Animals used in scientific research

Animals have been used in scientific research for centuries. Many people disagree with it and feel that it is morally wrong, others agree with the idea and feel that it is the most ethical method for research. I survey was carried out in the United States of America which stated that 56% of the population claimed that animal testing for medical reasons was morally acceptable, however 67% stated that animals being used to test cosmetics and other forms of care products was unacceptable. Through these surveys it has become apparent that the younger the person is the more likely they are to disagree with animal testing. As they ask older members of the public they are on average more likely to agree with the idea, to an extent.
There are many reasons why people are against animals being used for scientific research, mainly the fact that it is believed, by many people, that it is cruel. The animals which are used in any scientific research are kept in captivity for their whole lives, either being experimented on and continuing to live or dying in the process of the experiment itself. On November the 29th, 1965 a Dalmatian named Pepper was captured and then went on to be used in experiments. Pepper sadly died after having a cardiac pacemaker implanted into her body during an experiment. Although animals are living things they are not exactly the same as humans, therefore it is considered unreliable to us animals for scientific research due to these differences.
Animal testing is considered cruel by many people around the world, however there are certain regulations that must be followed in order for animal testing to be permitted. These regulations follow the rules of the Federal Animal Welfare act of 1966, which was passed in the USA, it states that there must be an Institutional Animal Committee which has a capable vet as a member. Only certain animals are allowed to be used for scientific research due to there being higher risk factors depending on the animal itself. The percentage of different species animals used in scientific research on average across the world are as follows; 84% rodents such as mice and rats; 12% fish, amphibians, birds and reptiles; 2.6% large mammals such as cows and sheep; 1% small mammals that are not rodents; 0.3% dogs and cats; 0.15% monkeys such as marmosets and macaques. It is against the law to experiment on Gorillas, Orangutans and Chimpanzees because they are too closely related to humans.
Animal testing is considered beneficial due to the information that it provides researchers with when trying to develop medicine and other health related treatments, such as insulin, various vaccinations and treatments for cancer and HIV. Humans are not the only living things that benefit from animal testing, many vaccinations and treatments for different types of animals have also been discovered through the same means. Some examples would be: rabies, distemper, tetanus, parvo virus vaccinations and treatment for feline leukemia.
Although at the moment animal testing seems necessary scientists are trying to follow the principle of the ‘Three R’s’ which was discussed by zoologist William Russell and microbiologist Rex Burch in 1959. This principle stands for replacement, reduction and refinement. This basically means to change the methods used for research from animal testing; lower the amount of animal testing used; and to make sure that if animal testing is used that the animals are not suffering and that they are living in a better environment.
There are many pros and cons to animal testing and most people will never change their views on it. Animals being used in scientific research is seen, in some cases, as cruel due to animals being held in captivity and in other cases it is deemed as beneficial to both humans and to animals through the development of vaccines. The great debate of weather animal testing should no longer be used or if it is the only ethical form of scientific research will most likely continue for years to come.

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