Have you ever really thought about what happens to animals during testing experiments? My heart breaks imagining innocent and defenseless creatures being hurt in order to find cures that may or may not work on humans. Testing on animals has been in existence since 500 BC. Many researchers believe that there is no other way to test or perform experiments other than doing it on animals. Animal testing is defined as “any scientific experiment or test in which a live animal is forced to undergo something that is likely to cause pain, suffering, distress, or lasting harm”. Several serious issues arise with animal testing. First and foremost, it is cruel and inhumane. In addition, animals and humans are not the same species making the testing inaccurate and the results unpredictable.
According to the HSI, “animals used in experiments are commonly subjected to a great deal of suffering. Force feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, prolonged periods of physical restraint, infliction of burns to study the healing process, and infliction of pain to study its effects and remedies are common. Most are killed at the end of an experiment, but some are re-used in subsequent experiments.”
In 2016 the USDA reported that 71,370 animals suffered pain during experiments while being given no anesthesia for relief.
Data on animal studies show that they fail to predict real human outcomes in 50 to 99.7 percent of cases because other species rarely naturally suffer from the same diseases as found in humans. Thus, “research using animals correlates very poorly to real human patients.”
Supporters of animal testing claim that many life-saving treatments for both humans and animals have been developed because of the testing, there is “no alternative method for researching a complete living organism and that there are strict regulations preventing the mistreatment of animals in laboratories. However, the AWA (Animal Welfare Act) does not cover rats, mice, fish and birds which make up approximately 95% of the animals used in research.
Groups like PETA and HIS say it is cruel and inhumane to experiment on animals and that alternative methods exist which can replace animal testing. Incredibly, there was a 6.9% increase in testing from 2015-2016.
It is time to stop using animals for testing and instead move into the 21st century and use modern technology such as studying cell cultures in a petri dish and artificial human skin cells grown in test tubes, both of which can produce more relevant results because human cells are used instead of animal cells. This will produce results that can be more accurately applied to humans.