December 16, 2011
Should Animals be used for Research
During the past ten years, a major controversy over the use of animals in biomedical and behavioral research has arisen. The debate about using animals for medical testing has been ongoing for years. The struggle is usually between animal rights activists and scientist. I believe that animal testing is imperative to the progression of medical cures, procedures and drugs. Scientists have been solving medical problems, developing new techniques and treatments, and curing diseases by using animals in biomedical research.
Animal rights advocates believe that animals should not be exploited by humans, and that animals ...view middle of the document...
In addition, scientists can easily control the environment around animals; their diet, temperature, lighting, which would be difficult to do with humans. According to USDA, ninety five percent of all animals used in research are rats, mice and other rodents. Cats, dogs and other animals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, primates and farm animals collectively make up the small remaining percentage of animals.
Animals have been used for centuries to help researchers understand the various organs of the body, and their functions as well as to hone their surgical skills. In ancient Greece animals were used for the study of life science. To learn about body functions, scientists would cut into a live animal to observe vital parts in action. In the nineteenth century a rise in biomedical research increased the number of animals used in experiments. In the 1970’s the animal rights movement erupted on a grand scale. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the largest animal rights group in the country, takes a more radical approach to animal research. According to Carol L. Burnett, a PETA spokesperson, “Our basic philosophy is that animals are not ours to eat, wear or experiment on. We focus on issues that cause the most suffering and can help the most animals. The question then lies is do animals in research suffer? According to “Americans for Medical Progress,” during every step of the research process, animal pain and distress is assessed and monitored to provide the highest level of animal care while protecting the validity of research data. Animal Welfare Act requires that appropriate veterinary care, housing, handling, sanitation and ventilation are provided to animals involved in research.
To further the protection of animals in research, governing bodies such as Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees work together with researchers to ensure protocols are followed, anesthesia and postoperative painkillers are used when appropriate, and alternatives to animal research are sought out and implemented whenever possible. Researcher’s labs must meet strict federal, state and local requirements. Federal regulators routinely inspect labs to ensure that animals are adequately cared for. The welfare of animals used in research is very important. The guiding principles underpinning the human’s use of animals in research are called three Rs. Any researcher planning to use use animals must first show why there are no alternatives and what will be done to minimize numbers and suffering. Replace the use of animals with alternative techniques, reduce the number of animals used to minimum and refine the way experiments are carried out to make sure animals suffer as little as possible.
Those against the use of animals in research also question the credibility of these studies. They argue that millions of animals are killed unnecessarily when more than ninety percent of these experiments yield no results. More importantly, there is no...