Why is the issue important now?
During the past 10 years, a major controversy over the use of animals in biomedical and behavioral research has arisen. At the leading edge of the controversy are groups of" animal rights" activists whose purpose is to put an end to all experimentation and testing with animals. Their methods range from the use of publicity, misinformation and the filing of lawsuits, to raiding laboratories and threatening and intimidating scientists.
The traditional animal welfare and humane societies also have been active. Through legislation, regulation, negotiation and intimidation via publicity, they generally have sought to limit and control experiments conducted with animals, to reduce the number of animals being used, or to exempt certain animals from use in biomedical research.
Representatives of these animals cause groups appeal to the emotions and raise ethical and moral questions. They question man's right to use animals in a number of contexts, including biomedical research; contest the value of animal research and the need to conduct certain types of experiments; challenge and generate concern over the amount of pain and suffering endured by animals during experiments; and promote the use of alternative methods of experimentation in place of the use of animals.
The activities of these organizations have grown in scope and intensity during the past 10 years and have had a number of important consequences. They have created confusion and doubt in the minds of some regarding the need for animal experiments, prompted the passage of federal and state laws regulating or restricting the use of animals in research, and led to the destruction or termination of many experiments.
Source: Use of Animals in Biomedical Research, American Medical Association White Paper, 1988.
No issue in the animal rights agenda is as bitterly contested as the question of scientific experiments on animals. With... [continues]
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