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Statement of the problem: Animal testing has been around for centuries, starting with ancient Greek physicians who used animals for testing of medicines and anatomy of animals. It was only during the 12th century when physicians first pushed the practice of surgery procedures on animals prior to human surgery.
Especially in the mid-twentieth century, animal testing becomes a necessity before prescribing drugs to the general public in the US. In 1937, there was the Elixir Sulfanilamide incident where the prescription of a drug caused the death of more than 100 people. It is stated that if they tested the drug on an animal, it would have been clear to see the deadly effects of Elixir Sulfanilamide and highlighted how those deaths could have been avoided. This incident caused a new law to be implemented in the US federal system (1938 Federal food, drug and cosmetic act) that requires animal testing on drugs and other products before they are allowed to be distributed and sold to the general public. Primarily, animal testing is for the safety of drugs and cosmetics being sold worldwide.
However, animal testing despite providing consumers with safer drugs, always have drawbacks. In 1981, there was the Silver Spring Monkeys case that changed the world’s viewpoint on animal testing. In a lab in Silver Spring, Maryland, 17 macaque monkeys were being used for animal research on neuroplasticity. Their cages were uncleaned for days, the animals themselves were injured with lacerations and broken bones. Then, the founder of PETA uncovered the truth of the animals, sparked the movement of animal rights and revealed to the world the horrors of animal testing.
This non-profit organization was founded on March 22, 1980 where it focuses on 4 main issues. The testing of animals, the farming of animals for food, the farming of animals for fur and the use of animals in entertainment.
They are an animal rights group that aims to end all animal testing worldwide with the belief that there is no ethical justification of testing on animals.
These nations have banned cosmetic testing on animals within their countries.
The Chinese government requires animal testing on all imported cosmetics and skincare products, but since 2014 has lifted the animal testing requirement of products produced within the country as well as since 2017 has accepted innovative non-animal testing alternatives. However, many multinationals who pledge that they are“cruelty free” have shipped their animal testing to China under the law that it is required and continue to conduct animal testing within the country.
In the year 2000, this was a suggested agreement to the UN. This agreement outlines how countries should acknowledge that animals are sentient as well as encourages the responsible treatment of all types of animals, including animals used in industrial testing, as pets, wildlife…etc.
In the world we are living in right now, it has undoubtedly come to be due to animal testing. Drugs sold in pharmacies, cosmetics sold in malls, our world is surrounded by animal experiments. There has constantly been a debate on whether or not animal testing is required for the drugs and cosmetics manufactured for patients and consumers. Whilst some insist that it is necessary for the welfare of humans (Elixir sulfanilamide case), other argue that it will only result in the harmful treatment of animals in poor living conditions (Silver Spring Monkey case). As a result, many animal welfare organizations have sprung out around the world to alert the people about animal testing and questions the necessity of it.
This had led to 3 R’s campaign of animal testing being implemented in modern medicine.
Although some believe that this will provide scientists with a better moral conscience when conducting animal testing and limiting the potential damage on animals lives, some believe that it will inhibit our acceleration of medical advancement and slow down our improvement of products for the people.
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