Throughout human history, humans have used animals as test subjects, from cosmetics and medical testing to space travel.  Animals are used to see what effect these processes have upon a human-like body, a practice which raises many moral and ethical questions.

Primates were often chosen above others as test subjects for space exploration, as their close genetics and morphological similarities made them a perfect choice. The first primate in space was a Rhesus monkey called Albert II. This links closely to modern day usage of animal within scientific and cosmetic research. It is thought by a large number of people that usage within cosmetic testing is wrong, with a recent poll claiming that only 10% of Britons who took part thought animal testing for cosmetics was acceptable.

[http://www.aboutanimaltesting.co.uk/changing-british-attitudes-animal-testing.html].

The testing performed within scientific and medical research is less clean cut. Could it be justified if the drugs tested on animals could save millions of human lives? Cancer or HIV treatments are known to be tested on animals and if this practice could lead to real development of the drugs and possible cures, is it ok? Or should all medical testing only be performed upon fellow humans? An article published in the British newspaper The Telegraph in 2009, stated that MPs in the UK were putting forward plans to investigate human alternatives to animal testing.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/4339504/Human-alternatives-to-animal-testing-should-be-investigated-MPs-say.html.

Do you think it is right to use animals in situations which can cause suffering and possible death? Can the progression of medicine justify this practice?

2 Comments

  1. A very emotive subject indeed Phil Singh. I do agree that animals
    should never be used for testing cosmetics. I was really ashamed
    that 10 per cent of Britons thought this practice acceptable.
    It is not and should never have been acceptable.

    However before the advent of new technologies there are circumstances
    that in order to test life saving drugs some research involving
    animals was necessary. Fifty years ago, I know this personally, the only way to predict early pregnancy was using animal fertilisation.
    This only when a pregnancy if not detected could have taken the mother’s life. However all we need now is a thermometer type
    detector which is highly accurate during the early weeks.

    I was comforted to read of Dr. Ian Gibson’s work with the Commons Innovations Science and Skills Committee.

    That new technologies assess the effects of drugs directly on humans.
    Using Microdosing. This I note that the dose is administered in such low quantities that the affect can only take place at cellular leven.

    Also testing can be done outside the human body on tissue cells and stem cells.#

    Such technologies will negate the use of animal testing of live animals..
    The suffering and death of animals can not now in this day and age
    ever be justified. Organs and cells etc from animal and humans
    can be used side by side.

    Educate and Invest in Research employ and use our best scientist
    for the future of all mankind and animal kind.

  2. Animal testing is wrong from scientific and morale perspectives. Scientifically it hinders true research because humans who get ill do not live in a lab environment, and that 98% of diseases found in humans are not found in animals. From the morale perspective, since animals feel pain in the same way we do, we have no right to inflict pain onto them. How are we better than the Nazi Mangele if we believe that we have the right to test on animals because we  have the opportunity to do so, and that we are stringer than they are?!

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