Animal testing fuels heated debates among animal rights' groups, medical researchers, universities, cosmetics companies and public interest groups. Animal testing does not always involve pain, death or injury to the animal. It includes studying how animals react to foods, environment and sound or other stimuli. The debate over the pros and cons of animal testing will continue as long as there are advances in science that require testing on non-human living things.
Pro: Human Medical Treatments
Animal testing has helped researchers find new ways to treat health conditions, including cancer and HIV/AIDS. They study how drugs used to treat these conditions react when consumed. When animals consume the substances, researchers document any negative side effects, as well as positive results from taking them. Animal testing helps researchers gauge possible dangers from drugs and substances, and helps them decide whether they can begin clinical trials on human subjects.
Pro: Benefits Other Animals
Animal medical research can even save other animals. Some tests help scientists understand which surgical treatments increases an animal's chances of healing properly after a procedure. Researchers also find out what medications and treatments could be detrimental to the health and life of other animals. As with animal experimentation for human treatments, animal studies aims to extend the life and health of pets, livestock and other animals.
Con: Animal Fatalities and Injury
The primary con to animal research is the amount of animals killed and injured during animal research. Animals that don't die often live the rest of their lives in captivity because the tests have caused irreversible damage. In addition, many of the substances consumed by the animals never become approved for humans.
Con: Unreliable Test Results
Another criticism for animal testing is the belief that animals and humans react differently to substances; therefore, laboratory test results are unreliable. Some opponents to animal testing feel that, because the animals are in a laboratory setting and under stress, they will not react to drugs and tests the same way animals in a natural environment would.
Animal Testing Reduction
Researchers and companies have adopted new ways to perform medical testing that require fewer animals or no animals at all. These methods include using one animal for multiple tests, creating computer or cellular models, testing tissue samples and asking for human volunteers for research projects.
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