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INTRODUCTION: Twenty-six million animals around the United States alone are used every year for scientific and commercial experiments, and this research has been practiced on living animals since before 500 BC (Pro Con). The United States Department of Agriculture conducted research in 2010 to see how exactly animals are affected by the testing being done on them. Studies showed that 97,123 animals experience pain during their testing and are not given medication to alleviate the pain (USDA). Americans and others worldwide should eliminate animal testing for scientific and commercial reasons to prevent the inhumanity and pain that animals experience during the studies.The Foundation for Biomedical Research defines animal research as the study of animals for scientific and medical discovery. Research animals, also referred to as lab animals, are bred specifically for research. “Studying lab animals gives researchers important insights into how a disease works in the body, and once they understand how a disease works, they can begin to develop and test treatments with the help of animals” (Foundation for Biomedical Research). The Foundation believes that animal testing is  as essential for understanding the safety and proper dosages of new medicines and treatments to give to humans. Through animal testing, researchers can find out if a drug is safe and effective or not, and they can begin testing it in small groups of people and then larger groups of people. Both extensive human and animal testing is required by law before a drug can be approved. BACKGROUND: Animal testing in the United States is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act, also known as the AWA. The federal Animal Welfare Act defines an animal as “any living or nonliving dog, cat, monkey, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or such other warm blooded animal, and excludes birds, rats and mice that are bred for research, cold-blooded animals, and farm animals used for food and other purposes” (USDA). According to the Missouri Federation of Animal Owners, ninety-five percent of lab animals are either rats or mice, while only one percent are dogs and cats. Pro Con mentions that the mice and rats have a shorter lifespan of only two to three years which makes them a better candidate to be tested upon than animals with a longer lifespan. This allows the researchers to see how the animal is affected, but in a shorter amount of time.CLAIM ONE PRO: Some proponents of the issue argue that animal testing has enabled the development of numerous life-saving treatments for both humans and animals. Antibiotics, blood transfusions, dialysis, organ-transplantation, vaccinations, chemotherapy, bypass surgery and joint replacement are present-day protocol for the prevention, treatment, cure and control of disease, pain and suffering were all based on knowledge attained through research with animals (Missouri Federation of Animal Owners). According to the Foundation for Biomedical Research, the use of experimenting on rodents has revolutionized their understanding of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, memory loss, muscular dystrophy and spinal cord injuries. CLAIM ONE CON: Opponents of animal testing say that it is cruel and inhumane to experiment on animals. PETA protests that millions of mice, rats, rabbits, primates, cats, dogs, and other animals are locked inside barren cages in laboratories across the country languishing in pain, aching with loneliness, and longing to be free.  “Animal testing, especially when animals are harmed as a result of the testing or killed at the conclusion of the test, raises very real ethical questions” (Metcalfe 126).CLAIM TWO PRO: People for the testing of animals for scientific and commercial reasons state that strict regulations prevent the mistreatment of animals in laboratories.CLAIM TWO CON: People who are against animal testing claim that animals are so different from human beings that research on animals often yields irrelevant results. The Animal Welfare Act only chooses to regulate the housing and transportation of animals used for research (Pro Con). This means that the AWA does not regulate the experiments done on the animals, but rather only the environment in which they are experimented. CLAIM THREE PRO: People that agree with animal testing say that there is no alternative method for researching a complete living organism. The Foundation for Biomedical Research claims that it is necessary because nearly every medicine, medical device, surgical procedure or therapy we have today has depended on animal testing and research. It’s one of the first steps in medical discovery. To understand how a disease works in the body, scientists study the disease in animals. Animal research gives them the knowledge they need to discover and create treatments to help both people and animals living with illnesses.CLAIM THREE CON: People who do not agree with animal testing say that there are in fact alternative methods available to researchers can replace animal testing. “Advances in science have led to a new vision for toxicity testing based on human cell systems that will be more predictive, have higher throughput, cost less money, and be more comparable to real-life exposures in humans, while using many fewer animals” (Zurma S25). Because of how quickly technology is progressing in society, there are some newly discovered alternatives to animal testing. The Wyss Institute at Harvard has developed an alternative referred to as “organs-on-chips” where they have been able to mimic the structure and function of organs of human cells (PETA). Instead of using animals in a lab for testing they have been able to use those chips to get the same results as they would with an animal. This is a huge breakthrough in eventually terminating animal testing altogether. Another alternative method to experimenting on animals is called “microdosing”, and this is research done on human volunteers (PETA). The way that this method works is volunteers are given a small dosage of a drug and are then monitored closely to see how the drug affects the volunteer’s body. This method is maintained because the person taking the dosage is taking such a low dosage of the drug and they are so closely monitored. Microdosing can help to eliminate the drugs that will not affect or work on humans and make sure that animals are not tested for those eliminations. There is no point to testing an animal for the drug if the drug proves to not work for a human, and this narrows the amount of tests done on animals.CONCLUSION: The United States and other countries across the world should put a halt to animal testing for scientific and commercial reasons to prevent the discomfort and trials that each animal suffers. Twenty-six million animals around the United States alone are used every year for scientific and commercial experiments, and this research has been practiced on living animals since before 500 BC (Pro Con). The United States Department of Agriculture conducted research in 2010 to see how exactly animals are affected by the testing being done on them. Studies showed that 97,123 experience pain during the testing and are not given medication to alleviate the pain (USDA).

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