some scientists have take for granted the difference between the reactions of animals compared to humans, and there have been some issues where a medicine has performed differently when given to a human. (Dolgin, 2010). Recently in Berlin, there has been a new method of testing medicine without involving animals. The scientists there have been using human cells for testing, and using human tissue to see reactions with chemicals rather than using animals. (Liebsch et al, 2010). The research community still don’t know enough about living organisms to duplicate them, which is why human tissue is a safer way to test on humans. However scientists are slowly making developments on non-animal models to provide more answers (Blue, 2008). Having non-animal testing information also speeds up the drug approval process, because of the legitimate and more accurate way of testing on human tissue. (Blue, 2010) Human tissue limits what sort of medicine can be tested, so animals will...
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