The use of animals in scientific experimentation has been debated widely. Several studies have shown that animal testing is unethical and ineffective, and alternative methods of study should be developed and adopted. Proponents argue that animals have body systems that are similar to those of humans, and are the most effective study objects. On the contrary, opponents argue that subjecting animals to cruelty is inhumane and should be banned. Millions of animals are bred in laboratories around the world for use in the development of new drugs, most of which are dangerous or fail to work on human beings. Animals should not be used in scientific experimentation because it is unethical, dangerous, and unreliable and better alternatives exist.
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Animal testing is unethical because it subjects animals to cruelty and suffering that can be avoided. Surveys have shown that animals like rabbits, dogs, monkeys, and guinea pigs are killed, poisoned, or infected with diseases for study purposes (Akhtar, 2015). They experience fear, intense pain, and loneliness as they are reared in small cages that restrict their freedom. It is immoral to kill animals and make them suffer to conduct experiments, the majority of which fail (Akhtar, 2015).
Moreover, alternative methods that are considered ethical are available. They include in-vitro methods, advanced computer-modeling techniques, human volunteers, human-patient simulators, and miniature organs. Each year, 115 million animals are used in scientific experiments to test new drugs or evaluate the progression of a certain disease (“Arguments against animal testing,” 2019).
Despite the high number of test subjects, only 59 drugs were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2018. This is proof of the low levels of efficiency of animals as test subjects, as well as the waste of animals, the majority of which are killed. The field is poorly regulated. Therefore, millions of animals that are bred primarily for experimentation are at a high risk of neglect and cruelty (Akhtar, 2015).
As mentioned earlier, the majority of cures tested on animals fail to work on humans. For example, Vioxx was developed as a remedy for arthritis and tested successfully on animal subjects. After extensive tests on 6 animal species, the drug was ruled safe for human use. However, since its introduction, it has caused more than 320,000 heart complications and 140,000 deaths around the world (“Arguments against animal testing,” 2019). In 2016, a volunteer died and four others experienced brain damages after being treated with a drug that had been tested on rats, dogs, mice, and monkeys (“Arguments against animal testing,” 2019).
The trial conducted in France was aimed at developing a drug that would be used to treat a plethora of diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and anxiety. The failure occurred, even after extensive tests on animals. Many studies have shown that animals are ineffective and unreliable test subjects because they are different from human beings (Akhtar, 2015). In addition, the majority of the diseases that affect humans do not affect animals. The use of animals to test fialuridine, a drug developed to treat Hepatitis B, provided unreliable results because it led to severe liver damage and deaths when applied to people.
Animals should not be used in scientific testing because they provide unreliable results. Biologically, animal and human bodies are structurally different. In addition, they react differently to infections and diseases. Surveys have shown that approximately 90 percent of all drugs tested in animals fail to work in human beings. For example, only 5% of all cancer drugs have been approved for human use despite being tested in animals and described as safe (“Arguments against animal testing,” 2019). About 100 vaccines that have been developed for the cure of HIV were efficacious in animals during testing but failed when applied to people.
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The use of rats, mice, and rabbits to test the potency of drugs in human beings has little significance because of the irrelevant statistical insights they provide. Moreover, the accuracy levels obtained using monkeys are as poor as those generated from other animal species. Studies have shown that only 19% of the hazardous side effects that affect humans due to drug use can be predicted through animal subjects (“Arguments against animal testing,” 2019). The low accuracy of using animals to test drugs should be proof enough that alternative methods should be adopted.
Many scientists have argued that the use of animals in scientific experimentation has failed as the rate of success is very low. The majority of drugs developed fail to work in human beings. Millions of animals are tortured and killed every year in laboratories around the world. Opponents of animal testing have criticized the practice and advocated for the use of alternative methods that are more accurate, inexpensive, and reliable.
Rats, mice, monkeys, dogs, and rabbits have been used many times to test the safety of drugs that later caused negative health outcomes on human beings. The use of animals in scientific testing should be illegalized because it is unethical, better alternatives exist, and it is dangerous as well as unreliable.
Arguments against animal testing. (2019). Web.
Akhtar, A. (2015). The flaws and human harms of animal experimentation. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 24(4), 407-419.