It’s cruel to animals and leads to their physical and mental harm. And yet, some people assume that animal testing is important for obtaining research that is required in order to find cures for human diseases. But now studies show that this is not usually the case. Various research companies from the UK have said that using animal testing to test out medications meant for human consumption often leads to inconclusive results and it wastes animals’ lives in the process! Although animal testing is not going to be banned with these studies, the Research Councils UK is making the use of animals much more governed by rules than it has been. It has changed their guidelines for how animals are to be used during tests. Such guidelines include:
- Proposals regarding the use of animals in tests need to explain why the animals are needed as well as the ethical implications of the experiments. In addition, the report must show exactly what the experiment is going to be appropriate to ensure positive results.
- Companies must provide the number of animals that are going to be used as well as how experiment bias will be reduced.
- Companies need to provide information regarding statistics of the study.
Is this good enough for animals? Do we really need animal testing when it comes to medicines? The truth is that science is constantly coming up with better alternatives to animal testing, with examples being synthetic skins. These are used to display drug effects on the human body and don’t require the need for animals to be brought into the scenario. Other alternatives to animal testing include computer simulations, micro-dosing (this is when people are given small quantities of medicines so that their effects on the body can be established without influencing the entire body system), models based on human tissues and cells, as wells as CT and MRI scans. The benefits of not using animal testing also affect human health. This is because:
- Scientific tests are more reliable than those making use of animals. This has already been seen and an example is the link between glass fiber and cancer. Although animal tests showed no risk, human studies found that there were health dangers.
- Testing for toxicity is much more accurate when donated human tissues are used instead of animals. Animals are often forced to consume toxic substances to determine what it takes for the animals to die (and usually half of the animals surveyed will die), but far more accurate and cruelty-free is for donated human tissue to be used.
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