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Discussion Whether Animals Testing is Necessary

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Animal testing is a debated issue over the previous decades. Animal testing in simple words is the use of animals in researches in order to determine the safety of various products such as foods, drugs and cosmetics. People have different opinions on this topic; many think upon this as unethical while according to others animal testing is a means to advance scientific understandings and experimental researches. I am against animal testing as this is unethical and ineffective, because there are alternative methods available that can replace the testing on animals and also human beings and animals are very different from each other. So, animal testing should be stopped.

To begin with, approximately 60 percent of animals are used for biomedical research and ensuring product safety testing. There are many reasons due to which animal testing is not ethical and often ineffective. The first reason is that the human body is completely different from animals. Undoubtedly, animals and human-beings are similar in certain regards. But this is not possible that all of their tissues are similar, then what is the certainty of accurate results of animal testing? If an animal is not affected by a product while testing then what is the possibility that humans will not get affected by the same product? What is more, non-human’s genetic backgrounds are dissimilar from that of humans and animals do not get many of the diseases and disorders that humans suffer from. When any drug is tested on an animal there is a great chance that the drug will show different toxic effects on different genetic backgrounds. Consequently, this is totally useless to test on animal models if the result is not specific.

Moreover, animals should have all the rights that humans have. They should have the right to live free in their habitats and the right to life and to be free from human use. Animals are similar to humans in some ways like they feel and experience pain just like humans do. The only thing is that they cannot speak and tell about their suffering to anyone. “Animals have a basic moral right to respectful treatment. Animals have preferences, goals, and desires; they have mental states that enter into the explanation of their behaviour. Animals are subject of a life”. I also believe that animals should have all of their own rights and they should not be abused for human needs. This type of tests are usually painful and there is a high chance that they will get damaged or died which is totally cruel and unethical. Most of the people think they are superior to animals and they can use animals wherever they want because animals cannot raise their voice against them.

It is cruelty, Not only is animal testing responsible for the deaths of millions of animals each year, it also subjects them to torture beforehand. Procedures include inflicting terrible and painful diseases on the animal while they are in a conscious / semi-conscious state and observing until their deaths. Rarely are the animals killed before they experience pain. Whether a drug is safe or not for humans, or will kill human cancer cells, etc, is not able to be determined by testing if it is safe for mice, or able to kill cancer in mice.

In addition, there are several tests that are performed on animals. There is toxicity test, the purpose of this test is to determine the effect of a toxic substance. These toxic tests are carried out by exposing the chemicals directly in the mouth or on the skin of animals. There is a test known as acute toxicity test in which the short-term effect of a product or chemical is determined. The animals are given high doses by feeding them, or through direct contact with eyes or skin. After such tests either the animals have to suffer permanently or the die ultimately or they are killed. Another type of test that is carried out on animals is Draize Eye Test which is basically performed on rabbits. In the Draize Eye test the chemical is introduced into the eyes or on the shaved skin of the rabbit. Then the effects of that chemical are noticed which includes inflamed skin, bleeding and blindness.

There are evidences that testing on animals do not have any specific outcomes. As I discussed above, there is no surety that human-beings and animals will experience the same results of a product because of variations in their genetic backgrounds. That is why this is useless to include animals for these types of safety tests when there is no reliability. Primarily, all these tests are performed on animals to ensure the safety of human-beings so that they will not suffer from any side effects of these products which is so inhumane. For the sake of humans animals have to suffer from extreme pain which is cruel and against humanity. I believe that animals are not supposed to go through these testings.

However, there are also some advantages of animal testing if we do not think about cruelty. Most of the researchers believe that testing on animals should be permitted because animals have great potentials such as facilitating innovation, and exploring a disease mechanism. Sometimes experiments on animals lead to the discovery of new vaccines and new concepts in medical science. For example, animal models using the chimpanzee and monkey were employed extensively for the study of hepatitis B, which further helped in the development of adequate vaccines against such diseases. Moreover, animals are better research models than humans because of their shorter life span. That is why animals like rats are well matched for the researches of long period of times i.e. cancer research.

As per my perspective, testing on animals is good when it is done in order to protect the humans and well as animals and the environment. It is true that a drug must be tested before it comes in the market to know the good and bad impacts of that drug, consequently to protect the organisms. These experiments also protect the environment from the harmful impacts of chemicals, by examining the negative effects suitable steps can be taken to preserve the environment. We cannot deny the benefits of these testings but they should be performed only under humane conditions and only when there are no appropriate alternatives.

Furthermore, with the advancements in science and technology there are various techniques available now which can replace experimentation on animals. These alternatives have high rate of accuracy than animal testing. Toxicological tests mentioned earlier in the research paper can be modified by some other techniques which do not harm animals. Use of animals in testing can be eliminated by using cells, microbes, tissues, and other in vitro methods, as well as using computerized information databases and mathematical models. There is an effective way to replace animal experimentation which is called Epiderm or Episkin. According to the scientist epiderm is an approved method in vitro system for the testing of different products like drugs, cosmetics and other chemicals. In this method the tissues are exposed to chemical and then the results can be obtained. In this way, animals are not really necessary for irritation or toxicity tests. Now there are better methods which are more effective and accurate.

In addition, there are many reasons that make animal testing unnecessary. The first point is that when there are equally good alternatives available so it does not make any sense to use animals. However, in medical researches it depends because the ethics guidelines are volumes larger than for doing medical research with people. But if it is a non-medical (cosmetics) research then it should definitely be stopped or banned. Other thing that makes it unnecessary is that the biological differences are just too great. So we waste time, money, and valuable, finite resources on testing that not only is cruel, but doesn’t give us any recent data either. It really makes no sense. If there is really need to perform experiments on animals so it is the responsibility of researchers to ensure the safety of laboratory animals just like they are ensuring the safety of humans. But in short, animal testing is totally unnecessary if it is being done for cosmetics or household products.

To conclude the essay, animal testing is a cruel and outdated method of testing various products before putting them on the market. Nowadays, there are better alternatives as compared to the past. I believe, animal testing should be abolished because the cruelty and pain suffered by animals is inhumane, and the results are obsolete. Most of the humans are not willing to be part of these testing due to the unpredictability of the results and consequences, so why should animals be subjected to it?

Reference

  1. Regan, T, & Singer, P. (1976). Animal rights and human obligations. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Prentice-Hall.
  2. Singer, P. (1990). Animal liberation (New rev. ed.). New York, N.Y..Avon Books.
  3. Orlans, F. (1993). In the name of science : Issues in responsible animal experimentation(Oup e-books). New York: Oxford University Press. (1993).
  4. Abraham, M., Hassanisadi, M., Jalali-Heravi, M., Ghafourian, T, Cain, W., & Cometto-Muñiz, J. (2003). Draize rabbit eye test compatibility with eye irritation thresholds in humans: A quantitative structure-activity relationship analysis. Toxicological Sciences, 76(2), 384-391.
  5. Kehinde, E. (2013). They see a rat, we seek a cure for diseases: The current status of animal experimentation in medical practice. Medical Principles and Practice : an International Journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre,22, 52-61. doi:10.1159/000355504
  6. Hester, R. & Harrison, R. (2006). Alternatives to animal testing (Issues in environmental science and technology, 23). Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry. doi:10.1039/9781847552457
  7. Alternatives in animal testing. (1996). Environmental Health Perspectives, 104(3), 250-252.
  8. Goh, J., Weaver, R., Dixon, L., Platt, N., & RobertsNow at ApconiX, B. (2015). Development and use of in vitro alternatives to animal testing by the pharmaceutical industry 1980–2013. Toxicology Research, 4(5), 1297-1307. doi:10.1039/c5tx00123d
  9. https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animals-used-experimentation-factsheets/product-testing-toxic-tragic/

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