Philosophy of AR > Animal Testing - Index > Anti-Vivisection Index

1st July 2002
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 Animal Experiments
Contents
Key points
Does animal testing work?
Is it morally right?
What are the alternatives?
Protests and pickets
How many animals are used in experiments?
Quiz: how much do you know?
Vote: should animals be used?
Events and information
Further information
Key Points
More than 2.5 million live animal experiments were authorised in Great Britain in 2000. This number has halved since the 1970s

Animals are used to test products ranging from shampoo to new cancer drugs

British law requires that any new drug must be tested in at least two different species of live mammal. One must be a large non-rodent

Almost every medical treatment you use has been tested on animals. Animals were also used to develop anesthetics to prevent human pain and suffering during surgery


Does animal testing work?
Yes No
Animal testing has helped to develop vaccines against diseases like rabies, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and TB Animal experiments can be misleading. An animal's response to a drug can be different to a human's
Antibiotics, HIV drugs, insulin and cancer treatments rely on animal tests. Other testing methods aren't advanced enough
Successful alternatives include test tube studies on human tissue cultures, statistics and computer models
Scientists claim there are no differences in lab animals and humans that cannot be factored into tests The stress that animals endure in labs can affect experiments, making the results meaningless
Operations on animals helped to develop organ transplant and open-heart surgery techniques Animals are still used to test items like cleaning products, which benefit mankind less than medicines or surgery

What are the alternatives to animal testing?


Is animal testing morally right?
Yes No
Human life has greater intrinsic value than animal life Animals have as much right to life as human beings
Legislation protects all lab animals from cruelty or mistreatment Strict controls have not prevented researchers from abusing animals
Millions of animals are killed for food every year - if anything, medical research is a more worthy death Deaths through research are absolutely unnecessary and are morally no different from murder
Few animals feel any pain as they are killed before they have the chance to suffer When locked up they suffer tremendous stress. Can we know they don't feel pain?

Vote Quiz


Do you think animal experimentation is necessary?

Results so far:

Yes (3941 votes)  41.9%
No (5468 votes)  58.1%




What do you know about animal experiments?


Contents
Key points
Does animal testing work?
Is it morally right?
What are the alternatives?
Protests and pickets
How many animals are used in experiments?
Quiz: how much do you know?
Vote: should animals be used?
Events and information
Further information
OTHER HOT TOPICS
BBC News
Head-to-head: Animal testing

BBC Science - Horizon
 

In Audio
The beginnings of animal experiments
Case Notes, 2002

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EVENTS & INFORMATION
2002-1900 | 1899-1789

June 2002
UK 'needs GM research animals'

May 2002
New animal laboratory receives UK Government support

April 2002
UK health minister defends animal experiments

1997
After an undercover reporter films at Huntingdon Life Sciences, two employees are prosecuted under the Protection of Animals Act for treating dogs with "gross and unnecessary cruelty"

1996
First World Congress on Alternatives held in Netherlands

1992
European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods founded

1986
Animals Act revised to include an assessment of pain versus benefit before experiments begin

1959
Russell and Burch state the 'three Rs' of animal experimentation

1906
Animal rights riots in London follow the erection of a statue at University College, London, depicting a lecture on animal dissection

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FURTHER INFORMATION
Altweb
Alternatives to animal testing on the web

Americans for Medical Progress
Organisation supporting the use of animals in medical research

Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine
Organisation opposing the use of animals in medical research

FRAME
Fund for the replacement of animals in medical experiments

PETA
People for the ethical treatment of animals