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Animal Testing Essay

Living in the twenty-first century society is beginning to raise questions about the importance and relevance of issues that could very easily alter our way of living. Animal testing is one of these issues; the use of non-human animals in experiments. When an opinion regarding whether or not animal testing is ethical is mentioned in conversation or our news, citizens generally begin to question its morality.

In debates, the issues on animal testing should be divided into two sub-categories: what is necessary for survival, and what is moral. If animals do feel a little pain, can you imagine how they feel? They are forced to do something that they do not want to do just because they can’t actually say ‘no’. Yet, scientists, the well educated people, believe that we should keep it, so should we really get rid of it?

Animals used:
Many different species of animals are used in research. In 2003, the majority of procedures used mice and rats. Other mammals accounted for around 3% of the total, including 11,000 pigs, 5000 dogs and 3000 primates (for example, monkeys and marmosets).

Laboratory mice are used more often in research every year than any other animal species. Mice, and other rodents such as rats and hamsters, make up over 90% of the animals used in biomedical research.

In addition to having bodies that work similar to humans and other animals, rodents are small in size, easy to handle, relatively inexpensive to buy and keep, and produce many offspring in a short period of time. However, rodents may not always be the best animal to use in certain experiments. In these cases, dogs, cats, rabbits, sheep, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians, or other kinds of animals may be used. All of these animals together make up less than 10% of the animals used in research.

Methods of testing the drug:
1.Exposure Testing
Some animals are tested by exposure testing. Animals like rats, dogs, cats, monkeys and birds are exposed to things that people would normally be exposed to. Exposure includes inhaling cigarette smoke or being in a place where furniture polish is sprayed. Exposure to microwaves, UV lights, the sun and extremes in temperature are also ways animals are tested. The results found include diseases that show up because of exposure to elements, learning disabilities that might occur (based on maze and behavior tests after exposure) and pregnancy complications that go along with exposure.

These tests are usually used to make conclusions about what a human’s reaction would be to the specific substances or conditions that the animals were exposed to. Conclusions might be that products are safe for humans based on exposure to animals or that products and elements are not safe based on what happened to the animals.

2.Skin Testing
Some products, like cosmetics, are tested on animals by skin testing. In this method of testing, animals have products applied to their skin. This is done especially with pigs. The products, like cosmetics and other skin care products, are introduced to the animal’s skin, and the results are recorded. Most of this testing is done by cosmetic companies themselves, who are looking for any adverse reactions the products might have. Reactions they are looking for include breakouts, skin irritations, sicknesses or allergies that crop up with exposure.

Research companies might be paid by cosmetic companies to test the products of competitor companies to make sure that the products they are selling will perform better. Cosmetic companies and skin care companies are also looking to test how well their products work Skin testing on an animal http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/tags/skin against the claims they have made for their own +corrosion/default.aspx

3.Injection Testing
Many animals are tested with injection testing. For drug testing, this might mean injecting an animal with a drug to see what the side effects of the drug might be. Allergy medications, acne medications, seizure medications and disease medications are tested on health animals to test for side effects like sicknesses, birth defects or behavior problems. Other animals are tested by first being injected with a disease or a sickness, and then injected with a course of drugs to see which drug might benefit it the most. Diseases include AIDS, Cancer, Parkinson’s Diabetes and Epilepsy.

The benefits they are looking for include a reduction in symptoms, a cure for the disease, or a way to slow down the disease’s progress. Injection testing usually measures the effects of the substance that is being injected on the animals, in order to see what results those things might have Ingected animal testing

for people.



Nayla Khalifa AlKhalifa

4.Creation Testing Some animals are created in order to be tested, or their creation itself is the test. Scientists play with the genetic makeup of animals and attempt to create new animals. They also perform experiments on animals in utero, such as inject them with drugs, expose them to chemicals and change their genetic makeup to see if these experiments can be accomplished successfully and then to see if those results can be repeated for humans. Animals are cloned in labs to see if the cloning process works and what drugs, processes and genetic manipulations affect cloning in what way. Cloned animals are then studied to determine the effects of cloning on a general population.

5.Behavior Testing

Some animals are tested in a way that is unobtrusive. Behavior tests are not usually meant to test a product or cosmetic or drug. They are tests that look at the lives of the animals and their behaviors. Some tests might include testing the speed at which mice can run various mazes or testing an animal’s ability to recognize colors or symbols.

These tests might include exposing animals to loud sounds like music or yelling or to stressful situations including loud sounds, flashing lights or strange smells or vibrations. Researchers then watch their behavior and make conclusions about what might happen to people in the same situation. Behavior tests also include studying the way a dog thinks by having him respond to commands and stimuli or testing the way another animal reacts when praised or yelled at. These behavioral tests give more information about how animals think and how their brains work, and also provide insights into why humans might have some of the same behaviors or issues as animals.

What are the alternatives?
There is a huge range of non- animal research techniques that, as well as being a more humane approach to science, can also be cheaper, quicker and more effective. These include:
●Cell cultures
Almost every type of human cell can be grown in culture and this has been key to understanding cancers, sepsis, kidney disease and HIV/AIDS. Cells grown in test tubes are routinely used in chemical safety testing, vaccine production, medicines development and to diagnose disease.

●Chemical methods
Analytical techniques used by chemists can be used to detect toxins in products, such as the LCMS method to replace the use of mice who are injected to detect toxins in shellfish. ●Tissue and organ culture

Tissues from humans donated after surgery or even death can be used to investigate diseases and also test whether drugs might be safe and effective, before they are used on humans.

●Computer models
Programs run on computers can be used to predict whether a chemical is going to be harmful based on its similarity to other chemicals, or to even simulate body processes such as heart rate.

●Human Volunteers
Studies of humans can often be the best way to replace animals. We can now see inside peoples’ brains using imaging machines or test microscopic amounts of new drugs harmlessly on volunteers, as well as conduct large scale studies of populations to help see what might cause disease (epidemiology). Scientists are moving away from using animals but it is a slow process and they need more support.

My opinion on animal testing is that we still need it but we should try to minimize the amount of animals being used and the pain the may experience even when pain relievers and anesthetics are used. We should use alternatives as much as we need to. We should not completely ban animal testing until we have a full replacement for it that works just as well or even better. Scientist are actually just trying to save someones life, I think many people in this world would see that as a selfless act. Personally I would rather an animal die than a cancer patient.

They also test on animals as some of them are very much like humans, that means if an animal has a positive reaction towards a drug we are one step closer to curing a disease and we would all rather an animal die during research than a human. Animals are mostly used to develop medicines for the sick and have they have actually helped find different treatments for cancer, strokes, and may other diseases that many people die from each year.

Anyone that ‘thinks’ that they are against animal testing is basically telling some cancer patients that they would rather them die then some rats. I would never ban animal testing. I find that the people who protest against animal testing are an insult to the poor people that are fighting for their lives lying in a hospital bed some where with one chance of getting their life back by taking a drug that may have been tested on animals.

It makes me feel really uncomfortable knowing that healthy people want something which will drastically decrease the standard of living of others. A complete ban on animal testing will have very serious negative effects on medical research. I believe that developing better, more effective and safer drugs is more important than sparing a few rats. Either way, if we continue animal testing ( which we are now ) too many animals are getting hurt, money is being spent, and products are still being tested, but if we ban animal testing we only have alternatives that work with only certain parts of an animal’s body. So, if we do either one we will still have issues.

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