Animal Research Laboratories-Pros and Cons
… plays a big role in new cures and breakthroughs for destructive human diseases — heart disease, diabetes, HIV, and cancer. Sick people are begging for new answers and cure for themselves, their friends and loved ones. Many offer personal information or services of their illness to science while receiving experimental drugs or treatments, in the hopes of finding the latest answers. In between, animal research is being used to study the effects of these new experimental drugs before they go on the market.
Why is Preliminary Animal Testing Necessary?
Preliminary animal testing is said to be necessary because there is no experimental medicines allowed on sick people until it is more advanced and data shows it may work. Meanwhile, years are spent in small animal research laboratories in order to reach the human controlled study stages. Animals such as mice, monkeys, ferrets, dogs, cats, and other species are used for this preliminary testing – not humans. Thousands of animals are used on a daily basis to provide answers to researchers and scientists, desperately searching for human cures and medical miracles.
According to BBC’s Newsround, British law says that before any new type of medicine can be freely used by the public, it is required to be tested on two completely different live mammals, with one of those animals a large non-rodent type. Large non-rodent types of animals refer to cats, dogs, horses, cattle, monkeys, and so on. The purpose of this is to protect humans from the dangers of the new drug or medicine, with known side-effects already seen and diagnosed in its experimental stages of animals, considered to be more disposable than a human life for testing purposes.
WHY DO WE ALLOW CRUELTY INSIDE ANIMAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES?
Not all animal research laboratories are cruel, with many laws and methods developed for their protection. Of course, this does not mean some labs or scientists do not abuse their lab animals. Just like private homes regarding children and pets, abuse can go unchecked unless someone steps in and does something about it. Watchdog animal organizations are not only necessary but should be mandatory for the protection of all laboratory animals. Having specific laws sometimes are not enough, as behind doors it is hard to prove certain situations involving their care — especially with governmental security animal research laboratories where everything is held top secret, including where they get their animals.
To make a personal stand against cruelty, contact People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and RSPCA, where legitimate lists are made of companies who test products on animals. Do not always assume that because a company uses animals for research, they are being abusive. Many studies are simply attempting to save lives … human lives. Instead, search out the truth and find out what is actually going on. Contact watchdog organizations, search online for animal abuse in testing companies, and so on. Tremendous animal pain and suffering for the sake of scientific advancement to protect mankind is unnecessary. Animal studies done in a safe manner are necessary to save the lives of people with deadly diseases, with science struggling for the correct answers.
If we have a small infant or loved one dying of cancer, are we to deny the scientific breakthrough of its cure, simply because the testing was done on a rodent? Or shall we approach it on a different level, requesting a more humane way to test through the use of animals or requesting an alternative way to find a cure? Rushing a laboratory by force and turning all the animals loose is not the answer, as most of the animals have no idea how to fend for themselves and will die of starvation, exposure, or abuse by wild animals. When violence breeds violence, who loses? The answer is the dying infant and loving one, and the experimental animals — not the scientists or the animal activists.
Does Testing on Lab Animals Hurt?
It is hard to imagine any type of animal testing not having pain of some sort, as science seeks unknown information for a specific disease or a certain condition. The media adds to the fuel by showing images of horribly abuse animals, adding to the frenzy of what is going on. Sometimes this is true and sometimes it is not. It is up to us as intelligent individuals to seek the truth out before blindly going into a rage.
As humans with diseases, our cures consist of invasive tests, unknown answers, expensive medicine that does not work and bad tasting medicine with serious side effects. Restrictions all play a major part in testing for humans, for both lab animals and the people dying of the diseases. The only difference is that animals cannot speak and patients can, informing the world of their pain and misery. We, as a caring species, need to hear their pain and do something about it with safe laws.
Animal Research without Lab Testing?
Many animal activities feel that animal testing is unnecessary due to the resulting animal pain or harm, considered too cruel to continue. This is true in most cases—any pain, no matter how little it is, is too much whether it is in a small animal research laboratory or outside of it. Of course, the pain if the diseases person needs to also come into question and the suffering a cancer victim goes through when dying.
Currently, research laboratories are being developed across the country in large numbers. A major reason is that different diseases are spreading rapidly across the world in staggering proportions. Answers and cures are needed desperately and they were needed yesterday – not tomorrow or in six months or more. Unfortunately, we have come to a time in history when bureaucratic baggage has made abuse a normal part of life – in children and animals. Allowing children to remain in abusive homes or killing lab animals with lethal injections is not considered unnatural.
Any scientific research without animal testing is not an acceptable vision of progress, making animal research extremely important. The exciting thing is that approved charities are funding medical research without animal testing, choosing other methods of testing for finding cures for the onslaught of human diseases. Studies of human populations are being used also, which provide many facts: what the relationship between heart disease and cholesterol is; birth defects; chemical exposures; HIV transmissions; viewed abnormalities within Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases; brain injuries; schizophrenia, and epilepsy. Drugs used in studies are undergoing clinical testing before they can be used with clinical research methods. So there may be a future for animals.
Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is this: Because the animals are most like us. Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: Because the animals are not like us. Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.
~ Charles R. Magel
(For more articles by Nancy Houser, go to AKGmag)
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“Fat Rats Askew Research Findings”
Failure to recognize that many laboratory animals live unhealthy lives may be leading researchers to misinterpret their findings, potentially misdirecting efforts to develop theraputic drugs.
“The vast majority of investigators who use rats and mice don’t recognize that their normal conditions are relatively unhealthy,” says Mark Mattson, chief of the National Institute on Aging’s Laboratory of Neurosciences and a co-author on the paper. “The most logical way to extrapolate is to say any data we obtain in the animal model would be more relevant to overweight, sedentary humans than normal-weight, active individuals.” (Read More)
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“Recognizing Pain in Animals”
Recognition and Alleviation of Pain in Laboratory Animals (2009) provides guidelines for those involved in the care and use of animals in the research environment. It aims to increase awareness of the sources and recognition of pain in laboratory animals and to increase ethical sensitivity in those who use and care for them.
Minimizing and alleviating pain in laboratory animals without compromising the methodological integrity of a research project is important both ethically and legally. Fortunately, recent scientific progress has expanded the understanding of pain and increased the ability to prevent and alleviate it in laboratory animals.
All vertebrates should be considered capable of experiencing the aversive state of pain. The alleviation and prevention of animal pain is both an ethical and moral imperative. In the case of lab animals, minimizing animal pain is also scientifically and practically beneficial. What has been learned through research about pain in laboratory animals can also be applied to pets, farm animals, and other animals. (Read More )