Animal Testing versus Medical Advancements

Animal testing in research has always been a subject of much debate. Animal welfare groups argue that using animals for testings purposes is unethical while researchers point out that animal testing is necessary for the benefit of mankind and even the animals themselves. Animal testing is not really bad if it is for the benefit of the majority. Almost every medical advancement has involved the use of animals including the discovery of penicillin, organ transplant, polio vaccines and others but many people are still against it because of claims that some animals are being maltreated.

However, there are many misconceptions about the issue. Many people believe that dogs, cats and monkeys are the most common animals that are being used in research when in fact, about 90 percent of animals used to further research are rodents like rats and mice. The use of cats, dogs and primates for medical research is only 0. 5 percent—0. 1 percent for primates and 0. 4 percent for cats and dogs. People also believe that impounded animals are being brought to the laboratories for testing but this practice is illegal and most of the animals used for research are bred for research purposes (Hamblin, 2007).

There is also a belief that the number of animals being used to advance research increases every year which is not true because new and alternatives methods for testing are also coming out. This has reduced the number of animals used for testing for the past 20 years by half (Hamblin, 2007). While it is true that there are documented cases of animal abuse in the advancement of the research (Hamblin, 2007), it is not always the case because researchers also need to respect animal rights especially with the prying eyes of animal welfare activist groups.

The government should also do its part in ensuring that animals rights are not abused in any research. Some organizations in favor of animal testing also argue for alternative solutions such as (1) replacing animal test subject for another alternative whenever possible, (2) reducing the number of animals used for a particular test and (3) refining experiments so that it would be more humane (Hamblin, 2007). On the other hand, groups against animal testing suggest different alternatives in the approach at the research such as the use of “lab-grown cells and organs, improved test methods and human clinical tests.

” Lab-grown cells and improved test methods are already being used. (Hamblin, 2007). Researchers note the importance of animal testing by arguing that it is unethical to induce humans to the same tests that are being done to animals and that it also improper to release drugs to the public not knowing what harmful effects it may cause (Hamblin, 2007). It may also be noted that more animals die pest control and more animals are being killed for food compared to the number of animals being used for research (Hamblin, 2007).

Pest control provides more inhumane ways of killing animals compared to animal research which is regulated by law. Less and less animals are being used for research purposes and more and more alternative methods are being discovered to prevent the use of animals for tests. Come time, the need to use animals for research may no longer be necessary but the relevance of using animals for tests at the current setting cannot be denied and the number of discoveries aided by animal testing has provided humanity and even animals with great benefits.

Animal testing, whenever necessary should be done but the animal welfare activists groups and the government should keep a watchful eye for any abuse of animal rights in the process.


Hamblin, William. (2007). Animal Testing in Research – Right or Wrong. Retrieved March 19, 2008, from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/236899/animal_testing_in_research _right_or. html

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