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Throughout history, Man has used his intelligence to make animals work for him. The dog, for instance, is invaluable to Man for its faithful nature, its agility and its keen sense of smell. The blind uses the dog to lead them. The customs department uses Alsatians to sniff out drugs. Hunters use dogs to sniff out their prey. In snowbound places like Alaska, dogs are used to pull sledges. In a sense, dogs are almost indispensable to humans. Yet, Man has found ways to abuse the poor creature. In fact, other animals like cats, frogs, mice, cows and rabbits also share the same fate.
Every life created by God is equal. Who are we to have the right to use these innocent, defenceless creatures that breathe and live under the same roof as us and routinely cut open, poison and cage them for weeks, months or even years? We are living in the 21st century with countless new, improved inventions that can assist in all the research we want to carry out for the betterment of our society. Yes, it probably cost much more than using animals but who are we to have the authority to decide to pull the plug on a living creature? Bearing that in mind, a huge group of people have been strongly against animal-testing users. They clearly propose that animals should not be used in scientific researches and with no doubt, my vote is with them.
Let me start with the so-called man best friend. Did you know that most experiments done on dogs are conducted without anaesthetics? Dogs are most commonly employed for toxicity tests which rarely use any form of pain relief. This is because experiments can last for weeks or months and, in any case, an anaesthetic may interfere with the test substance, so making it even more difficult to make the data relevant to people. Although the findings from safety tests are usually kept secret for commercial reasons, the UK’s Centre for Medicines Research has compiled information from industry sources which list symptoms and injuries experienced by dogs during drug trials. These included vomiting, diarrhoea, convulsions, shivering, anorexia and hyper-excitement; plus eye, liver, kidney, heart and lung damage, and of course death. Tell me, which part of the whole research is humanly?
Despite being another of our most favourite companion animals, cats are also forced to battle against some of the most serious ailments. Cats are forced to undergo research on stroke. Around half of the experiments on cats use anaesthetics at some stage and many of these animals are ‘fortunate’ in that they are killed at the end of the procedure before the anaesthetic wears off – unless, that is, the experimenter has made a mistake with the anaesthetic and the animal feels everything. In a long series of tests at the University of Glasgow, cats have been deliberately infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) to investigate its effects. In the experiments, FIV has produced fever, conjunctivitis and inflammation of the eye, with one report describing how a cat developed ‘profound anorexia’, weight loss, stomach pain and jaundice. It was killed on ‘humane grounds’.
Sad to say, rabbits are also involved in many of the scientific researches done worldwide. They are mainly used in fur factory farms. The rabbits are kept in very small cages which causes a lot of emotional and physical stress. They are fed meat by-products considered unfit for human consumption. Water is provided by a nipple system which often freezes in the winter. The killing methods on fur factory farms are gruesome. Some may be put into boxes and poisoned with the hot engine exhaust from a truck. This method does not always kill them so some are skinned alive. Others have clamps applied to their mouths and rods inserted into their anuses and are electrocuted. Other common methods are gassing, neck-snapping and decompression chambers. What did the animals do to deserve such merciless treatment?
Animals should not be a part of any scientific research at all, whether is it radiation experiments, chemical studies, agricultural research or cosmetics and products testing. They have the entitlement to live happily and die peacefully. Abusing animals for the purpose of science only speaks poorly of us as thinking and feeling beings. Animals provide us with food, company, relief and support. Perhaps it is time we render come compassion and make life more pleasant for them. Take a pick, which is more humane? Torturing an animal slowly then killing it in one second or letting it live life and then die naturally?
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