Is Animal Testing Necessary?
The debates over the necessity of animal testing remain topical nowadays. Some people stress the importance of animal testing for research and finding out the side effects of new products and treatments, while others consider this irrelevant, cruel in respect of animals and support the use of new alternative methods. In this paper, I am going to argue that tests on animals are unnecessary due to the reasons discussed below.
Firstly, it is important to note that despite the biological similarities in humans and animals, the results of the animal testing cannot be applied to humans in all cases. For instance, in 2006, the scientists in England tested a drug using a number of animals and the experiment did not have any negative outcome, whereas humans reacted violently under the use of the same drug (Watson, 2009).
The biomedical experiments and behavior research made on our closest relatives – chimpanzees have also been proven to be unnecessary (Washington D.C. Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, 2011).
Furthermore, the development of alternative scientific techniques, such as computer modeling, cell cultures, toxicogenomics etc. shows that a positive outcome may be reached through non-animal studies (Watson, 2009). For this reason, many developed countries favor and promote alternative methods by investing in various research projects (Lilienblum et al., 2008).
Additionally, the regulatory framework plays a vital role in advancing non-animal methods. For example, at EU level, the seventh Amendment Directive 2003/15/EC aims at totally avoiding animal testing for cosmetic products.
Thus, in today’s world of many alternative possibilities, taking into account the fact that humans and animals may not respond to treatments the same way, animal testing becomes unnecessary.
Lilienblum, W., Dekant, W., Foth, H., Gebel T., Hengstler, J. G., Kahl R., Kramer P.-J., Schweinfurth, H., Wollin, K.-M. (2008). Alternative methods to safety studies in experimental animals: role in the risk assessment of chemicals under the new European Chemicals Legislation (REACH). Arch Toxicol DOI 10.1007/s00204-008-0279-9
Watson, S. (2009). Animal testing: Issues and Ethics. The Rosen Publishing Group
Washington D.C. Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. (2011), Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the necessity. Retrieved from: http://www.nap.edu/read/13257/chapter/1
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