Effects of animal testing

Updated March 23, 2017

Animal testing is a continually contested issue. Some contend that before products are used on humans, they should be tested on animals. Others argue that testing any type of product or medicine on an animal is not only cruel, but also ineffective as there is no way to prove animals react in the same way a human would. Regardless of the side an individual takes on this contentious issue, there are some proven effects of the practice of animal testing on animal subjects.


Often, chemicals tested internally on animals lead to illness. Animals often become lethargic or exhibit signs of distress, reports GrinningPlant. In some instances, this illness is because of a problem with the chemical being tested and in others the animals petite bodies are ill-equipped to handle the dosage administered.

Skin Irritation

Skin irritation is the common result of testing products topically on animals. Cosmetic companies are the most well known for animal skin testing, as in years past they tried cosmetics on animals prior to taking the products to market. This skin irritation can range from a minor rash to a serious skin infection.


Many chemicals and medicines result in general pain for the animal test subject. This pain is often unquantifiable because animals cannot express their discomfort, but this pain is often exhibited by animals who refuse to eat or remain still instead of engaging in normal activity.

Genetic Mutation

Extensive testing, particularly testing involving radiation or medical procedures, can result in genetic mutations in test animals. In some instances, genetic mutations are induced to test the validity of a scientific principle or the effect of the manipulation of one or more of the animal's genes. These genetic mutations can result in the death of the animal or the inability for the animal to interact with other animals effectively.


Many test subjects die as a result of the testing they undergo. Often test animals are not given medical treatment to counteract the effects of the testing they are subjected to, resulting in eventual loss of body function and early death.

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About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.