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14 Pros and Cons of Animal Research

Pro: Life-Saving Medications and Vaccines

❶Helps researchers to find drugs and treatments:

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Con: Inhumane Treatment in Animal Experimentation
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Although there will always be a risk when testing new items, even after animal research has provided positive data, the risks to a human without animal research would be incredibly high. Through animal research, the legality of accidentally causing the death of an animal is very different than what would occur with the accidental death of a human. It provides an opportunity to examine a complete life cycle. In many countries, the average life expectancy of a human exceeds 70 years of age.

Some nations have an average life expectancy of over 80 years. In comparison, a mouse has a lifespan of years, allowing researchers the opportunity to study through research and experimentation how something may affect the life cycle. Any long-term research involves mice and rats because of this unique aspect to the research. There are protections in place for the animals.

Although animal research may have ethical concerns, the US has regulated its practice since Veterinarians are required to inspect the living conditions of the animals. Committees must approve animal research and be held responsible for the humane treatment of each animal. Access to food and water is mandatory, as are shelters that follow minimum sizing standards. Many of the items that are tested are never used.

Animal testing may provide safety benefits for new products, but some of the items that are tested will never be used. That means animals will likely be sacrificing their lives to determine the safety of a product that a human will never even know was being developed. With no direct societal benefit produced, what is the benefit of an animal suffering from the testing process?

It can be an expensive practice. Caring for an animal requires a large investment. Some of the animals that are used for testing are bought at auction or taken from the wild, which brings additional costs into the process.

Now multiple those costs over an entire laboratory and the cost of animal research becomes very high, very quickly. It may not offer valid results. That means animal research can be more unreliable than even researchers claim it may be.

Several drugs have passed animal testing, but have been found to be harmful to humans. Nearly vaccines for HIV showed potential in primates, but failed in humans. That means the results that animal research can produce may not even be valid. Many facilities are exempt from animal welfare laws. That means there are more than 20 million animals who could be at a high risk of abuse or neglect in the name of research.

Even when the facilities are in compliance with the law, they are governed by committees that are self-appointed and only a direct inspection of the facility would let someone know there are issues going on. From living cell lines to cultures and other forms of cell harvesting, there are possibilities available.

A cell line from cervical cancer cells taken in is still being researched, even though the individual died from that cancer in the same year. Poor research practices invalidate the data obtained. Data discrepancies are not the only issue that face animal research transitioning to human research. When poor research practices are used, the data that is obtained could be invalidated. There is also the possibility that poor research practices could create false positive data that could then place human lives at risk.

Unless there is accurate and complete oversight over the current field of animal research, this threat to the data will always exist. It is also a common practice for animals' eyes to be held open with clips for hours, even days, in the course of testing cosmetics products. With the advent of modern molecular biology and its analytical methods, scientists can now quantify the precise extent to which humans resemble other animals, genetically speaking.

Chimpanzees and humans share 99 percent of their DNA, and even mice and humans have a 98 percent overlap in this area. All mammals have the same essential internal organs, and these all fall victim to the same general maladies, such as heart disease and various cancers.

For these reasons, scientists can confidently apply the results of a panoply of medical experiments on animals to human beings and be more confident when it's time to experiment on humans directly in clinical trials. One of the leading arguments against animal testing is that it is simply a waste of scientific energy and resources, because the results of tests done on other species often cannot be reliably extrapolated to humans.

For example, in a study at the Mayo Clinic by David Wiebers and his colleagues aimed at identifying drugs to treat ischemic stroke, the researchers found that 25 compounds that reduced the damage done by such events in cats, rodents and other animals had no beneficial effect whatsoever in people. Unfortunately, the world of animal experimentation is rife with examples such as these.

As technology moves forward, there is less and less need for animal experimentation. Human genes cloned into microorganisms can yield more specific toxicology results, for example, than simply administering toxins to animals. While much scientific research cannot be adequately done without animals, commercial safety testing, such as by cosmetics companies, is increasingly being done without the use of animals.

Meanwhile, improving the well-being of laboratory animals, such as providing an "enriched environment" for rats rather than keeping them isolated in traditional lab cages, can do much to ease the suffering of animals used in research.

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Animal research is highly regulated, with laws in place to protect animals from mistreatment. In addition to local and state laws and guidelines, animal research has been regulated by the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) since

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Pros of Animal Research To begin, research using animals may lead to new medications being discovered. Examples of medications that have been the result of animal testing are Penicillin, several asthma treatments, cancer and HIV drugs, vaccines, antibiotics, and insulin.

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Pros of Animal Testing. To decide whether animal testing is beneficial or not, it is best that you start learning its positive sides first like the following: Treatments Developed Have Saved Lives Animals are the most common subject of medical testing. This includes new drugs as well as possible cures for many different medical problems. While there are numerous pros and cons of animal testing, the ethical aspect overshadows both of them, which means that emotion may be the ultimate determining factor in whether a person believes the benefits of animal testing outweigh the problems associated with the practice.

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The pros and cons of animal research will always be controversial. Testing animals to see if a product is safe may be better than testing humans first, but that also means the life of an animal is devalued. On the contrary, animal research ethics and the integrity and morality of such tests have been questioned by environmentalists. Pros PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) supporters will stand in unison against the support of animal testing.