For many centuries people have experimented on animals. There are two main reasons for doing this: first, two find out more about the animal themselves, and, secondly, to test substances and procedures to see if they are harmful with a view to deciding whether or not they can be used on human beings. Therefore animals should be used for animal experimentation.
Experiments on animals should be considered on a case-by-case basis. The proper principle to apply, however, is that the reduction of human suffering is our first priority and the prevention of animal suffering or death is secondary to that. So that if there is a decent chance that an experiment will result in an important medical breakthrough that will reduce human suffering and death then it is justifiable to allow animal suffering.
Others argue that moral rights and principles of justice apply only to human beings. Morality is a creation of social processes in which animals do not participate. Moral rights and moral principles apply only to those who are part of the moral community created by these social processes. We humans have moral obligations to our fellow human beings, which include the duty to reduce and prevent needless human suffering and untimely deaths, which, in turn, may require the experimentation on animals.
Although in principle it is more important to reduce human suffering, in practice it is possible and absolutely right to keep animal suffering to an absolute minimum. Animal experimenters should aspire to the highest levels of animal welfare in their laboratories, using anesthetics wherever possible and keeping animals in clean, comfortable, and healthy conditions.
Supporters of the use of animals in experiments, such as the British Royal Society, argue that virtually every medical achievement in the 20th century relied on the use of animals in some way, with the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research of the Us National Academy of Sciences arguing that even sophisticated computers are unable to model interactions between molecules, cell, tissues, organs, organisms, and the environment, making animal research necessary in many areas.
Arguments that are pro-animal testing state that there is no comprehensive substitute for animal experimentation because we cannot completely duplicate an entire living system in order to administer tests. Many drugs have significant dangers, but scientific experimentation on animals allows scientist to gauge the safety of certain drugs before allowing human trials. This saves human lives and other species to use new developments of safer and improved drugs. To ban animal experiments would be to paralyze modern medicine, to perpetuate human suffering, and to endanger human and animals health by allowing products such as insecticides onto the market before testing them for toxicity.