Pro & Con Quotes: Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing?
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Joe Hernandez, reporter for NPR, stated:
“A new U.S. law has eliminated the requirement that drugs in development must undergo testing in animals before being given to participants in human trials….
Signed by President Biden in December as part of a larger spending package, the law doesn’t ban the testing of new drugs on animals outright. Instead it simply lifts the requirement that pharmaceutical companies use animals to test new drugs before human trials. Companies can still test drugs on animals if they choose to.
There are a slew of other methods that drugmakers employ to assess new medications and treatments, such as computer modeling and “organs on a chip,” thumb-sized microchips that can mimic how organs’ function are affected by pharmaceuticals.”-
Joe Hernandez, “The FDA No Longer Requires All Drugs to Be Tested on Animals before Human Trials,” npr.org, Jan. 12, 2023
The National Association for Biomedical Research stated:
“The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was enacted in 1938 after the drug sulfanilamide, marketed for strep throat in the U.S. without human or animal research data establishing its safety or its efficacy, killed and sickened hundreds of people due to toxic levels of antifreeze it contained. Additional animal research safety and efficacy data became required under the Act in 1963 to prevent incidents like the thalidomide incident in Europe and other parts of the world.
Animal testing followed by human clinical trials currently remains the best way to examine complex physiological, neuroanatomical, reproductive, developmental and cognitive effects of drugs to determine if they are safe and effective for market approval.
The overwhelming majority of drugs on the market today relied on safety and efficacy data from multiple animal models before being allowed to move to human clinical trials as demonstrated by the Foundation for Biomedical Research’s Top 25 Drugs and Animal Model study.”-
National Association for Biomedical Research, nabr.org (accessed May 10,2023)
Tara Rabin, Public Affairs Specialist at the Food and Drug Administration, stated,
“While the F.D.A. is committed to doing all that it can to reduce the reliance on animal-based studies, there are still many areas where animal research is necessary. Without the use of animals, it would be impossible to gain some of the important knowledge needed to prevent human and animal suffering for many life-threatening diseases.”-
Mihir Zaveri, Mariel Padilla and Jaclyn Peiser, “E.P.A. Says It Will Drastically Reduce Animal Testing,” nytimes.com, Sep. 10, 2019
Mieke Louwe, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Institute of Internal Medicine an the K.G. Jebsen Inflammation Research Centre at the Oslo University Hospital at Oslo University, stated:
“Unfortunately, however, not all animal research can be replaced by animal free experiments.
One reason is that there are no alternative methods that can mimic the whole human body. For instance, studying how cancer spreads from one part of the body to another is impossible with current alternatives. Actually, to study any process that involves more than one organ requires the use of an animal, as the interaction that takes place between different organs is very complex. Up till now it is impossible to replicate this in a cell culture dish…
[T]here’s no doubt that the work to reduce the use of animals in research is something that needs to be further addressed, and hopefully we will be able to find adequate alternatives for all kinds of research. But until we reach that stage, medical progress is not possible without exploiting animals.”-
Mieke Louwe, “What You Should Know about Animal Research,” Science Nordic website, Apr. 16, 2016
Juan Carlos Marvizón, Adjunct Associate Professor for CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), stated:
“Physiology is similar enough between humans and the rest of mammals to make it possible to translate discoveries from animals to humans. Furthermore, science has developed the right strategies to investigate human diseases in animals and use the findings to develop medications that work in humans (and in animals as well, in the case of veterinary medicine)…Not everything is smooth sailing, there are some big obstacles in translating discoveries made in animals to humans. Nobody said that science was easy. However, giving up animal research following the advice of animal rights ideologues would the most foolhardy thing to do. The ultimate proof that animal research is able to produce cures for human diseases.”-
Juan Carlos Marvizón, “Can Animal Research Be Applied to Humans,” Speaking of Research website, Jan. 5, 2016
The Royal Society of Biology stated the following in their publication “Animal Research: The Use of Animals in Research,” available at rsb.org.uk (accessed Mar. 7, 2017):
“The Royal Society of Biology supports the use of animals in research when properly regulated and when no alternatives are available. We actively support progress towards a reduction in the use of animals by refining experiments and developing new ways to minimise the use of and replace animals wherever possible – often referred to as the 3Rs.
Research using animals has directly contributed to medical and veterinary benefits including development of vaccines, antibiotics, and pioneering medical procedures that save and improve the quality of many human and animal lives. It has played a vital role in the major medical advances of the past century. It will continue to be necessary for some time as we search for treatments for life-threatening conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, AIDS, trauma and many severe infectious and inherited diseases…
[T]here are groups and individuals that wish to stop animal research completely, claiming that it is unnecessary and brings no benefit. However, as set out above, this is not the case.”-
The Royal Society of Biology, “Animal Research: The Use of Animals in Research,” rsb.org.uk (accessed Mar. 7, 2017)
The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) stated:
“The use of animals in research is a privilege that must be carefully guarded to assure human and animal relief from the specter of disease and suffering. To ignore human and animal suffering is irresponsible and unethical. Nearly every major medical advance of the 20th century has depended largely on research with animals. Our best hope for developing preventions, treatments and cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, AIDS and cancer will also involve biomedical research using animals. In fact, research on animals is in many cases an obligation. According to the Nuremburg Code, drawn up after World War II as a result of Nazi atrocities, any experiments on humans ‘should be designed and based on the results of animal experimentation.’… The Declaration of Helsinki, adopted in 1964 by the 18th World Medical Assembly and revised in 1975, also states that medical research on human subjects ‘should be based on adequately performed laboratory and animal experimentation.”-
The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), “Animal Research FAQ,” AALAS website (accessed Apr. 7, 2017)
Charles Darwin, British naturalist and originator of the theory of evolution, stated:
“I have all my life been a strong advocate for humanity to animals, and have done what I could in my writings to enforce this duty… On the other hand, I know that physiology cannot possibly progress except by means of experiments on living animals, and I feel the deepest conviction that he who retards the progress of physiology commits a crime against mankind.”-
Charles Darwin, letter, Times (UK), darwin-online.org.uk, Apr. 14, 1881
“Humans and animals share hundreds of illnesses, and consequently animals can act as models for the study of human illness. For example, rabbits suffer from atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), as well as diseases such as emphysema, and birth defects such as spina bifida. Dogs suffer from cancer, diabetes, cataracts, ulcers and bleeding disorders such as haemophilia, which make them natural candidates for research into these disorders. Cats suffer from some of the same visual impairments as humans…
New medicines require testing because researchers must measure both the beneficial and the harmful effects of a compound on a whole organism. A medicine is initially tested in vitro using tissues and isolated organs, but legally and ethically it must also be tested in a suitable animal model before clinical trials in humans can take place.”-
AnimalResearch.info, “Why Animals Are Used,” animalresearch.info (accessed Apr. 7, 2017)
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) stated:
“The FDA Modernization Act 2.0, added to the omnibus spending bill, was just passed and has been signed into law by President Biden.
This signals a radical shift in the way drugs and treatments are developed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be allowed to consider superior, non-animal drug testing methods, instead of requiring deadly and scientifically bogus animal tests. It’s a change that mirrors a request that PETA scientists made of the FDA in 2020….
PETA’s undercover investigation into laboratory supplier Envigo’s dog-breeding factory led to the release of 4,000 beagles to be adopted into loving homes. But this massive victory is where the real work begins. We must put an end to tests on animals—or else more dogs, cats, mice, monkeys, rabbits, and others will suffer and die in laboratories.”-
PETA, “Victory! President Signs Groundbreaking FDA Modernization Act 2.0,” peta.org, Dec. 27, 2022
Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, stated,
“We can protect human health and the environment by using cutting-edge, ethically sound science in our decision-making that efficiently and cost-effectively evaluates potential effects without animal testing.”-
Andrew Wheeler, “Directive to Prioritize Efforts to Reduce Animal Testing,” fda.gov, Sep. 10, 2019
Lindsay Marshall, Science Communications Officer at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International (HSUS/HSI), stated:
“Animal research certainly fails animals, in terms of the distress and suffering caused, and just as importantly, animal research often fails people, too, in terms of the slow, unproductive route to useful treatments. More than 90 percent of drugs that have passed animal trials for safety and efficacy are not successful in treating the human disease for which they are intended…
[S]urely we can all agree that replacement of animals in testing and research is morally, ethically and scientifically the only way forward.”-
Lindsay Marshall, “Science in Transit; The Move Away from Animals in Research,” huffingtonpost.com, Dec. 16, 2016
John Pippin, cardiologist and Director of Academic Affairs for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, stated:
“It is a tremendous relief to hear that Johns Hopkins University will finally begin using up-to-date, human-relevant methods to teach human medicine. This change will align Johns Hopkins’ medical education program with 99 percent of the country’s programs…
[T]he use of animal labs is unmistakably contrary to the intention to provide an excellent medical education. Modern medical simulators provide a superior way to learn surgical skills that are specific to human anatomy and physiology.
To prepare future physicians for the work they will perform throughout their careers, medical training must be human-focused, not animal-focused, because there are many substantial differences across species.”-
John Pippin, “Statement from the Physicians Committee on Johns Hopkins University Eliminating the Use of Animals in Medical Training,” pcrm.org, May 18, 2016
Kathy Archibald, Founder and Director of the Safer Medicines Trust, stated:
“Not only are animals poor models of safety for humans, but they are also unreliable for demonstrating the effectiveness of treatments too. Just as many drugs fail in clinical trials because they turn out to cause side-effects in humans, many others turn out to be ineffective in humans, despite performing well in animals. This makes drug development extraordinarily expensive because companies need to recoup the costs of clinical trials not only for successful drugs, but also for the nine others that fail for each one that succeeds…
[F]ar from jeopardizing progress, a shift to advanced techniques based on human biology would accelerate biomedical research, and deliver safer and better medicines at lower costs: a win–win situation that should be supported by everyone.”-
Kathy Archibald, “Of Mice but Not Men,” What Doctors Don’t Tell You, 2016
Jane Goodall, ethologist and author, stated:
“In the name of science or medicine, animals are subjected to countless invasive, frightening and sometimes very painful procedures. We all want to see cures for terrible diseases such as Parkinson’s (which afflicted my mother), cancer (to which I lost my husband), multiple sclerosis and so on, but regardless of how much or how little these experiments benefit human health, should we exploit animals in this way?
Animal experimenters often justify such research by claiming the existence in humans of some morally relevant characteristics, such as intelligence, language, or consciousness, that are supposedly absent in other species. But we are fast discovering a great deal about high levels of intelligence in many animal species, and too about animal consciousness, emotions and sensitivity to pain…
We need a new mindset for the 21st century. Most experimenters, while acknowledging that animals are sentient and sometimes sapient beings, say that some will always have to be used but they will use as few and treat them as well as possible. Instead, let us admit that the practice is morally and ethically unacceptable. We need to move on.
The amazing human brain has already discovered astonishingly innovative ways of improving medical research by replacing animals. Let science direct its collectively awesome intellect toward finding alternatives to the use of live animals in all procedures—as soon as possible. This should be supported by the scientific establishment and vastly increased funding should be found for it. It should be a goal for all civilised societies.”-
Jane Goodall, “So Much Animal Pain, So Little Human Gain,” Times (UK), Mar. 17, 2012
Humane Society International (HSI) stated:
“Aside from the ethical issues they pose—inflicting both physical pain as well as psychological distress and suffering on large numbers of sentient creatures—animal tests are time- and resource-intensive, restrictive in the number of substances that can be tested, provide little understanding of how chemicals behave in the body, and in many cases do not correctly predict real-world human reactions. Similarly, health scientists are increasingly questioning the relevance of research aimed at ‘modeling’ human diseases in the laboratory by artificially creating symptoms in other animal species.
Trying to mirror human diseases or toxicity by artificially creating symptoms in mice, dogs or monkeys has major scientific limitations that cannot be overcome. Very often the symptoms and responses to potential treatments seen in other species are dissimilar to those of human patients. As a consequence, nine out of every 10 candidate medicines that appear safe and effective in animal studies fail when given to humans. Drug failures and research that never delivers because of irrelevant animal models not only delay medical progress, but also waste resources and risk the health and safety of volunteers in clinical trials.”-
Humane Society International (HSI), “About Animal Testing,” HSI website (accessed Apr. 7, 2017)
Mark Twain, American writer and humorist, stated:
“I believe I am not interested to know whether Vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pains which it inflicts on unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, & is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.”-
Shelley Fisher Fishkin (Ed.), Mark Twain’s Book of Animals, 2010
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