Jason Soul / Staff reporter
Animal testing is necessary to provide a better environment for humans to live in. Animal research has had a vital role in many scientific and medical advances of the past century and continues to aid our understanding of various diseases.
There are so many benefits derived from the testing of animals that the advantages of testing animals outweigh the disadvantages. If there were no animal testing, the suffering would have been unbearable with untreatable diseases.
Animal research has helped people to make life-changing discoveries, especially in the medical dimension. The discoveries were so crucial and significant for the acquisition of basic knowledge in biology that the average life expectancy of humans increased by twenty-five years ever since the contribution of such studies.
Some achievements done by animal testing is creating the world’s first vaccine from researching cows, which helped to terminate smallpox. Also, studies in mice helped to find genetic causes of cancer and to understand the complex way tumours grow and to develop a new way to prevent it.
Additionally, animal research is responsible for the development of asthma inhalers; asthma still kills around two thousand people in the UK every year.
Another reason why it should be animals that are tested is that animals and humans have very similar organ systems. Surprisingly the most common experimental animal, mice, share more than 98 per cent of DNA with humans. Also, they are susceptible to many of the same health problems as humans – cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
However, regarding its contribution and benefits, there are some people who argue that animal testing should be banned because they are ethically wrong. In truth, it is mistaken to think that animal testing is unethical because statistics show that it is not.
Household cats kill approximately 5 million animals every week – more than the total number of animals used in medical research every year. Also, labs use mice, rats, birds, reptiles and amphibians that are exempted from the minimal protections under the Animal Welfare Act.
“Animal research and testing have played a part in almost every medical breakthrough of the last century,” said UK Home Office minister Joan Ryan. “It has saved hundreds of millions of lives worldwide.”