The Controversial Issue of Animal Ethics
The struggle against sickness and disease is not over, yet medical progress is being
threatened by activists who would end the use of laboratory animals in the search for treatment and cures. Their well financed anti-research disinformation campaign is not the only weapon used by animal rights activists.
The more extreme animal rights activists have used tactics of intimidation and terrorism,
April 26,1997, activists were arrested when they tried to force their way into Yerkes
Regional Primate center during a protest.
July 21,1997, The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) set fire to Cavel West, a horse rendering
As this knowledge grew, new scientific disciplines were born. First physiology, and pharmacology, and much later bacteriology, and immunology evolved as animal experimentation became more widespread. Table 2 depicts the great leaps animal experimentation has provided to the human race. This timeline is proof of
great advances gained from animal testing for human benefit. Without testing or experimentation of animals none of this would have evolved. Human beings are not the only species who benefit from animal testing. Table 1 depicts the advances in biomedical research for animals. Without animal research humans and animals would still be dying or totally wiped out from these diseases.
Advances for Animals
Canine Parvo Virus
Feline Respiratory disease
Heart disease in cats was eliminated supplementing diets with Taurine.
This also prevented Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS)
A rapid and accurate test now facilitates diagnosis of this insect-transmitted
disease. Heartworm medication, also discovered through animal experimentation
is one of the most important advances in the history
Spread by ticks, this disease causes arthritis as well as heart and Kidney problems in dogs. Animal research led to a vaccine to prevent infection, as well as more
accurate diagnostic techniques.
Many endangered species have a chance of surviving thanks to biomedical
research on in vitro fertilization and embryo transplant techniques.
Source: Partners in Research. “Animals Benefit From Biomedical Research.” http://www.pirweb.org/animals_do_benefit.htm (15, Feb. 2000).
Table 1 Advances in Medicine Through Animal Research
Treatment for Smallpox: Treatment for Whooping Cough:
One of the worlds most dreaded A highly communicable respiratory disease
plagues, estimated to have caused characterized by short, dry coughs. Species
two million deaths. Species studied: cows studies: guinea pigs and rabbits
Treatment for Anthrax:1950’s
Disease marked by rise in body temperature, Prevention of Polio:
followed by depression, spasms respiratory or A disease marked by symptoms ranging from mild cardiac distress, convulsions, and death. infection to extensive paralysis. Today the disease has
Species studied: sheep been eradicated in the western hemisphere. Species
1900’s studied: rabbits, monkeys, and rodents
Cardiac Catheterization Techniques: Discovery of DNA
A procedure which allows doctors to Determines individual hereditary characteristics.
insert a flexible tube into an artery or vein Species studied: rats and mice
to the heart, used for injecting drugs directly Development of Open Heart Surgery and
into the heart to measure blood flow and Cardiac Pacemaker:
pressure, diagnose and treat congenital...