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These years have witnessed a large number of controversial opinions surrounding the idea that whether animals should continue being used in experiments. Many conservative organizations have raised their voice that the federal government had squandered millions of dollars on ineffective testing using animals for researches (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, n.d). From our perspective, however, animals are indispensable parts of the experimenting procedures and the utilization of these objects should be justified due to the following reasons.
The very first explanation for the question of why animal testing is crucial is due to the demands of manufacturers and scientists to ensure the safety of products (The National Academies Press, 2004).
While laboratory technicians have no clues whether the novel ingredients may trigger any allergic reaction and damage to a body function, they have to resort to animal testing as convenient and observable experiment subjects (The National Academies Press Press, 2004). According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, chimpanzees that are known as the closest living evolutionary relatives shared approximately 94% of their genes with humans (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.
d). And in terms of protein-coding genes, mice are 85% identical to humans (The National Human Genome Research Institute, n.d). The similarity of genes, as well as bodily functions between animals and human beings, has laid the premise and platform for the use of animals in laboratory research for decades (The Stanford Medicine, n.d). To be more specific, the groundbreaking, successful treatment of diabetes was implemented on dogs (Banting, 1925) and the vaccines for Yersinia pestis which caused the ‘Black Death’ plague were meticulously carried out on mice, goats, monkeys and rabbits (Theiler, 1951).
And now, the death toll of Covid-19 epidemic calls for the essential need of experimenting vaccine and treatments on animals to guarantee that no unfortunate outcomes could sprout up (Americans for Medical Progress, n.d).
It is the fact that there are numerous regulatory authorities namely the Public Health Service, the Animal Welfare Act and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee were establish with the motive for supervising and reviewing concerns of the research’s aim to guarantee that animals are properly housed, fed and taken care in hygienic and good condition (Khan, 2011). Furthermore, every institute implementing experiments on animals such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is regulated to secure the subject’s health by applying the most feasible mercy techniques within their scientific capacity (FDA, n.d).
Moreover, animals themselves can also gain numerous benefits from these researches (Foundation for Biomedical Research, n.d). For example, the National Academies Press has indicated that many animals were saved from the fatal diseases thanks to the help of vaccines for rabies, feline leukemia virus or heartworm infestation which were previously researched on them (National Academies Press, n.d). With hundreds of medicines and treatments, pets and cattle can live healthier lives with longer life expectancy and the endangered species are preserved and protected (Foundation for Biomedical Research, n.d). People of the other side put forward the view that that animal testing is unnecessary due to the recent proliferation of technology. In other words, they argue that advanced systems nowadays can anticipate chemical toxicity, thus leading to less demand for animals in experiments (Nation Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 2019).
Promising as it might sound, it poses a vast array of skepticism. James Matthews assertes in his research that at the moment there were not too many alternatives to animals in the experiment field, and they are certainly not more human-relevant or reliable than animal models (Times Colonist, 2017). Human beings’ bodies are unpartitioned for all the processes happening inside us has yet understood thoroughly. Even the most advanced computers cannot exactly simulate the procedures of the brain’s 100 billion interconnected nerve systems (Frontiers, 2018). A single tissue created by an algorithm might show effectiveness in reaction with a chemical or process; however, it can not represent the way the whole body responds to the targeted object (Kara R., 2017). All in all, the presence of the animal is critical for experiment operations.
To summarize, the role of animals in testings is always presented as it could enhance the safety of that scientific researches and it is irreplaceable even with the advanced technology. Granted, animal welfare should be a factor to consider more, but the prominent purpose of any researches is the noble responsibility of scientists to find the cure for even the most exclusively severe health-related problems no matter how elusive it might seem to be.
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